W. Dale Allen, Executive Director
Dale Allen joined the Trust for Public Land (TPL) in 1981, was appointed Southeast Regional Manager in 1986, made a Vice President in 1988, and Senior Vice President in 1999. As regional director, he is responsible for TPL's work in a nine-state area that stretches from the Carolinas south to Florida and west to Louisiana.
Dale has been a member of the Florida Trail Association for more than 20 years, and was responsible for surveying and developing the Florida Trail from the Suwannee River to the Apalachicola River, a distance of 150 miles which included sections through the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge (the only coastal section in north Florida) and along the Aucilla River and Sinks.
Dale is a native Floridian and is a 1970 graduate of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University
Joe Beckham, Secretary
Joe Beckham has been an advocate for greenways and trails since joining the citizen's coalition that actively pursued creation of the St. Marks Trail in 1985. He served two terms on the Governor's Advisory Council on Greenways and Trails beginning with its inception in 1986. He is a former President of the Foundation, serving from 2015 through 2017.
A native Floridian with interests in education, the environment, outdoor recreation and community service, he joined Florida State University's faculty in 1980, specializing in education law, policy and finance. FSU recognized him with the Ross Oglesby Award for service in 1999, named him Allan Tucker Professor of Educational Policy in 2001, and awarded him the University's Graduate Faculty Mentor Award in 2011. He became professor emeritus in January of 2012.
Joe earned his J.D. degree (1969) and Ph.D. in educational policy (1977) from the University of Florida.
Mark T. Llewellyn, P.E., President
As a Professional Engineer, Mark Llewellyn has had the opportunity to lead the planning and design of multiple greenway, trail, & park projects across Florida. The most notable greenway and trail projects include the Withlacoochee Bay Trail, Four Freedoms Trail, O'Leno to Ichetucknee Trail, Lake Okeechobee Scenic Trail, Gopher Frog and Alligator Trail, and Capital Cascade Trail.
Mark co-founded Genesis in 1987 and currently serves as the firm's President and CEO. Genesis has a long history of providing professional civil engineering and planning services for both private and public sector clients with a passion for taking projects from Vision to Reality.
Mark is a Brigham Young University graduate with over 30 years of Civil Engineering experience. His professional affiliations include the Florida Engineering Society, Institute of Transportation Engineers and the American Society of Civil Engineers.
Brian Smith, FAICP, Vice President
Brian Smith was the Director of Planning for Pinellas County for thirty years. He retired in November of 2011 with the commitment to continue to be involved in planning work without being a consultant for hire. Brian also served as the Executive Director of the MPO for over 30 years.
Brian had a key role in the Pinellas Trail from it's inception. He was a significant player in the development of the Friendship Trail and the Progress Energy Corporation extension of the Pinellas Trail. For his work with trails in the region and state he was recognized by the RTC as a Trail Champion in 2011.
Brian has a Masters Degree in Urban Regional Planning and a Bachelor's in Physics from the Florida State University. He is a Charter member of the American institute of Certified Planners and was inducted as a Fellow of the Institute for his contributions to the profession and community. He is also a Governor's appointee to the Florida Greenways & Trails Council and is the current chairman.
Prior to moving to Ocala, Jena lived in Tallahassee and served the state of Florida for 19 years in various capacities. She was Director of the Office of Greenways & Trails in the Department of Environmental Protection for nearly 10 years and prior to that served as Chief Cabinet Aide to the Florida Commissioner of Education, legislative liaison for the Department of Insurance, and in positions within the Department of State and the Florida Senate.
She has been a member of various statewide boards for Visit Florida and FDOT, and worked on projects involving land management issues, land conservation and acquisition, trail planning and advocacy, multi-agency partnerships, and statewide planning efforts for regional trail development. She is also a board member of the Fine Arts For Ocala (FAFO) which plans, staffs and presents the Symphony Under the Stars and the Ocala Arts Festival every year.
Jena is a graduate of Florida State University with a BA in English and communications.
Robert A. Ern, Jr., P.E.
Rob is currently the Vice-President of the civil engineering and land surveying firm Booth, Ern, Straughan & Hiott, Inc., and specializes in providing engineering services to municipal clients, particularly the design of water and wastewater treatment facilities, including reclaimed water facilities and stormwater to reclaimed water facilities.
He has served on the Ocala Mountain Bike Association Board of Directors and is the current Vice-President. Rob has worked closely with the Office of Greenways and Trails and is responsible for the design and construction of several miles of singletrack trails. His love of cycling led him and a group of friends to purchase Brick City Bicycles, located in downtown Ocala, Florida, in 2011.
