The executive director of Lake of the Woods Tourism is one of 20 people named to Minnesota’s new Outdoor Recreation Task Force.

Joe Henry and the other 19 panel members announced Monday will meet for the first time Tuesday, April 28, via WebEx. Meetings will continue remotely until risks of COVID-19 have dissipated, after which the task force will meet in-person, with the public welcome to attend.

The panel assembled by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and Explore Minnesota represents a broad swath of outdoor recreation interests in the state.

“Engaging this group of individuals is truly a unique opportunity for collaboration,” DNR Commissioner Sarah Strommen said in a statement. “I am confident that this group is ready to think creatively and develop ideas that will ensure Minnesota continues to be a national leader in outdoor recreation.”

The 20 people named Monday were as follows:

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  • Reinaldo Aponte, adventures director, The Loppet Foundation.

  • Mary Bauer, registered nurse, VA Medical Center, representative of the Minnesota Canoe Association and Minnesota Ski League.

  • Steven JR Burke, director of government affairs, Polaris.

  • Elliot Christensen, tobacco prevention coordinator, Lower Sioux Indian Community.

  • Megan Christianson, executive director, Visit Grand Rapids.

  • Katy Friesz, corporate responsibility, Winnebago Industries.

  • Matt Gruhn, president, Marine Retailers Association of the Americas.

  • Aaron Hautala, Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Crew.

  • Breanne Hegg, vice president, programs for Girl Scouts River Valleys.

  • Joe Henry, executive director, Lake of the Woods Tourism.

  • Hansi Johnson, director, Recreational Lands for Minnesota Land Trust.

  • Greg Lais, founder, director, Strategic Initiatives.

  • Perry May, director at large, All-Terrain Vehicle Association of Minnesota.

  • Sarah Milligan-Toffler, executive director, Children and Nature Network.

  • Mark Norquist, founder, Modern Carnivore.

  • Stephen Regenold, founder and publisher,

  • Mollika Sajady, DO, MPH, University of Minnesota Health.

  • Naomi Sam, coordinator and director, Cultural Resources for the Mille Lacs Band DNR.

  • Asha Shoffner, founder, Fiwygin Outdoors.

  • Steven Voltz, store manager, REI Roseville.

“I think the team assembled here is robust and represents a wide variety of industries, organizations, and perspectives that we need to continue elevating Minnesota’s outdoors as a national and international destination,” said John Edman, Explore Minnesota director. “Now more than ever, our great outdoors are vital to the well-being of Minnesotans and we hope this group will delve into how we can meet those demands.”