View Full Version : NCTA Announces new Executive Director

05-30-2007, 12:06
30 May 2007

NCTA Announces New Executive Director
Bruce Matthews to start June 11

For Release: Immediate

Lowell, Michigan

The North Country Trail Association has hired Bruce E. Matthews as Executive Director, incoming NCTA Board Chairman Dave Cornell announced today. Matthews, who resides in Ada, MI, will begin his duties on June 11.

“We’re pleased and proud that Bruce Matthews has accepted this important position,” noted Cornell. “After a nationwide search and evaluating 80 highly qualified applicants, Bruce was the search committee’s unanimous choice. We’re looking forward to Matthews’ leadership in taking NCTA to the next level of excellence.”

Most recently, Matthews was the founding president and CEO of the non-profit Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation (RBFF), located in Washington, DC. With a mission of growing participation in boating and fishing, and promoting stewardship of aquatic natural resources, Matthews led an effort that included the national “Take Me Fishing” advertising and marketing campaign, coordinated National Fishing and Boating Week, developed and established best practices in fishing and boating education, and developed many public/private partnerships supporting grassroots efforts to encourage fishing and boating participation.

“NCTA is poised to make great strides as it increases membership services, engages more effective fund-raising in support of the many grassroots efforts of its chapters and affiliates, and builds even more effective partnerships at the national and local levels,” states Irene Szabo, Interim Executive Director and former NCTA Board member. “Bruce Matthews brings the right combination of successful experience at national and grassroots levels. He’s just a good fit for this job.”

Prior to leading RBFF Matthews served as Chief of the Information and Education Office for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. He served on the Natural Resources faculty of Cornell University, establishing the New York 4-H Sportfishing and Aquatic Resources Education Program. While on faculty at Cortland State University, he taught in the Recreation and Leisure Studies program, coordinated Adirondack Winter Studies and led the Coalition for Education in the Outdoors. He has been a professional guide and charter fishing captain as well as an outdoor writer for numerous publications.

“My enthusiasm for sharing the outdoors and passing on its traditions has been a major driving force throughout my experience,” Matthews said upon accepting the NCTA’s Executive Director’s position. “What an opportunity, to lead NCTA! I’m really looking forward to being fully engaged with an incredible group of volunteers and staff in moving forward an agenda that’s squarely at the center of what makes me tick!”

“Expanding and enlarging our membership base is our number one priority,” says Cornell. “Matthews is the right person to lead us in this endeavor.”

The North Country Trail Association is the nationwide nonprofit grassroots organization that works in partnership with the National Park Service to build, maintain, promote and preserve the North Country National Scenic Trail. The North Country National Scenic Trail is a premier footpath that stretches for more than 4,600 miles—from North Dakota through New York--linking communities, forests, and prairies across seven northern states. The North Country National Scenic Trail was authorized by Congress in 1980, and the Association was formed in 1981. When completed it will be the longest off-road hiking trail in the United States.

Matthews and his wife, Kelly, live in Ada, MI, where their daughter is an 8th grader at Forest Hills Eastern. The entire family enjoys the outdoors and “loves being back in Michigan!”

The mission of the North Country Trail Association is to develop, maintain, preserve and promote the North Country National Scenic Trail through a national network of volunteers, chapters, partner organizations and government agencies.
The Association achieves its mission by creating, encouraging and supporting programs of public education, membership services, recreational opportunities and resource and corridor protection in keeping with its Vision for the Trail.