Staff profile: Meet Communications Manager John Martin

john in raleigh
A running enthusiast, John Martin says his new job is inspiring him to try biking some stretches of the East Coast Greenway.

John Martin has been off and running at the East Coast Greenway Alliance since joining us as communications manager late in February 2019. Martin jumped right into event promotion and media relations for our Mid-Atlantic Summit last April in Philadelphia and hasn’t looked back. In the next few weeks he will open registration for our first-ever New York City-to-Philadelphia Greenway Ride, begin promotion for our Southeast Summit in Jacksonville, Florida, in early April 2020, and join the last round of our annual Week a Year Tour to share those cyclists' stories as they make their way to Key West. 

Martin came to the Greenway from USA Swimming, where he served as associate director of communications, and USA Triathlon, where he managed communications and media relations. Before that he worked in collegiate athletic communications at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill (his alma mater) and Georgia Tech. 

“Much of my work with USA Triathlon and USA Swimming was tied to major events — national and world championships, the Olympic Games, etc. These created natural opportunities for storytelling about athletes, the organization and bigger-picture programs,” he says. “I see a similar opportunity for the Greenway with our events. There are so many stories to tell and such great content to share from up and down the East Coast.”

Martin’s hiring doubled the Greenway’s communications department. Lisa Watts, the former communications manager, now focuses on the website, publications, and special projects as content manager while Martin handles social media, event promotion, and media relations.

"We were impressed by his experience when he applied, and we're even more impressed after seeing John take initiative these past six months to promote the Greenway and our many events and campaigns throughout the Eastern Seaboard. He fits right in on this outstanding staff," says Executive Director Dennis Markatos-Soriano.

When not at his desk, Martin is often literally off and running on the Greenway. His new job offers a few key amenities, including our location on the American Tobacco Trail and a shower in our office, that make noontime runs possible. After training for half marathons the last two springs, he’s shooting for a fast 5K in the near future. Martin and his wife, Whitney, are also busy chasing after their two boys — Hogan, 8, and Jones, 5.

He’s enjoyed getting to know the Greenway community and its unique audiences, from trail enthusiasts to bike-pedestrian planning professionals. “I've been very impressed by the passion of the individuals who work in the bike-ped space,” Martin says. “Among our team members at the Alliance and beyond, people really 'walk the walk' by commuting via bike and advocating for the creation of multi-use trails at the local and national levels.” 

john mcs
Martin emcees the awards and raffle draw after our 9th annual Ales for Trails 5K in downtown Durham, N.C., a fundraiser for the East Coast Greenway Alliance.
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