Published DateLACONIA — Gretchen Gandini has been hiring to be the first executive director of the WOW Trail.
"Gretchen is a perfect fit for the WOW Trail Executive Director," said Allan Beetle, president of the WOW Trail board. "She has a great skill set for this challenging position and her passion for this project is undeniable. The entire board is excited to get to work with her as we accelerate the pace of our work on this exciting project."
As executive director, Beetle said Gandini will work with the WOW Trail's committed group of volunteers and board members to complete Phases II and III of the trail — spanning the nine miles from Belmont to Meredith and being part of a county wide rail trail connecting all the way to Franklin and the existing Northern Rail Trail.
A native of the Lakes Region, Gandini is a graduate of Gilford High School and the College of the Holy Cross. She brings a wealth of non-profit work experience to the WOW Trail, having served as director of Special Events with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Connecticut Chapter, and Development Coordinator for LRGHealthcare's Community Affairs and Development Office. Most recently she has been a stay-at-home Mom to her two young children. She's an avid runner, skier, and occasional triathlete.
"I am thrilled to be on board," said Gandini. "An expanded WOW Trail will be a treasured local resource that will contribute significantly to the economic, social, and physical health of the Lakes Region. I look forward to working collaboratively with the community to make it a reality."
Nationwide, there are over 20,000 miles of completed rail-trails, with another 9,000 miles of potential trails waiting to be built. They offer safe and accessible routes for work and school commuting, promote active lifestyles for all ages, and stimulate local economies by increasing tourism and promoting access to local businesses.
According to a recent Belknap Economic Development Council study, a completed WOW Trail will bring an estimated 152,000 users annually, with 38,000 coming from outside of the Lakes Region — generating nearly $1.8 million in new visitor spending. For more information, visit www.wowtrail.org.
The WOW Trail is a not-for-profit 501 (c) 3 organization.For more information, please visit: www.wowtrail.org.