Celebrating 25 Years

This year marks our 25th Anniversary! We are excited to be celebrating 25 years of sustainable trail growth and the strength of our community.

We have evolved and adapted as an organization over the past 25 years in ways that have matched the needs of our Chapters, our community, and the outdoor recreational landscape in Vermont. In doing so, we have grown at an exceptionally fast pace and into an organization that we are proud of. We are excited to see what the future has in store.

Below you’ll find a timeline of our major milestones over the past 25 years. Check back here throughout the 2022/3 season as we share more stories, photos, and videos about how VMBA has changed over the years to what you know it as today. Did we miss a major milestone? Send us an email and let us know (and share photos if you have them!).

Enormous thanks to our Chapters, partners, and the individuals that have continuously moved VMBA forward and help make Vermont a haven for outdoor recreation.

Where VMBA is Today
9,400
9,400
+
VMBA Members
28
28
VMBA Chapters
1,400
1,400
+
Miles maintained
30,000
Volunteer hours

Evolution of VMBA

1997

VMBA is born

VMBA is born

VMBA’s first Directors, Gary Kessler, Kate Carter, and David Tremblay, file Articles of Incorporation for Vermont Mountain Bike Advocates.

2001

VMBA officially becomes a non-profit

VMBA files for and obtains 501(c)(3) status, establishing it as a public charity organization.

2004

VMBA Name Change

We begin to operate under the name ‘Vermont Mountain Bike Association’

2006

Patrick Kell becomes ED

Patrick is brought on as VMBA’s first paid Executive Director through a cooperative agreement with the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps (VYCC).

FPR Agreement is established

FPR Agreement is established

VMBA and Vermont Forest, Parks & Recreation (FPR) formalize agreements for mountain bike access that makes Perry Hill and Camel’s Hump State Forest trails official and designates VMBA as the official stewardship partner for mountain bike trails on State land.

2007

Ski Resort conference series launches

Working with Gravity Logic, VMBA hosts the first of several annual conferences for ski resorts to share and learn about the development of mountain bike trails as part of summer operations.

2008

USFS Cooperative Agreement established

USFS Cooperative Agreement established

Holly Knox of the US Forest Service (USFS) helps secure funding from the American Reinvestment & Recovery Act to rebuild trails in the Green Mountain National Forest (GMNF) and open them to mountain biking, including the Leicester Hollow and Chandler Ridge trails. VMBA oversees the projects, working with VYCC on..Read More

2011

House Resolution passed

The Vermont House of Representatives passes Concurrent resolution 180, which “recognizes VMBA’s important role in outdoor nonmotorized recreation” and helps establish VMBA’s voice in advocacy.

2012

Tom Steussy takes the reins

Tom Steussy takes the reins

VMBA hires Tom as a full-time Executive Director to lead the organization, charging him with developing a more cohesive approach to connecting Chapters.

VMBA Board is restructured

The VMBA Board of Directors, which had been comprised of one representative from each Chapter, transitions to the Advisory Council. The VMBA Board is transformed to an 11-person Board that comprises of 8 elected Directors without specific Chapter affiliation and 2 Chapter Representatives. Berne Broudy becomes the Board Chair.

Vision & Mission updated

Vision & Mission updated

The VMBA Board revises the Vision & Mission to reflect the needs of the Association and the community, including a clear desire to create stronger connectivity with all the trail groups across Vermont and begin working together. This lays the groundwork for the common membership platform and Chapter model, dubbed..Read More

Lintilac Foundation partnership begins

The Lintilac Foundation becomes a major supporter of VMBA and our administrative platform as we developed our Chapter membership model.

Launch of the membership platform (VMBA 2.0)

OGE graciously seconds Forrest LeGace, a web developer who writes the code for our membership platform, completed along with a new website just days before the centralized membership model goes live.

Vermont Tourism provides support to grow

Megan Smith, Commissioner of the Vermont Department of Tourism & Marketing, helps secure multi-year funding, in concert with the Lintilac Foundation, to develop the administrative platform and membership model, allowing membership dollars to remain with Chapters.

2013

VMBA joins the Vermont Trails System

VMBA officially becomes part of the Vermont Trails System (VTS), the collection of trail networks officially recognized by the Agency of Natural Resources as public-access upon recommendation by the VTGC, a designation that considers trails public projects that enjoy less onerous development restrictions. 

The first Vermont MTB Festival

The first Vermont MTB Festival

VMBA hosts our first Vermont Mountain Bike Festival at Ascutney Trails.

2014

The new Chapter model is born

After years in development and the input of many including Tom Stuessy, Jay Provencher, Tom Dakers, Steve Fischer, Sparky Milikin, and Dana Allen, the new collective Chapter Membership model officially launches! Brewster River Mountain Bike Club, Addison County Bike Club, Hoot Toot & Whistle, Grateful Treads, Sport Trails of the..Read More

2015

VMBA becomes part of the VTGC

VMBA joins the Vermont Trails & Greenway Council (VTGC), an independent advisory body comprised of Vermont’s independent trail management organizations that serves as a voice for recreation, trails, and conservation in partnership with public land managers and in fulfillment of a statutory resposnbility to advise the Agency of Natural Resources.

