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Staff

KD
Kurt Damron

CEO

Kurt is in his 3rd Season with Highlands Aerial Park. Following High School, Kurt graduated from the University of Mobile earning his Bachelor’s degree in Business Management. He was then promoted to Vice President of SPRAYGLO, an Automotive Paint and Body company with locations across the Southeast. Kurt lives with his wife, Lisa, and their three children. On his days off, Kurt enjoys spending time with his family outdoors. They love Fishing, Kayaking and Backpacking. One surprising thing to learn about Kurt is that he has a Minor in Music! Kurt was once a worship leader at a church, has travelled as part of a Chorale, and performed in a traveling Opera.

Kurt’s favorite memory at the park was leading the Marketing Department at CNN on our World Class Canopy Tour!

Nathan-Sidey
Nathan Sidey

VP of Marketing, Guide

Nathan is in his 2nd Season with Highlands Aerial Park. Nathan has been a local for the last 13 years, growing up less than 3 miles from the Park. However, he has spent the last 3 years at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia studying Psychology. Following graduation in 2018, Nathan plans to return to the area. He plans to begin working full time at the Aerial Park to create a financial footing before beginning his Masters degree in Counseling from Liberty University Online. He hopes to use this degree and his experiences at the aerial park to assist those with Psychological Disorders through Outdoor Adventure experiences. On the days he’s not working, Nathan enjoys running, hiking and swimming with his dog, Trooper. One surprising fact about Nathan is that he holds a National Championship Title as a Mascot.

Nathan’s favorite memory at HAP is getting to know this year’s newest guides!

Tristan-Swan
Tristan Swan

Assistant Manager, Guide

This is Tristan’s fourth season with the Aerial Park and his first season as an Assistant Manager. He says his favorite part about working at HAP is being outside and meeting new people every day. He loves that it’s “always an adventure, you never know what’s gonna happen!” Outside of work, Tristan enjoys “spending time with his folks” and “just being with people; with friends or just people in general.” Tristan grew up in South Georgia where he began acting. He enjoyed acting for years and hopes to make a career as either an actor or director.

Tristan’s favorite memories are of the Staff Cookouts. He enjoys getting to bond with the new summer employees and hanging out with the returning staff outside of a work setting.

Megan-McCracken
Megan McCracken

Assistant Manager, Guide

Megan is in her 4th season with Highlands Aerial Park. Megan has been a guide longer than anyone else at the park, making her excellent for any of our guests that are apprehensive about zipping for the first time. Megan grew up locally and attended Tallulah Falls School, about 45 minutes from the park. On her days off, Megan enjoys spending time with her daughter and hanging out at the river. We hope to keep Megan as long as we can, but one day she hopes to become a sky diving instructor. Megan is an integral part of our team and we hope you have the opportunity to zip with her soon!

Megan’s favorite memory at HAP is the annual staff cookout the kicks off our busy season!

Hannah-Oliver
Hannah Adcock

Office Manager, Guide

Hannah is in her 4th season at HAP. If you’ve ever walked into our office, she’s likely checked you in for your tour! Hannah serves as our Office Manager and has recently completed her training to become a zip line guide! Hannah holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education from Toccoa Falls College, but says that her career goal is to have a family. Hannah’s favorite pastimes include hiking and crafting. Many of these crafts can be purchased on her Esty Page (listed below)!

Hannah’s favorite memory at the Aerial Park was watching her older brother freak out while riding our Giant Mountain Swing!

https://www.etsy.com/shop/CabinfeverByOLIVER

Chris-Barnes
Chris Barnes

Guide

Chris is in his 3rd season with the Aerial Park. He is one of our Senior Guides and can be found at the park year-round. Chris has also worked as an instructor for ski resorts in Colorado and as a Zipline Guide at the Omni Homestead Resort in Hot Springs, West Virginia. Chris grew up locally and loves the mountains but he loves to travel even more! He has traveled to many parts of the country and the globe, most recently to Las Vegas and Taiwan. Book a tour with Chris today and share where you’ve traveled!

