By Jennie Acklin
At the monthly meeting of the Ellicottville-Great Valley Trail on Tuesday, May 5, the board and committee members ended a six-month search by unanimously agreeing to hire Joe Wright as their fundraising and marketing director.
Wright, who lives with his family in Orchard Park, will be seen in and around Ellicottville frequently from now on as he adds the trail to his job description as marketing director for EllicottVillas.
EllicottVillas was acquired last April by Buffalo business leader Jim Cornell, a business advisor and strategist who focuses on turnarounds, performance and value growth, succession strategies and exit planning, business transitions, capital formation and mergers & acquisitions. He is president of Praxiis, LLC, and has developed numerous successful properties, including the Larkin Center of Commerce in Buffalo.
Cornell immediately recognized the importance of the trail as a “milestone in the area’s evolution to a four-season nature destination.”
“The EVGV Trail Committee’s dedication to this important community task has inspired us to dedicate our support for promoting the effort,” he said.
“Joe Wright has accepted the additional challenge to lead promotion and fundraising initiatives for the EVGV Trail. We are confident that he brings the energy, focus and excitement to the task that will maximize its success. I am very happy that we have this opportunity to share our resources with the EVGV Trail committee in pursuing this important project for the benefit of the entire community.”
Wright is looking forward to the challenge, saying “This is a great opportunity for me to learn about Ellicottville and everything it has to offer year-round. The trail is an important part of its future.”
Wright’s first major assignment will be planning fundraising events to coordinate with Ellicottville’s many summer festivals, such as Holiday Valley’s Cycling Weekend & Mudslide, Summer Fest, Taste of Ellicottville, etc. He will also be creating a website and updating social media sites so that more interested persons and potential donors can learn about the Trail’s master plan and current project status.
Wright also will be making a presentation to the Ellicottville Town Board on May 20 with regard to the Trail’s TIGER grant application, at the request of Supervisor John Burrell. Wright will talk to the board about fundraising plans to cover the town’s 20 percent match required if the grant is awarded. (See EVL Supports Trail story, cover.)
Meanwhile, the board has been busy keeping the project on track.
Board member Kate O’Stricker completed and submitted pre-application forms for the DOT’s TIGER grant on May 5. The formal application will be submitted by June 5 pending approval by the Ellicottville Town board to serve as project sponsor.
The board is also determined to get shovels into the ground as soon as possible for phase one of the trail, which starts at the Town Center/Arboretum and travels toward 219 N, potentially ending at Tim Horton’s. Board member and civil engineer Mark Alianello will be working on preparing a drainage engineering plan for this section of the trail, while attorney and board member Kathleen Moriarty will be working on obtaining the necessary easements with adjacent property owners. Plus, trail committee member and landscaper Jack Kramer offered to provide a trailhead landscape design.
Eventually the trail will be 15-miles of multi-use paved trails from the Tim Horton’s restaurant area to Great Valley, connecting businesses, resorts, Ellicottville Central School and all other stopping points along the way.
Community members interested in getting involved in the project are encouraged to contact a board member or Joe Wright, fundraising director for more information:
Ken Hinman, President: 474-8214
Jennie Acklin, V. President: 699-4062
Kathleen Moriarty, Treasurer: 699-2355
Kate O’Stricker, Secretary: 699-2377 X 122
Mark Alianello: 699-4650
Joe Wright, Fundraising and Marketing Director: 984-5673
Or, you can make a tax-deductible donation at www. cattfoundation.org or by mailing a check payable to: Ellicottville-Great Valley Trail Fund, c/o Cattaraugus Region Community Foundation, 120 N. Union St., Olean, NY 14706.
For more information, visit EVLtrail on Facebook.