Harpers Ferry, WV (June 10, 2013) – Mark Wenger, Executive Director and CEO of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC), has announced that he will be departing the ATC effective July 1, 2013. Steve Paradis, former Chief Operating Officer of the ATC, will serve as interim Executive Director/CEO until Wenger’s position has been permanently filled to ensure a smooth transition. The board of directors expects to fill this position by the end of this year.
Wenger joined the ATC in 2012, replacing David Startzell, the prior Executive Director. Wenger leaves the ATC at a time of growth and development. The ATC has a membership of over 42,000 members, a vast network of over 6,000 volunteers and an operating budget of $7.3 million.
As a volunteer-based organization whose mission is “to preserve and manage the Trail – ensuring that its vast natural beauty and priceless cultural heritage can be shared and enjoyed today, tomorrow, and for centuries to come”. The ATC is the only organization dedicated solely to protecting and promoting the world’s most famous long-distance hiking Trail, providing outdoor recreation and educational opportunities for Trail visitors.
Founded in 1925, the ATC is a 501(c)(3) organization headquartered in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, and has regional offices in Massachusetts, Virginia, Pennsylvania and North Carolina. The ATC is both a confederation of 31 local Trail-maintaining clubs, with assignments to maintain the Trail, and a membership organization with support from all 50 states and more than 15 foreign countries. Under agreements that date back to the 1930s, buttressed by federal legislation, the ATC leads a cooperative management system for the Trail in close cooperation with federal, state and local agencies and Trail-maintaining clubs.
Given the Trail’s historic legacy of volunteerism, many of the ATC’s programs are focused on supporting and encouraging volunteers. Some of the key activities and initiatives include Trail management and support, conservation, advocacy, and environmental monitoring and research. Some of the ATC’s new initiatives include the Trail to Every Classroom and the Appalachian Trail Community™ program.
The Appalachian Trail (A.T.) is a unit of the National Park System, stretching from Georgia to Maine, at approximately 2,180 miles in length. Volunteers typically donate more than 220,000 hours of their time doing trail-related work each year, and about 2 to 3 million visitors walk a portion of the A.T. each year.
About the Appalachian Trail Conservancy
The Appalachian Trail Conservancy’s mission is to preserve and manage the Appalachian Trail, ensuring that its vast natural beauty and priceless cultural heritage can be shared and enjoyed today, tomorrow and for centuries to come.For more information about the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, visit www.appalachiantrail.org.
Contact: Javier Folgar
Appalachian Trail Conservancy
Tel: 304.535.2200 x117
Email: [email protected]