Michael Mathews, Owner
Michael’s father, Dale, founded The Backpacker in 1974, so he has been a lifetimer! Michael took over the store in 2000 and is now the President and owner. His favorite brands range across the store--he loves high quality, unique outerwear and gear that nobody else has. As president, he’s responsible for aligning work goals with staff members and managing company finances. What he enjoys most is working with the staff members to get those goals accomplished and seeing the benefits of them take effect. Outside of the store, he loves snow skiing, all kinds of saltwater fishing, scuba diving, and pretty much anything outdoors. When he is at home, he enjoys spending time with his kids, exercising, and cooking. He hopes to add whitewater kayaking and mountaineering to this list.
Tyler Hicks, General Manager
Tyler started with The Backpacker in 2007 as Store Manager of Backpacker Baton Rouge and now serves as General Manager. His favorite brands are Hobie kayaks, Arc’teryx outerwear, Salomon shoes, and Prana apparel. His duties involve overseeing the day-to-day operations of our two retail stores, social media marketing, and helping to plan great events like the Ride the Bull kayak fishing tournament, on-water kayak demos, and movies at The Varsity Theater. Outside of the store, he serves on the board of directors for the Capital Heights Neighborhood Association and is a member of the Baton Rouge Area Chamber of Commerce and Center for Planning Excellence. He enjoys hiking, biking, climbing, and paddling at the local BREC parks with his wife Sarah, 4 year old son Jude, and dog Libby.
Walter Paolucci, Store Manager Backpacker Baton Rouge
Walter joined the Backpacker team in June of 2015. His favorite brands are prAna, Osprey and Black Diamond. When he’s not commuting to and from New Orleans, Walter enjoying bouldering, riding his bike or going on day hikes.
Susie Weeks, Assistant Manager Backpacker Baton Rouge
Susie started with The Backpacker in 2009 and is currently the Assistant Manager of the Baton Rouge location. Her favorite area of the store is the shoe department, where she feels she is best able to get to know customers through their effort to find the perfect fit and style for the customer’s needs. Her favorite brands are Salomon for outdoor adventures and Teva wedges for looking cute and staying comfortable. Susie’s favorite clothing brand is prAna. Her responsibilities at the store include “herding cats,” organizing anything she can put her hands on, and greeting customers with a smile. Outside of the store, she enjoys riding bicycles, making jewelry with recycled bike parts, kayaking the local bayous, and camping along the Mississippi.
Emily Holt, Bookkeeper
Emily started with The Backpacker in 2006 and serves as the company accountant. Her favorite brands and products are Smartwool, Arc’teryx, kayaks, and dry bags. She spends her days crunching numbers and listening to music. Her hobbies include enjoying live music, making and selling jewelry at art festivals, spending time with her three dogs, kayaking, and playing kickball any chance she gets.
Lindsey Traylor, Apparel Buyer
Lindsey joined The Backpacker team in June of 2013 as an apparel merchandiser and then moved into the Apparel Buyer position in June of 2015. Her favorite brands are prAna, Gramicci, and Toad & Co. She loves soaking up the sun on a Gulf Coast beach but will happily take a pool as a substitute.
Lise’ Redmond, Advertising and Buying
Lise’ has been working with The Backpacker for longer than she’s willing to divulge. Her favorite brands are Patagonia, Arc’teryx, and Osprey. When she’s not at her office in the Lockwood Gallery, she enjoys road trips, skiing, and can be frequently found walking the LSU Lakes with friends and family.