Meet the East Coast Greenway Alliance staff! Please click the staff member’s name to send him/her an email.
Dennis Markatos-Soriano is an East Coaster based in the ECG community of Durham, North Carolina. Born and raised in the small town of Pittsboro, NC, Dennis attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Upon graduation in 2001, he worked for NC Common Cause Education Fund before becoming the first executive director of the organization he had co-founded earlier, Students United for a Responsible Global Environment (SURGE). After three great years leading SURGE, he moved up the eastern seaboard to attend the master’s program in public affairs at the Woodrow Wilson School of Princeton University.
He came out of the program with fresh knowledge on how to help leaders throughout the US address climate change and energy security. In 2008-09, he was a featured writer through blogs and op-eds based in another nonprofit initiative he founded, Sustainable Energy Transition (SET) based in New York City. The opportunity to lead the completion of the East Coast Greenway was a perfect one to make a tangible climate impact while simultaneously addressing other issues he is passionate about–including lowering health care costs, lowering transportation costs, creating good jobs (constructing the trail), and driving a green economic recovery. When he is not working with ECGA staff, volunteers and allies to complete and promote the greenway, you may find Dennis playing basketball, riding his bike, and otherwise enjoying life with his wife, young sons, extended family, and friends.
Director of Greenway Programs
Niles Barnes joined the ECGA team in September 2013. In his role as Director of Greenway Programs, he implements strategies for ECGA’s advocacy and public policy initiatives, while also contributing to organizational operations, program delivery, finance, and technology. Niles’s passion lies not only in developing the physical trail, but also the potential it has to create a sustainable future that includes more healthy and prosperous local communities along the entire eastern corridor.
Niles holds a Master of Environmental Management from Duke University and a BA in Political Science from the University of Kentucky. Niles is also a LEED Accredited Professional and holds a Certificate in Business Administration from the University of Kentucky’s Gatton College of Business and Economics.
Bruce leads our greenway efforts in the tri-state area of Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey. Bruce served as president of the nonprofit Farmington Valley Trails Council for the past 12 years. He has also volunteered with the East Coast Greenway Alliance for years, as member and leader of our Connecticut state committee.
Bruce is an avid hiker and bicyclist, and he looks forward to collaborating with our partners throughout his region.
As a former Pennsylvania state committee chair and a member of ECGA’s Board of Trustees, Andy Hamilton has always shown great dedication and passion for the East Coast Greenway vision. We are so glad to now have him as our Mid-Atlantic Coordinator.
New England Coordinator
Molly is a lifelong cyclist and hiker with a passion for active transportation planning. She joined the ECGA in 2013 after relocating from Philadelphia to Providence, RI.
Molly holds a BS from Rutgers in environmental planning and design with a certificate in urban planning. Since graduation, she has worked on sustainable development projects at the neighborhood and county levels and is committed to bringing the ECG to underserved populations. Indoors, she enjoys drawing, reading, playing the violin and spending time with family and friends. She has been an outdoor adventure leader and an active volunteer in her community.
Mary Beth Powell
River Relay Program Manager
Mary Beth brings a deep background in public health and environmental management spanning government, academic, and nonprofit settings. She served most recently as a senior project officer at Active Living By Design, a national nonprofit based in Chapel Hill, NC, that promotes healthy communities. She was the first director of North Carolina’s statewide recycling program for the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources. In her former role as the Associate Director at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Center for Urban and Regional Studies, she worked to promote sound land use and transportation policies and spearheaded multiple smart growth projects.
Mary Beth serves as president of the North Carolina League of Conservation Voters Foundation and on the executive committee of the North Carolina Alliance for Health. She lives in Chapel Hill, NC, with her husband, Bill Rote, and their two dogs and a cat. Her grown daughter, Alyssa Prete, recently moved to Abu Dhabi (UAE) leaving an additional “granddog” in their care. As an avid Tar Heel fan, Mary Beth is passionate about all things Carolina blue, especially during basketball season.
Lisa worked for years as a university and city magazine editor before jumping into nonprofit communications in the last decade. Most recently she served as communications director at North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics, a Durham, NC, public boarding school; and as senior strategic communications manager with Prevention Partners, a public health nonprofit based in Chapel Hill. Lisa grew up in Atlanta, then Baltimore, then Boston, so the East Coast is truly her home. She loves running, bicycle touring, yoga, and hiking with her two dogs. She and her husband, Bob Malekoff, live in Durham, NC, and are the parents of two 20-somethings living in New York City.
Debbie is thrilled to be part of the East Coast Greenway Alliance. She grew up enjoying what is now the Mount Vernon Trail section of the East Coast Greenway in Alexandria, Virginia, and loves that she gets to live and work near the American Tobacco Trail section in Durham, NC. She joined the ECGA in 2011 after moving to North Carolina to be closer to family. Having lived in Portland, Oregon, for 11 years, Debbie believes that creativity and bike fun can and will change the world. She is also an artist who makes letterpress printed cards of bikes, Bigfoot, and other interesting creatures she would like to meet. Debbie loves biking, hiking, camping, and doing art inspired by her adventures, and she looks forward to seeing a lot more of the East Coast via the Greenway.
South Atlantic Coordinator
Kathryn focuses on developing the ECG in Virginia and the Carolinas. Kathryn previously worked as the Transportation Demand Manager at NC State University, and prior to that was the Bicycle Program Manager at Virginia Tech University. A passionate bicyclist, Kathryn has volunteered with a number of non-profits and currently serves on the Board of Oaks and Spokes, a bicycle advocacy non-profit in Raleigh, NC.