Archive for the “About Trailnet” Category

Trailnet Announces New Executive Director, Ralph Pfremmer

rfremmer_pfoodmanTrailnet is happy to announce that its Board of Directors named Ralph Pfremmer as the organization’s new Executive Director. Pfremmer joins Trailnet with an expertise in business development and a passion for health and wellness.

After considering applicants from across the nation, the Board unanimously selected Ralph Pfremmer. Ralph is inspired by Trailnet’s work over the past 25 years and looks forward to furthering the organization’s mission. A personal advocate for health and wellness, Ralph is an avid cyclist and has experienced the life-changing benefits of an active lifestyle firsthand. His proven skills as an innovator and entrepreneur will help expand our reach and impact within our communities.

Prior to Trailnet, Ralph was CEO and founder of Pfoodman Holdings in St. Louis, Missouri. Using active living and sustainability as a platform to build his company, Ralph supported pertinent events throughout the region. He also collaborated with communities and worked towards maintaining healthy, active values.

Ralph succeeds outgoing CEO Ann Rivers Mack, who joined Trailnet in 2000. Ann guided Trailnetʼs strategic shift from trail building to its current focus on healthy, active, and vibrant communities. She had a vision that Trailnet could play a role in creating bikeable and walkable communities. This vision became the building blocks for many successful Trailnet programs. We will honor Ann at Trailnet’s 2nd Annual Fundraising event, Ped-A-Palooza: The Art of Living on Friday, October 17.

We welcome Ralph Pfremmer as a new leader in the non-profit sector and look forward to working with him to enhance existing programs to increase walking, biking, and the use of public transit in the St. Louis region.

Click here to read Ralph’s bio.

To register and for more information on Ped-A-Palooza: The Art of Living, click here.

Trailnet staff member Rhonda Smythe nominated for Advocate of the Year


The Alliance for Biking & Walking holds annual Advocacy Awards to recognize excellence in the bicycle and pedestrian movement. 10 leaders in bicycling and walking organization across the country are recognized for their commitment to promoting alternative transportation on the local and state level. Trailnet's Rhonda Smythe is one of these 10 leaders.

Rhonda Smythe
Rhonda's Biography
Rhonda Smythe, MPH, MS, RD joined Trailnet in May 2011. Her professional background includes experience in policy and programming, with special emphasis on active transportation and Farm to School issues. She serves on the following committees: Missouri Livable Streets Advisory Board, Missouri Council for Activity and Nutrition, Missouri Bike Federation Legislative Committee, Gateway Greening Advisory Board, St. Louis Open Streets Steering Committee, and Mayor Slay’s Vanguard Cabinet. Rhonda manages the Social Innovation for Missouri grant, and bicycle and pedestrian policy and advocacy at the federal, state, and local level.

Confluence Announces November 1 Closure


After more than 15 years of operation it is with both optimism for the future and a hint of nostalgia that the Confluence Partnership announces it will be closing operations effective November 1, 2013.

This decision was made after months of careful review and interviews with stakeholders and supporters of the state, local and federal agencies and non-profits that provide the wonderful programming and experiences along the confluence of our great rivers.

Like people, trees and animals, organizations too, have a life cycle. And in many ways, thanks to the work of hundreds of individuals and many organizations the original mission of the Confluence Partnership is complete. Originally conceived in 1996, this bi-state’s initiative began as a cooperative endeavor between five non-profits (Trailnet, Greenway Network, Trust for Public Land, Southwestern RC&D, & Grace Hill Settlement House) with a common vision of elevating our Great Rivers to garner the international recognition they deserve. With generous multi-year funding from the McKnight Foundation, the overarching goal was to connect people to our great rivers through better access and to promote the geographical and cultural heritage of the confluence to a larger audience.

Since that time and after more than $170 million in investment and years of hard work by agencies from the federal government, state, local, non-profits and even volunteer groups … the confluence has indeed become the area many visionaries had hoped … a place to learn about, connect to, understand and appreciate our great rivers.

So while the work in the area is not finished, it is time to put the spotlight on those organizations actively working in the area. And we encourage those of you who love the rivers to continue to visit these organizations, to spread the word and to support their work through volunteerism, donations and your enthusiasm.

It has been a pleasure to share with you our love of the rivers …. and we look forward to your continued involvement as life takes us all downstream and around the bend.