On February 27, the Allegheny Trail Alliance (ATA) announced that Bryan Perry will be the organization’s new executive director. Perry formerly served as the assistant director of workforce and strategy at the Oakland Planning and Development Corporation.

“We are extremely fortunate to have attracted such an experienced and talented professional as Bryan Perry for our first full-time executive director,” said Darla Cravotta, chair of the ATA board. “Not only does Bryan have years of nonprofit experience and familiarity with fundraising and marketing, but he already has a deep love of the trail and a profound understanding of the value of outdoor recreation. We are thankful for the vision and leadership of Linda McKenna Boxx and for the many years she served as the board chair and as our volunteer executive director.”

Since its launch in 1995, ATA has been led by Linda McKenna Boxx, who served as the volunteer executive director and president of the board. Boxx, chairman of the Katherine Mabis McKenna Foundation, was the driving force to complete the Great Allegheny Passage. The Foundation’s Latrobe-based offices also served as the ATA office.

The ATA office will move to a new location at 1705 Maple Street in Homestead, within a half mile of the Great Allegheny Passage. The current staff member, Doug Riegner, director of community relations, will report to Perry and continue his role of marketing the trail and advertising sales for ATA’s popular guidebook, TrailGuide.

Perry, 47, holds a bachelor’s degree from Wheaton College in Illinois and a master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Pittsburgh. For 18 years he served in a variety of operations and management roles at The Pittsburgh Project, a neighborhood-based community and youth development organization on the city’s North Side. A native of Rochester, New York, Perry lives in Pittsburgh’s Highland Park neighborhood with his wife Sarah and their children. He is an avid cyclist and backpacker and has enjoyed exploring the trails, mountains, and towns of Western Pennsylvania for 25 years.

“I’m thrilled for the opportunity to advocate for the GAP and its invaluable role in making our region flourish,” Perry said. “The trail is beloved and beautiful, and the cities and towns it joins together are ripe for exploring. For through-riders, completing the GAP is a bucket list accomplishment; for those out for a day’s sojourn, the opportunities to enjoy the trail are endless.”