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Michael J. Passo

Executive Director

American Trails

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Steering Committee Member



The Basics

Non-Profit Name: American Trails
Location: Redding, CA, Bellingham, WA, and Dallas, TX
Founded: 1988
Full-Time Employees: 4
Services: International Trails Symposium & Training Institute; Advancing Trails Webinar Series; National Trails Training Partnership; National Recreation Trail Ambassador Program; Trails Move People Initiative
Social: Facebook - Instagram - Twitter - LinkedIn - Pinterest - Youtube -
Claim to Fame: We’ve been in the trails industry for over 30 years, training and supporting trail professionals, volunteers, and users. Every two years our International Trails Symposium brings together hundreds of attendees from every trail specialty to learn from the best, and advance trails into the future. Other organizations focus on only specific user types, but at American Trails, we always remember that we are all in this together.



The Culture

The best thing about working at American Trails is: We have a great team, we are flexible, and we get a lot done with a small staff!

When we’re not working, we’re: canoeing, taking care of shelter dogs, painting, tutoring, snowmobiling, camping, traveling, backpacking, enjoying our family/kids.

What we’re reading: way too many news stories about trails, Where the Red Fern Grows, Color Purple.

What we’re listening to: The Eye, by Brandi Carlisle, any Patsy Cline, any Tom Petty, and the Wild Thing podcast.

If they made a movie about our workplace, it would be called: Trails Rock!

Inclusion in the outdoors matters because: People define themselves by how they recreate, and for most, that recreation happens on a trail. Their ability to recreate — to re-create themselves — is critical to personal health, community health, and overall economic health of our nation. If, for any reason, we take away a person’s ability to use a trail, it has dramatic effects on that person’s mental and physical well being. In my case, it was perceptually taken away through a new disabling condition. For others, it may be closing trails to a use that has historically been open to them. For yet others, it may be a lack of sufficient income allowing them to purchase the gear needed to enjoy their preferred recreational activities. Where would we be without trails?

Five years down the line, it’s our hope that: Trails engender and maintain a groundswell of support in all aspects of every American’s lives.


The One-Year Goals

(What’s the company culture we wish to create?)

  • To be added later!