Throughout the world, via the International Trails Symposium and our burgeoning international influence, AT has a growing role in trail development, quality assurance, funding, and advocacy.
Some of you may already know of me, my name is Michael Passo, and I have served on the American Trails board for 16 years, and I have spent 10 years as executive director of the Professional TrailBuilders Association (PTBA).
I have known and worked with Pam Gluck since 1997. She leaves behind astonishingly large shoes to fill. I hope you will all join me in expressing our deep appreciation for Pam and her years of service to supporting and expanding our trail universe. I am humbled and honored to follow in Pam Gluck’s footsteps and to lead my favorite organization.
I am also excited and determined to bring the best of my experience and skills to American Trails’ future.
Nearly every significant event of my life has taken place on a trail. I had two orcas swim directly under my kayak on my favorite trail—the Cascade Marine Trail; I broke my back mountain biking the Lumberjack Trail in northern Wisconsin and began a new life as a person with paraplegia; I married the most capable and remarkable woman I have ever met on a remote beach on the Cascade Marine Trail (I told you it was my favorite!)
And indicatively, I began my career assessing trails for accessibility in Minnesota’s state parks and forests when Wilderness Inquiry took a chance on an awkward but excited young man. And now, 19 years later, AT has taken another chance on me to lead us into its bright future.
I believe that trails are imperative to our collective future, and that our organization, American Trails, is doing more than any other organization to develop and advance the full spectrum of trail opportunities. Throughout the world, via the International Trails Symposium and our burgeoning international influence, AT has a growing role in trail development, quality assurance, funding, and advocacy.
Help the trails community demonstrate its ability to put America back to work and deliver the benefits of trails to all communities.
I have had two great epiphanies in my life, and both of them were thanks to trails. The first epiphany came as a result of a mountain biking accident I had in June of 1991.
The thing that excites me is when I go out and I see people using our trails and I see families on the trails, you know? It pleases me and excites me that I’m beginning to, once again, see moms and dads and kids on trails, not just the mountain bikers.