Among the most important principles to building a successful organization are coming together and following through. In early February, we held our first ever staff retreat at Camp Chestnut Ridge in the woods of central North Carolina.
We shared stories, enjoyed team-building exercises, and presented best practices and ideas for us to keep thriving and achieve our mission. We reviewed a draft of the guiding document for our next five years: our Strategic Plan to 2020. The Strategic Plan has benefited from input from a wide range of stakeholders throughout our organization and our sector – including the October E-News survey, calls with our Advisory Board and Trail Council, and several meetings of our Board of Directors. We will roll out the Strategic Plan in April, close to when we release our Annual Report.
Building alignment within our organization – a feeling of united purpose and clear roles and responsibilities – flows naturally into follow through. We strive to be an organization that stays on top of initiatives and campaigns. For example, our two-year effort to cross the lower Susquehanna River, one of the only gaps in our 2,900-mile network where one can’t bike or walk, earned the first taste of victory last week.
Thanks to your support, Maryland’s Secretary of Transportation committed to allowing bikes on one of the bridges near the mouth of this mighty river. We will work with Maryland and our allies to make the improvement as safe as possible – ultimately aiming to establish a greenway for biking and walking similar to other grand crossings over the Hudson River, the James River, and beyond.
We are poised to make 2016 another year of tremendous impact together!
Dennis Markatos-Soriano, ECGA Executive Director
This blog post appeared in the February 2016 E-Newsletter.