Statement issued Wednesday:
Fort Wayne Trails (FWT) today announced its launch as the region’s new umbrella trails organization focused on serving as a source of economic and community development, as well as active, healthy, connected living throughout Northeast Indiana. Fort Wayne Trails’ inception is the result of merging three area non-profit trails’ initiatives – Aboite New Trails, Greenway Consortium and Northwest Allen Trails. The organization will be governed by a new executive board and executive director - both of which have been nominated and are effective immediately.
“We’re thrilled to bring together three impressive trails groups that have literally laid the foundation for a landmark development throughout this region,” said Mark Pope, Fort Wayne Trails’ Chairman of the Board. “We celebrate their pioneering efforts and have tremendous respect and gratitude for what they’ve accomplished. In six years, they’ve succeeded in getting 41 miles of trails funded, constructed, recognized and utilized – all through grassroots dedication.”
Fort Wayne Trails will strive to raise the area’s attractiveness as a place for potential investment, drawing and retaining businesses and residents, encouraging multi-modal transportation, improving quality of life, and preserving and enhancing natural resources and corridors. In turn, the organization will look to businesses, the community and government for funding and support, which are critical to sustaining this nonprofit corporation.
“We are pleased to recognize Fort Wayne Trails as the comprehensive community-wide greenway and trails organization that will combine the missions of its constituent organizations,” said Thomas C. Henry, Fort Wayne’s Mayor. “This umbrella non-profit will centralize fundraising and government advocacy efforts, and give an even stronger voice to the regions’ trails in connecting population centers throughout the Fort Wayne and Allen County area.”
Fort Wayne Trails is a 501(c)(3) corporation and is in the process of identifying its headquarters location in downtown Fort Wayne. The FWT Board of Directors represents all areas of the county and will provide the leadership, inspiration and fundraising momentum necessary to take the area trails to the next level. Fiscal planning, fundraising, donor recognition, area partnerships, promotions and brand development are a short-list of the Board’s priorities over the next 30-60-90 days.
“This merger takes us years into the future, allowing us to accomplish things as a combined organization that the three original trails groups always envisioned,” said Lori Keys, Fort Wayne Trails’ Executive Director. “We’re delighted with this exciting development and the positive impact it will have on the Fort Wayne community.”
Fort Wayne Trails thanks all the individuals, businesses, foundations and city and county officials who have contributed time and resources to Aboite New Trails, Greenway Consortium and Northwest Allen Trails. Special thanks to Lynn Reecer, president of Aboite New Trails and Chair of the FWT Nominating Committee; Jon Bomberger and Bob Mann, presidents of Greenway Consortium and Northwest Allen Trails, respectively; as well as their teams.
Created in January 2011, Fort Wayne Trails, Inc. is a dynamic, not-for-profit corporation dedicated to improving the quality of life for area citizens through the development of a regional multi-use trail system. There are currently 61 miles of Fort Wayne Trails, with plans to extend the trails in every direction from the city’s center to connect communities, attract economic development, and improve overall livability throughout the Fort Wayne and Allen County area. The organization’s website, www.fortwaynetrails.org, is currently under development. For more information or to donate, contact executive director Lori Keys at (260) 969-1689.
Fort Wayne Trails 2011 Board of Directors and Primary Affiliations
Mr. Jon Bomberger, Baker & Daniels
Mr. Randy Borror, Bose Public Affairs
Ms. Meg Distler, St. Joseph Community Health Foundation
Mr. Andy Downs, IPFW
Ms. Monica Freeman, Northeast Indiana Fund
Mr. Roger Goodland, Former Board Member, Greenway Consortium
Mr. Tim Hall, Fort Wayne Outfitters; Hall’s Restaurants
Ms. Melanie Hall, Fort Wayne Community Schools
Mr. Joel Harter, Summit Brands
Ms. Sandi Kemmish, Lincoln Financial Foundation
Ms. Cheryl Klinker, Saint Vincent DePaul School
Mr. Drew Kora, One Lucky Guitar
Mr. Paul Lagemann, Senator Coats’ Office
Mr. Art Mandelbaum, Carson Boxberger
Dr. Deb McMahan, Allen County Department of Health
Mr. Greg O’Daniel, O’Daniel Motor Sales
Ms. Debbie Parrott, Group Delphi
Mr. Marty Pastura, YMCA of Greater Fort Wayne
Mr. Mark Pope, University of Saint Francis
Mr. Dave Ridderheim Sr., Former CEO, Parkview Hospital
Mr. John Ryan, Wells Fargo Insurance
Ms. Kim Sabrosky, Indiana Michigan Power
Ms. Jane Schmitt, Former Treasurer, Aboite New Trails
Mr. Jeremy Senk, Carson Boxberger
Mr. Don Steininger, Steininger Real Estate
Mr. Chad Towner, Dupont Hospital
Mr. David Van Gilder, Van Gilder & Trzynka, P.C.
Mr. Wally Wetherill, BKD
FWT Executive Committee
Mr. Mark Pope, Chairman
Mr. Jon Bomberger, Vice President
Ms. Kim Sabrosky, Secretary
Ms. Jane Schmitt, Treasurer
Ms. Lori Keys, Executive Director