January 27, 2020

Old Town, Lansing, MI — Michigan Trails & Greenways Alliance is proud to announce Andrea LaFontaine of Birmingham as the new executive director of the Lansing-based statewide nonprofit.

LaFontaine brings a wealth of experience to the position, having served as Trail Ambassador for Michigan Trails & Greenways Alliance (MTGA) since 2018 and before that as a senior policy advisor with the executive division of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and later was the Iron Belle Trail project lead. In her role with the MDNR, she acted as the intermediary between the agency, private funders and public interest groups, facilitating investments in the metro-region trail networks.

Before working for the MDNR, LaFontaine served as a State Representative for the Michigan House of Representatives for Macomb and St. Clair Counties for three consecutive terms from 2011-2016, serving as chair for the Natural Resources Policy Committee for four years.  She is currently a commissioner for Oakland County Parks and Recreation, and serves on the board of directors for Heart of the Lakes, Six Rivers Land Conservancy, and Kadima Mental Health Services.

In 2018, she joined MTGA as the organization’s first Trail Ambassador for the Great Lake-to-Lake Trails Route #1. Her focus was to help oversee the development of the destination trail, evaluate and prioritize trail gaps while building and fostering relationships with trail managers, advocates, municipalities and citizens along the corridor specifically in Southeast Michigan.

MTGA board chair Julie Clark expressed her enthusiasm for LaFontaine’s leadership and experience. “Andrea brings to the table a great blend of experience at the local level and time in Lansing focused on policy and legislation,” said Clark. “She knows how to listen, learn and get things done working with constituents and communities. We are thrilled to have Andrea at the helm and look forward to what she can help us accomplish working together.”

A life-long Michigander, LaFontaine’s passion for Michigan’s natural resources and experience is demonstrated throughout her professional career and personal commitments. LaFontaine holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Central Michigan University. She also received a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a double minor in legal studies and leadership studies from Central.

An avid outdoor recreation enthusiast, the new mom and her family are frequent trail visitors and value all the trails have to offer. LaFontaine’s focus, experience, and enthusiasm for the role trails play in supporting and transforming the physical, social and economic health of Michigan make her an ideal choice to lead MTGA into the future.

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