The trail ahead: Mary Monroe eager to fill big shoes

Mary Monroe knows that Bill Manning’s will not be an easy act to follow.

“More people than not have told me what big shoes I have to fill,” the new director of Trails 2000 says. “Just being a member of the outdoor community, I was very aware of Bill’s accomplishments long before I got here.”

However, based on the response she’s already gotten, Monroe is up to the challenge. “A big part of filling those shoes is community involvement, and the community has welcomed me with open arms,” she says. “There will be no way for me to fill those shoes without everyone’s help.”

Monroe also comes to Trails 2000 with a broad range of experience in the outdoor industry and in advocacy. She spent 10 years on the International Mountain Bike

Association’s Board of Directors and acted as the group’s vice president during a time when the organization was growing and succeeding with trail access in the Grand Canyon. She also served on the Bicycle Colorado Board of Directors and various Wisconsin trail organization boards.

Monroe began her career as the sports marketing director for Trek, Fisher, Klein, Bontrager and LeMond. She was responsible for the Trek/VW mountain bike partnership and also signed U.S. Postal Team and Lance Armstrong to ride Trek bikes. She then went on to focus on nonprofit management, serving as the chief marketing officer for USA Cycling and consulting with a variety of nonprofits in the outdoor industry including the American Birkebeiner cross-country ski race and the Women’s Wilderness Institute in Boulder.

Ed Zink, one of Trails 2000’s original founders, argues that Monroe is a perfect fit for the position, saying, “I’m very excited about Mary. I think she’s got the skills to carry on where Bill left off. She also brings significant experience from other places and now we can take a broader look and start working on natural interfaces between dirt and asphalt trails. I think that’s our biggest challenge right now.”

For her part, Monroe is eager to look to the community for the future direction of Trails 2000 and carry on the strong work that’s already been accomplished. “I’m a big listener,” she says. “I’m certainly not going to make any wholesale changes, especially after the success of Trails 2000.”

– Will Sands

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