MESSAGE FROM THE
This is an exciting time to be a member of the Trails Manitoba Board. Over the past two years the Board
has been completely re-vitalized. We now have a fantastic group of new, skilled and dedicated mem-
bers. Today’s slate of directors reflects a sea-change in leadership as the organization moves into the
next stage in its evolution.
Much, if not most of this change is a result of the efforts of an “interim” Executive Director, Steve Dem-
mings. Interesting word, interim. Steve joined Trails Manitoba on a four-month term position in the fall
of 2016. We didn’t let him go until last December.
Under Steve’s leadership TM worked closely with TCT and re-established a relationship with the pro-
vincial government and a partnership with the Forks that led to the construction of a signature Great
Trail Pavilion in the shadow of the Museum for Human Rights.
None of the accomplishments we have achieved would have been possible without the enduring and
steadfast work of TM’s office administrator, Janette Crawford. Janette has been the consistent back-
bone of the office and the organization. When Steve left last November, I was confident Janette would
provide the stability and consistency we needed during our search for a new Executive Director. And
As we celebrate the rejuvenation of the Board, I must recognize the contributions of Directors who are
leaving us. We say goodbye to Robert Cuthbertson-Black and Melisa Stefaniw and thank them for their
input. James Benson, there is something to be said for free and informed legal, and you were always
very clear about this, background. Never advice, never opinion, but always a solid background on the
possible ramifications of a course of action. Not to mention some very helpful translation from legalese
into real English every now and then.
Howard Skrypnik first joined the Board as the ex officio representative of our Provincial government
partners. After a brief acclimatization to retired life he re-joined as a full Director. In both instances his
wisdom, experience and calm mindfulness were contributions we will truly miss.
Verna Hare is the iconic example of how to “live the trail”. As a long time Director at Trails Manitoba,
board member of the Harte Trail and volunteer at FortWhyte Alive, I think Verna actually does live on
Shirley Hurst joined the Board as Finance Chair at the point of TM’s most turbulent recent transition.
New staff in the office, no Executive Director, funding insecurity, all headed by a President who was as
far from financially literate as it is possible to be (that would be me). Shirley embraced these challenges
by spending days on end in the office working with Janette to understand our finances and ultimately
turn them into the foundation of our ongoing existence. In all honesty, I cannot thank her enough.
I started by saying how exciting it is to have a new dynamic at the Board. That dynamic is possible only
because of the strength of the base laid by those who came before. With great optimism, I look forward
to seeing where we go next.
President, Trails Manitoba
The Manitoba Recreational Trails Association, Inc., is a charitable organization whose mission is to provide
the support, knowledge, technology and resources necessary to promote the construction and use of recreational
trails throughout Manitoba, thereby improving the economy, the environment, and human well-being.
Annual Report -2018 Year in Review