The Legacy Continues

Dennis Markatos-Soriano, Bob Spiegelman, and Dave Read.

Dennis Markatos-Soriano, Bob Spiegelman, and Dave Read.

I’m a very lucky guy. At almost 65 years old, I’ve never been seriously ill, I grew up in an environment that provided me with great opportunities, had a successful business career, have always been able to pursue my passions, and enjoy great friends and a great family.

My good fortune continues as the new chair of the East Coast Greenway Alliance’s Board of Trustees. I succeed my friend Dave Read, who led the organization for the past five years. The East Coast Greenway Alliance is healthy, has a track record of great progress, and is poised to be even more successful. Thank you, Dave, for your leadership!

I have been an East Coast Greenway member for longer than I can remember. I was first captivated by the vision of a safe, accessible route from the Canadian Border in Maine to Key West, and I hoped to ride it “someday.”

In 2003 I saw that a group was riding the route, and I intended to join them in 2004.  As it turned out, almost 10 years elapsed until I had the opportunity. Finally, in 2012, I connected with the East Coast Greenway/Cabot Community Tour and spent 57 days cycling from Miami, Florida, to Portland, Maine.

East Coast Greenway Alliance Board Chair, Bob Spiegelman

On the 2015 Week a Year Tour. Photo: Jim Sharpe

It was a long bike ride with lots of sights, some great days, some adversity, and both a sense of adventure and tedium. The biggest takeaway for me was the inspiration I received from the quantity and quality of local advocates I met in every state – people working hard to make their communities and states better and to build and improve the East Coast Greenway.

They had various occupations including firefighter, retiree, architect, accountant, carpenter, career military, librarian, truck driver, and doctor. They were as different from each other and from me as they could be. Nonetheless, we shared the commitment to make our own communities better and the East Coast Greenway vision a reality.

Working together to fulfill the ECG mission is not a simple project. It is the quintessential example of the old adage, Think Globally, Act Locally.

The ECG vision, the commitment of others (many of whom I haven’t met), the chance to work with a great group of people (staff, trustees, advisors, advocates, and supporters) to create this legacy – the East Coast Greenway – make this a very exciting opportunity for me.

Thank you for sharing the vision and work in your communities to help make this happen!

Bob Spiegelman

ECGA Board Chair


This letter appeared in the January 2016 E-Newsletter.