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Dillon Casada

Guide

Dillon has recently begun his 1st season as a guide with us here at Highlands Aerial Park. Previously, Dillon worked at a gem mine in Franklin, North Carolina. He is excited to take on this new role as a guide at the zip line. Dillon recently graduated from Franklin High School and is headed into his second year at South Western Community College. He plans to one day run his own business and hopes to enjoy a life with minimal stress. On his off days, Dillon enjoys “chilling with friends” and being in the mountains. He claims his favorite part of the job is the people he gets to work with!

Ben-Davis
Ben Davis

Guide

Ben is in his 2nd season with us here at HAP! Already an important part of our team, Ben is working extra hours this summer as a part of his Capstone Internship for his degree from Western Carolina University. Ben is nearing completion on this degree in Parks and Recreation Management with a focus on Outdoor Leadership. One day, he hopes to run or manage an Outdoor Christian Ministry. On his day off, Ben enjoys hiking, biking, going to church, and exploring! When asked his favorite place to be he said “anywhere in the wilderness!”

Ben says his fondest memories at Highlands Aerial Park are just the moments he spends with his coworkers and meeting new guests!

Blake-Hedgecock
Blake Hedgecock

Guide

Blake is in his 2nd season at Highlands Aerial Park. While he spends most of his year as a student at Georgia Southern University studying Construction Management, Blake lives and works on the property each summer with his best friend, Robbie Powell. Blake hopes to one day own his own construction company. When he’s not at work, Blake loves to be relaxing on the lake or sitting on the river. His favorite place to be is at the beach. When asked to share an interesting fact about himself, he wanted his guests to know that he is bigger than Bryant.

Blake’s favorite memory at the park was the weekend the HAP Staff rented a boathouse and hungout outside of the normal work environment.

Daniel-Lockwood
Daniel Lockwood

Guide

Daniel joins us this year in his 4th season with Highlands Aerial Park. Daniel zipped with us for the first time while visiting his grandpa who lives locally. He loved the atmosphere and began working for us the following summer. Currently, Daniel is the In-School Suspension Supervisor and soccer coach at his Alma Mater, TL Hanna High School in Anderson, South Carolina. While he enjoys these jobs, his ultimate goal is “to find something I love doing and find someone willing to pay me to do it.” When he’s not at work, Daniel enjoys running and playing sports with his friends. When asked to share something guests might be surprised to learn about him, he shared that he took tap dance lessons in elementary school.

Daniel says his favorite memory at the park was a few seasons ago when we had a 96 year old woman coming zipping with us!

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McKinley Moseley

Office Staff, Guide

Mickey is joining us for her 3rd season at HAP. She began as a Brave Indian guide, but last year was trained on the main course and in the office. Mickey grew up here in Scaly Mountain and attended the Highlands School. Following graduation, Mickey began her college education at Southwestern Community College. She has recently earned her Associates degree and is continuing her education at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina. Mickey can be found most days on our Brave Indian Family Course, but on her days off she enjoys spending time with her boyfriend.

Mickey’s favorite memory at the park was the day she took 3 nuns on our giant mountain swing!

Artt-Oliveras
Artt Oliveras

Guide

Artt is in his second season with us at HAP. He is trained on all aspects of our course and is an integral part of our crew. Prior to working with us, Artt has held several jobs. He has worked in contracting, investing, and served in the military. He has always seen himself as a daredevil, but when he was young he fell off a wall and developed a fear of heights that he holds to this day. When he entered the military, he decided he wanted to face this fear and joined the Army’s Air Assault Team. For 9 years, he faced his fears jumping out of aircraft and repelling down rock faces. This helps Artt to be incredible at aiding our guests who have a fear of heights.

Artt’s favorite memory at the Aerial Park was aiding an 82-year-old lady conquer her fear of heights! She eased her fears on the first platform and she carried on to complete the entire World Class Canopy tour!

