Greenway Board of Trustees adds three experienced leaders

2023 new trustees
Left to right: Spencer Finch, Nicole J. Thompson and Regina Yan will join the Board of Trustees in January 2023.

At its fall board meeting, held earlier this month in Portland, Maine, the East Coast Greenway Alliance Board of Trustees elected three new members recommended by its nominating committee: active transportation engineer Spencer Finch (Chapel Hill, N.C.), economic development leader Nicole J. Thompson (Durham, N.C.) and designer and Greenway through-rider Regina Yan (Arlington, Va.). All three will serve three-year terms beginning January 1, 2023.

“In addition to welcoming three impressive new trustees in Spencer, Nicole and Regina, I would like to thank outgoing board members Britt Storck, Iona Thomas and Dick Woodbury for their service to the East Coast Greenway Alliance,” said Executive Director Dennis Markatos-Soriano. “They have provided valuable leadership for our organization during a period of record-setting growth, and I wish them well as they continue to make the world a better place in our corridor and beyond.”

Spencer Finch (Chapel Hill, N.C.), currently a principal with Alta Planning + Design, is an engineering leader with 23 years of experience. As director of sustainable development at the Pennsylvania Environmental Council from 2006-13, Spencer led the effort to evaluate, prioritize and complete key gaps in the proposed 60 miles of the Greenway route in Pennsylvania. In 2009, he secured a $23 million U.S. Department of Transportation TIGER grant to construct a marquee segment of the Schuylkill River Trail and help create the Circuit in Philadelphia, the first such funding for the East Coast Greenway. As a project manager at Langan Engineering, Spencer completed design and construction of several Greenway segments, including Bartram’s Mile and Cobbs Creek Trail Segment B in Philadelphia. 

Nicole J. Thompson (Durham, N.C.)  is the president and CEO of Downtown Durham, Inc., an organization with a mission “to enhance the environment, economy and vitality of downtown Durham, while preserving and enriching its distinctive culture and strong sense of community.” She has worked in economic and community development on the state government, local government and nonprofit and community levels in North Carolina, Virginia and Colorado and has experience in leading economic development efforts and growth in both rural and urban areas. She is especially interested in how open spaces and trails positively impact and add a unique vibrancy to downtowns and urban environments.

Regina Yan (Arlington, Va.) is a web designer, fiber artist and avid cyclist based in metro Washington, D.C. Inspired to begin cycling during the pandemic, Regina biked the entire East Coast Greenway in October 2021 in a then-record 29 days. She produced a video of her ride, "Not So Scary After All - Biking the East Coast Greenway," which has been viewed more than 67,000 times on YouTube. Regina’s experiences on the Greenway inspired her to become more involved with biking accessibility and outreach. She volunteers with local nonprofit bike organizations with a focus on getting people, especially young people of color, outside. 

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