Reconnect Rochester announces new developments

COURTESY OF RECONNECT ROCHESTER
Stock photo.

Several developments at Reconnect Rochester are setting the stage for organizational growth and expanded impact in the coming years.  

The organization announced a financial gift by Scott MacRae, past president of the Rochester Cycling Alliance. MacRae worked for many years to urge improvements that made the region a more bike friendly place, and strongly supported the union of RCA and Reconnect Rochester in 2019.  

“Rochester has been very generous to me,” MacRae said. “This a great opportunity to give back and honor my good friend, the late Richard DeSarra, who dedicated 25 years to making Rochester biking-, walking- and transit-friendly. As a lifelong cyclist, with an interest in health and quality of life, I hope to see a mature network of biking- and walking-friendly streets and trails for all to enjoy and travel safely on.”  

MacRae’s investment will support existing programs and advocacy work, and help the organization “power up” with additional staffing.  

“We are honored that Dr. MacRae has chosen Reconnect Rochester as a conduit to channel his passion for cycling and active transportation,” said Renée Stetzer, board president. “We’re humbled that he holds trust in us and sees the potential to expand the impact we can have around transportation issues in our community.”  

Reconnect Rochester also completed a three-year strategic plan centered around a vision statement capturing its hopes and dreams for the future state of transportation in the Rochester community over the next 25 years. Hallmarks of the plan include expanded staff capacity, strengthening its influence and community presence, and centering mobility justice in its work. 

Finally, the organization appointed Mary Staropoli as interim executive director. Staropoli joined Reconnect Rochester in 2016 and has served as director of planning and development since then.  

“I’m honored to have a chance to help guide the organization through the upcoming period of growth and transition,” she said. “It’s an exciting time, and I look forward to working with Reconnect Rochester’s amazing board members and talented staff to take our work in the community to the next level.”