Robbie-Powell
Robbie Powell

Guide

Robbie has worked with us here at Highlands Aerial Park since it opened 5 seasons ago, but is in his 2nd season as a guide. After graduating from Lowndes High School in South Georgia, Robbie began his degree in Finance and Real Estate at the University of Georgia. Currently, Robbie plans to become a Commercial Real Estate Developer. When not working Robbie enjoys going on long runs and his favorite place to be is Athens, Georgia.

Robbie’s favorite memory at HAP is the Annual Staff Cookout where we recognize the new guides for completing their training and kick back before the busy season begins!

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Vladyslay Prykhodko

Guide

Vlad is another of our newest employees and is joing us for his 1st season as a guide at Highlands Aerial Park. However, prior to working at HAP, Vlad was a zipline guide at Sappire Valley Resorts in Sapphire Valley, North Carolina. Currently, Vlad is a student at Southwestern Community College in Sylva, NC. On his day off, Vlad enjoys playing video games and his favorite place to be is anywhere that he can find a waterfall. Vlad speaks English, Russian, Ukrainian, Spanish and German. Don’t believe it? Just ask and he’ll prove it!

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Michael Reilly

Guide

Michael has returned to join us for a 2nd season! Two years ago, Michael joined us as a Brave Indian guide and maintenance worker. This year, Michael has trained to become a Canopy Tour guide and will be working on our main zip line course. Michael graduated from Rabun County High School in Tiger, Georgia and later began his degree at Lanier Technical College. He has recently graduated with a Motor Sports Technician degree which he used while working with Chris Smith Porsche Racing. While working for this team, Michael was able to travel the country and played an active role as a member of the team. When he’s not working, Michael enjoys spending time fishing, swimming and shooting and his favorite place to be is the North Georgia Mountains. We are so glad Michael has returned to work with us again this summer!

Vincent-Serio
Vincent Serio

Guide

Vincent is joining us this year as his 1st season with Highlands Aerial Park. However, he has worked as a guide for longer than any other member of our staff! Vincent has worked across the country working as an Ocean Kayaking guide in California and Florida, an Airboat Guide in the Florida Everglades and has held various other jobs with Outdoor Adventure Companies. Vincent has also worked as a Camp Counselor, Wedding and Event Specialist, and as an Au pair. Vincent’s career goals are to continue touring the country and the globe, start his own company, launch a networking site, and to always be learning growing and improving.  When he’s not at HAP, Vincent enjoys Mountain Biking and wakeboarding. If he could be anywhere in the world, he says he would gladly be anywhere with a great view and some good friends. Originally coming from Northern California, we count ourselves lucky to have Vincent settling into the Northeast Georgia and Western Carolina Mountains as a part of our team!

Vincent’s favorite memory at HAP is the evening he sat in the pasture and watched the most spectacular firefly display he had ever seen.

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Forrest Welch

Guide

Forrest is in his third season with us at the Aerial Park. Forrest thoroughly enjoys working at the park in being in the same woods he grew up in. Growing up 5 minutes away from the Park, Forrest knows this area backwards and forwards. He also works around the county as a bartender and can tell you the best places to grab a bite to eat or enjoy local brews. While not working, Forrest enjoys spending time with his Fiancé as they plan their upcoming wedding!

Forrest’s favorite memories at the park all involve his guests and the stories he hears.

Kristy-Dupre
Kristy Dupre

Office Staff, Guide

Kristy has been leading people outdoors for years but this is her 1st season leading guests here at HAP. Following her graduation from Appalachian State, she served in the United States Army. Kristy has been a Wilderness Therapy Field Instructor and camp counselor in different parts of the Western Carolinas and North East Georgia and currently lives in Franklin, North Carolina. As a guide at HAP, she hopes to use her knowledge of the area, flora and fauna to teach guests about the beauty and benefits of the area surrounding us. Kristy’s biggest career goal is to always remain teachable and open to new experiences.

Kristy’s favorite memory at the park was this year’s training week as she begin learning about this year’s HAP team!

