Right Plant, Right Place: Amy Stork Consulting


Amy Stork on the PCT in 2003

PCTA Business Member Amy Stork grew up in a cabin her parents built in the woods of northern Vermont.  She recalls walking in the cold when the snowy winters made it difficult to drive up to the cabin. Yet, she still cherishes and has fond memories of her childhood which helped develop her love of the outdoors. Her family didn’t hike or backpack but living in nature became part of who she was.

Amy left home to attend the University of Pittsburgh to study English and Philosophy. Little did she know it would be the beginning of her professional and personal journey into the outdoor and nonprofit world. After college, one of her colleagues asked her to join a trail crew in northwest Wyoming in the Beartooth Mountains. She had no experience but jumped at the chance for adventure. With just one trail crew under her belt, Amy knew she wanted the next step in her journey to be exploring the vastness of the American Northwest.

She settled in Oregon where she began her work with local nonprofits, fostering her desire to help remedy societal issues. Her career started at the Oregon Food Bank and next, the City of Portland Office of Sustainable Development, with a focus on Communications and Marketing. While Amy enjoyed working in the nonprofit space, she still had a burning desire to be outdoors and felt working within an organization limited her time enjoying nature. As she began backpacking sections of the Pacific Crest Trail in Oregon and Washington, she also started to use her professional knowledge to move into the consulting field. This allowed her to continue contributing to sustainability work while maintaining her freedom to explore.

When asked about her background and what she can provide to nonprofit organizations, Amy states she assists organizations with seeing the big picture or the “whole umbrella”, as she puts it. She believes that what the organization needs is already present, and her job as a consultant is to analyze and gather that present information from stakeholders internally and externally to determine the next steps. She uses her skills to assist with strategic planning and implementing operational systems for staff and leadership to achieve their goals.

With nonprofit and governmental partners as her main clientele, she stresses seeing issues from a DEI lens, and believes it is a starting point on what to help the organization with. Acknowledging that most outdoor spaces are predominantly white, she seeks to equalize all voices in the analysis and facilitation process. In equal importance, she works from a perspective of appreciation for the employees who are doing the absolute best they can to help the organization succeed, and from a structural perspective to identify what changes are needed.

Amy is a big believer in the phrase, “right plant, right place”, meaning if you choose plants that are well-suited to the location where they are planted, they will thrive. She sees herself as the right plant in the right place as a consultant because she can use her analytical skills and build close relationships with people who do amazing things – this is her favorite part of her job.

Amy is also a huge supporter of the Pacific Crest Trail Association through her Business Membership. She attributes the PCT to transforming her life and helping her become her own best friend. Amy is still based in Oregon and continues to change and lead organizations on the path of growth through her business, Amy Stork Consulting.

Amy’s family cabin in 1970’s Vermont

Amy on the PCT in 2001

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Author: PCTA Staff

The mission of the Pacific Crest Trail Association is to protect, preserve and promote the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail as a world-class experience for hikers and equestrians, and for all the values provided by wild and scenic lands.