Add On model launches

The Add On model debuts as a method for our members to support multiple Chapters with their membership. Same as today, 100% of add-on revenue goes directly to Chapters.

A second wave of Chapters join VMBA

Killington Mountain Bike Club, Waterbury Area Trails Alliance, Bennington Area Trails System, Ridgeline Outdoor Collective (formerly R.A.S.T.A.), Riders in Plainfield & Marshfield, Slate Valley Trails, and Putney Trails all become VMBA Chapters

2016

VOICe launches

The Vermont Outdoor Innovation Coalition (VOICe) is formed to unify outdoor-oriented businesses and nonprofits to strengthen our advocacy work, an effort that has evolved into the Vermont Outdoor Recreation Economic Collaborative (VOREC) and the Vermont Outdoor Business Alliance (VOBA).

Jacob comes aboard

Jacob comes aboard

VMBA hires Jacob Grossi to manage partnerships, marketing, and events for the organization.

Velomont Concept Formed

Velomont concept is formalized, bringing together Chapters, state, and federal land managers. 485 miles, 30 huts, Canada to Massachusetts

NATS and WAMBA become Chapters

VMBA welcomes Northshire Area Trails System and Woodstock Area Mountain Bike Association to the Chapter family.

2017

VMBA gets a refresh

VMBA gets a refresh

Cabot Creamery provides supports for VMBA to undergo a visual branding update. Working with Driven Studio, this includes the launch of a new website, anew logo, and new messaging.

Seven more Chapters join VMBA

Vermont Bikepackers, Stowe Trails Partnership, Upper Valley Mountain Bike Association, Montpelier Area Mountain Bike Association, Franklin County Mountain Bike Club, Richmond Mountain Trails, and Caledonia Trail Collective all become official VMBA Chapters

2018

Allison & Steph join the team

VMBA hires Allison Martaniuk to handle membership and administrative tasks, taking over the reigns from Mary Stuessy. Stephanie Sowles also joins VMBA to handle membership fulfillment as the membership platform takes off.

Act 250 advocacy efforts begin

VMBA, alongside and as part of the VTGC, begin work work with the Agency of Natural resources and other stakeholders to reform Act 250 oversight of recreational trails, an effort that continues to this day.

WCoTA becomes a Chapter

The Windham County Trails Alliance is formed as a VMBA Chapter.

2019

Naming Grant program is founded

As part of the evolution of VOICe, VMBA creates the Naming Grants program – where the VMBA office helps match the grant objectives of specific outdoor-minded businesses with individual Chapters’ projects. This continues to unify businesses with nonprofits and our outdoor recreation infrastructure.

VMBA brings on Krysy & Chris

Krysy Steckler joins the VMBA staff as the Events & Outreach Coordinator; she is presently the Operations Director. Additionally, VMBA hires Chris Cox as Program Coordinator.

Major support from the Conine Family Foundation

The Conine Family Foundation becomes a major supporter of VMBA and our mission, helping support the growth of VMBA’s Programs.

JAMBA becomes a Chapter

The Jamaica Area Mountain Bike Alliance is founded and joins VMBA.

2020

ATA, VTC, and SoVTA join as Chapters

Ascutney Trails Association, Velomont Trail Collective, and Southern Vermont Trails Association all join the VMBA family.

2021

Nick Bennette brought on as ED

Nick Bennette joins the VMBA team as Executive Director

Joe joins the VMBA team

Joe Gaynor joins VMBA team as the newly created Programs & Events Coordinator.

MMC and MTA become Chapters

VMBA welcomes Mendon Mountain Club and Millstone Trails Association as Chapters, brining our total up to 28.

2022

VMBA Board & Staff Retreat

VMBA Board and staff hold a retreat to revisit the strategic direction of the organization and lay the groundwork for ‘VMBA 3.0’. As an immediate result, the Vision & Mission are updated and can be found below.

 

 

 

 

 

Looking Ahead

As VMBA embarks on its next 25 years, we’ve asked ourselves if and how we evolve to best support our Chapters, members, and outdoor community. In February of 2022, the VMBA Board and Staff held a retreat to discuss our strategic priorities and direction moving forward. Below, you’ll find our updated Vision & Mission statements and can find more details about our values on our Who We Are page. We hope you’ll support us and our Chapters by becoming a member (if you are not already one) today!

Vision

We envision a future where mountain biking is at the center of healthy, economically vibrant, and environmentally sustainable communities throughout Vermont, with well-planned, accessible, and progressive trail systems state-wide.

Mission

In pursuit of our vision, we work to ensure the sustainability of mountain biking in Vermont and thoughtfully promote exceptional riding experiences for all through advocacy, education, and community-driven stewardship.

Who We Are

Thank You

We want to say a huge thank you to the following businesses and organizations that provided critical support over the past 25 years

  • Outdoor Gear Exchange
  • Cabot Creamery
  • Conine Foundaion
  • Lintilac Foundation
  • Vermont Tourism
Grant Wieler