Bryant Barnes

Guide

Bryant is in his 2nd season with us here at Highlands Aerial Park. While most of our guides are seasonal, you can find him in our trees year-round! Bryant is entering his senior year at the University of North Georgia where he is working towards a degree in Kinesiology. Following graduation, Bryant hopes to begin Physical Therapist school but is unsure of his plans beyond that. On his day off, Bryant enjoys spending time with friends hiking, kayaking, and (just like every other day) going to the gym. Other than being outdoors, Bryant thoroughly enjoys reading and says he can be found reading something nearly every night.

Bryant says his favorite memories at HAP all revolve around a common theme: Beating Robby and Blake at everything.

 

Kelsie Billingsley

Office Staff, Guide

Kelsie is in her 1st Season at HAP and she looks forward to working here! Prior to working at HAP, Kelsie was one of the Front End Managers at Piggly Wiggly. Kelsie is a recent graduate of Rabun County High School and begins her college career at North Georgia Technical College this year as an Early Childhood Education Major. She hopes to use this degree to become a 2nd Grade Teacher and looks forward to making a difference in children’s lives! On her day off, she enjoys being outside and spending time with family.  She considers herself lucky because that’s exactly what she gets when she is working here! Kelsie’s sister and cousin also work here!

Whitney Billingsley

Office Staff, Guide

Whitney is in her 1st Season at Highlands Aerial Park. She graduated from the local Highlands High School in 2016 and is currently a student at Appalachian State. Prior to joining our team, she worked at Wolfgang’s Restaurant and Wine Bistro on Main Street in Highlands. Whitney is quickly becoming an integral part of our team and has been cross trained in the office and on course. On her day off, Whitney enjoys spending time with her family and hiking. She considers the mountains and beach to be her favorite places on earth and is happy she gets to enjoy the mountain scenery each day that she joins our team at HAP!

Ashley Powell

Guide

Ashley is in her 5th season working with Highlands Aerial Park. Ashley is one of our owners’ grandchildren and has been working here since we opened! Her several seasons with the company make her one of our most experienced guides! Following graduation from Lowndes High School in South Georgia, Ashley began her degree in Exercise and Sports Science at the University of Georgia. In addition to her studies and work at the Aerial Park, Ashley has been on UGA’s Collegiate Division 1 Track and Cross Country Teams. Following her graduation in 2018, Ashley hopes to begin her graduate studies to become a Physical Therapist. When not at work, Ashley loves running and her favorite place to be is Athens, Georgia.

Ashley’s favorite memory at HAP was night zipping with her coworkers!

Rachel Sullivan

Office Staff, Guide

Rachel is in her 1st Season her at HAP and we look forward to keeping her around as long as we can! Rachel recently completed her guide and office training and can be found at the park working in nearly every capacity. In addition to working at the park, Rachel is studying Psychology at Western Carolina University. However, she hopes to transfer to Liberty University Online to pursue a degree in Christian Counseling. Currently, her career goal is to help people struggling with the tribulations of life by directing them to the love of Christ by becoming a Christian Counselor and working for a church. Rachel also recently adopted her brother and sister and takes care of them. On her days off, she enjoys spending time with her family and hiking. She considers her favorite place to be “Anywhere outdoors in God’s beautiful creation.”

Rachel is excited to make many memories here at the aerial park in the coming months!

Julianna Wilson

Office Staff

Juli is joining us as she begins her second season with Highlands Aerial Park. She is currently our youngest employee and the only employee who works solely in the office. Juli is in her Senior year of high school through Liberty University’s Online High School, LUOA. When not focused on work or school work, Juli loves spending time with her horse, Lightning, at the barn. As one of 12 siblings, she loves the chance to escape to the serenity of her horse and life at the barn. In the Spring of 2017, Juli rode her horse 110 miles across Florida in one week on the Florida Cracker Trail.

Juli’s favorite memory at the park was zipping across the Squealing Mare at Sunset with her coworkers.