KAILUA-KONA — A new leader is at the helm of PATH — Peoples Advocacy for Trails Hawaii — as the nonprofit moves forward in its 33rd year of promoting pedestrian and bicycle safety on Hawaii Island.
Valerie Overlan, a competitive runner turned walker, became the organization’s executive director effective Sept. 3. She‘s “super excited” to be in the position and will stick to PATH’s mission, which is to safely connect people and places on Hawaii Island with pathways and bikeways.
“People can expect that PATH is just going to continue moving forward and growing,” Overlan said. “And, hopefully, with everybody’s help and the community’s involvement, we will continue to do the great work that PATH has been doing for all these years.”
Overlan, who was selected by PATH’s board of directors following a five-month search, is the fourth person to lead the organization since its inception in 1986.
“It feels great to know that we have someone of such great talent to take us to the next level,” said former PATH director Tina Clothier. “Val is very skilled in relationship building and income development. Those are all things that are important to sustaining PATH and being able to sustain our work going forward.”
“It’s her hope, and our hope, that she will help us to build capacity for PATH so that we can continue our great work,” she added. “We’re very, very excited.”
A Kentucky native, Overlan moved to Hawaii with her husband from Washington state to assume the PATH leadership role.
Prior to taking the position, Overlan was associate director of corporate relations at the University of Washington College of Engineering.
Cindy Armer, chairwoman of the PATH board, in a press release touted Overlan’s leadership, passion for the outdoors and eagerness to build new relationships.
“I am confident she will fit seamlessly into our culture of grassroots organizing for people-focused streets and lead the organization to a new level of effectiveness,” Armer said.
She later commented during a phone interview, “I can’t ever say we can replace Tina, but we found somebody who’s going to do a great job also.”
Clothier, who was among the volunteers when PATH started, isn’t going far. She’s been helping Overlan hit the ground running — especially with the upcoming 33rd annual PATH 5k/10k and Keiki Dash on Oct. 5, a kickoff to the Ironman World Championship on Oct. 12 — and will remain with the organization, transitioning to a new title, strategic projects director.
Email Chelsea Jensen at email@example.com.