The Lawrence Hopewell Trail Corporation, which created a 22-mile-long pedestrian and bicycle path linking Lawrence and Hopewell townships, has named its first executive director and also elected a new chairman and vice chairman.
Lisa Serieyssol was appointed to become the nonprofit group’s first executive director, and will assume her new duties in December. She most recently was the Greater Mercer Transportation Management Association’s program coordinator for the Safe Routes to School program in Mercer and Ocean counties.
Serieyssol, who lives in Princeton, also serves on Princeton’s Pedestrian and Bicycle Advisory Committee and helped to create a 10-mile loop of bicycle boulevards that connects the Princeton Public Schools’ four elementary schools, its middle school and its high school.
The Lawrence Hopewell Trail Corporation’s Board of Trustees determined that a full-time executive director is key to the success of its strategic plan, and that’s why it hired Serieyssol, officials said.
The Lawrence Hopewell Trail grew out of the need to create a safe, off-road pedestrian and bicycle trail in 2001. The Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. and the Educational Testing Service served as anchors for the trail and were the primary sources of financial support for it.
Work on the first segment of the Lawrence Hopewell Trail began in 2004. The trail links Lawrence and Hopewell townships, and Pennington and Hopewell boroughs. The trail is nearly complete.
Meanwhile, the Lawrence Hopewell Trail Corporation’s Board of Trustees elected David Sandahl and John Murray to serve as the board’s chairman and vice chairman, respectively. They will take office in January 2023.
Sandahl and Murray were elected to those posts, following the announcement that longtime board co-presidents Eleanor Horne and Becky Taylor are retiring at the end of December.
Sandahl is a former Hopewell Township deputy mayor and Township Committeeman, and Murray is retired from Bristol-Myers Squibb. Both men have served on the board for the Lawrence Hopewell Trail Corporation.
Sandahl praised Serieyssol, who is slated to become the Lawrence Hopewell Trail Corporation’s first full-time professional. She is an active transportation practitioner with a special focus on bicycling and trails, he said.
Looking ahead, Sandahl said the Lawrence Hopewell Trail Corporation will seek more involvement within the larger community by working more closely with the schools and civic associations.
“I see us, as the Lawrence Hopewell Trail, reaching out actively to the communities that we serve and to others that we should serve better. The path to stronger communities goes through inclusion and engagement, from Trenton to Princeton and beyond,” Sandahl said.
Murray agreed, and said that he also sees expanding the corporation’s focus on community service, as well as providing safe, family-friendly transportation options for residents and visitors.
“I look forward to being part of the next phase of Lawrence Hopewell Trail Corporation leadership, where we will also complete the trail and make connections to other regional trails and communities,” Murray said.