Rob graduated from the University of Central Florida in 1994 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering. His professional affiliations include the American Society of Civil Engineers, the Water Environment Federation and the American Water Works Association.
Bob Romig, Treasurer
Bob Romig is the principal of Robert Romig and Associates, a governmental and transportation policy consulting firm serving public and private sector clients. Bob formerly served as Staff Director of the Florida House of Representatives Committee on Transportation; held several leadership positions with Florida Department of Transportation where he was responsible for the department’s legislative, planning, and environmental programs; and, most recently served as Executive Director of the Florida Transportation Commission. Bob has more than 39 years of governmental planning and policy experience and has been closely involved in Florida’s public policy process including transportation planning and environmental programs at the statewide, regional, and metropolitan levels. Bob is a sixth-generation Floridian with a strong interest in the natural environment and outdoor recreation. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Florida State University.
Christin Collins is from Southwest Florida, where she works for Lee Memorial Health System as the Health & Wellness Strategic Partner. She is personally and professionally passionate about wellness, connectivity and convening with nature. In partnership with Healthy Lee, she hopes to help move the needle in reversing and preventing chronic disease through nutrition, exercise, sleep, stress reduction and living a purpose driven life.
Christin holds a BS in Secondary Education from the University of Connecticut, and moved to Southwest Florida in 1999. She is married to David Collins, and is the proud stepmom to Brendan Collins (Columbus State University 2015) and Meghan Collins (Florida State University 2016). She and her family love to boat, bike ride, participate in triathlons and most important, serve their community.
Chip Laibl is a commissioner on the Putnam County Commission and chairs both the Putnam County Trails Committee and the Tourist Development Council for the county. His background is in regional economic development, eco-tourism, and small county workforce development. He is a business man who has served on the local Chamber of Commerce. A sailor and mountain biker, he is active in promoting greenways and trails in the region and the state of Florida.
Kurt Eichin, Honorary Board Member
On November 4, 2016, the Board of the Foundation passed a resolution recognizing Kurt Eichin as an honorary board member. This recognition was a reflection of the important role he played in crafting what was to become the SUNTrails legislation creating a source of funding for shared-use, non-motorized trails in the state of Florida.
Kurt received a BA degree (1983) in International Affairs and an MS degree (1991) in Urban & Regional Planning from Florida State University. He was a Transportation Planner for the Florida Department of Transportation and subsequently served as a Legislative Analyst and Staff Director for the Transportation Committee in the Florida Senate.
Kurt was born in Titusville, Florida where he spent many hours surfing the waves at Playalinda Beach. He was an avid cyclist, hiker, kayaker, and explorer of nature. His “Crazy Guy on a Bike” blogs are a peek into his adventurous, fun-loving spirit. Kurt passed away on July 4, 2016 after a long, hard-fought battle with prostate cancer.
At his death, a memorial fund was created to which friends, co-workers and family could make Foundation contributions in his memory. To date, more than $3,000 has been contributed to the fund.
Karl Froelich is currently a business consultant specializing in new business development and product commercialization for small startup businesses in the energy storage, water treatment, and gas transfer industries. One company is currently converting seawater into drinking water using renewable wave energy only.
To fulfill his personal passion for greenways, Karl served on Mecklenburg County’s greenway advisory council, became a Park and Recreation Commissioner for Mecklenburg County, and joined the Trust for Public Land as a project manager working on various greenway projects. Karl recently was the Director of the Carolina Thread Trail a planned 1500-mile regional trail system for the Charlotte metro region.
Karl grew up in Miami, Florida and went to school at the University of Miami and then the University of Florida where he received BS and MS in degrees in Mechanical Engineering.
Currently a senior Vice-President with Merrill Lynch Wealth Management in Tallahassee, Felton Wright brings a triathlete and runner’s perspective to the work of the Foundation. He has served as president and on the board of Gulf Wind Track Club, which recognized him as “Race Director of the Year” and elected him to the club’s hall of fame. He is a former member of the board for the Goodwood Gardens and Museum and the Tallahassee Symphony.
Felton enjoys running, swimming and biking. He competes in 15-20 road races per year. He has done three Ironman triathlons and is currently participating in the 50 state marathon with a goal to run a marathon in every state.
He earned his B.A. in Economics from the University of the South, Sewanne, Tennessee, and his MBA from the University of Oregon.
Dale Allen, President
The mission of the Florida Greenways and Trails Foundation (FGTF) is to advocate for and help create a statewide system of trails and greenways to advance health, recreation, transportation and tourism.
Florida Greenways & Trails Foundation, Inc. - ©2015