Walkway’s Waldstein to Step Down After 12 Years

Remarkable Period of Growth for Walkway State Historic Park


Contact: Maria DiSalvo, Communications Director, 845-454-9649 Ext. 101, mdisalvo@walkway.org 

Walkway’s Waldstein to Step Down After 12 Years

POUGHKEEPSIE, NY—After a 12-year period that saw dramatic capital improvements, growing visitation, and even a Guinness World Record at the soaring 1.28-mile span over the Hudson River, Elizabeth Waldstein is stepping down as Executive Director of the Walkway Over the Hudson organization, a “friends’ group” that supports and improves Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park. This is the second leadership transition announcement of late when Maureen Solero became the new chair of the Board of Directors, replacing John Storyk, who stepped down after three years of service.

Ms. Waldstein said it was “time to embrace the next chapter in my life” announcing her retirement effective on May 1. “It has been an honor to serve as Executive Director and I am proud to have helped bring the vision of the Walkway to reality,” said Ms. Waldstein, who stewarded the nonprofit through a period of significant expansion that included major community and capital projects designed to enhance public access and visitor comfort at the popular New York State Park.

“One of my proudest achievements was the establishment of the Walkway Ambassador program. Hundreds of volunteers have helped make the Walkway one of the most welcoming and friendliest parks in the state. During this time, a small and fledgling nonprofit grew into a stable, strong, and sustainable organization; thanks to successful fundraising, careful fiscal management and an engaged Board of Directors,” she said, adding that she greatly valued the strong and effective partnership with the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and NY State Bridge Authority.

“During this period of growth, Elizabeth Waldstein has served as our Executive Director with distinction. Her passion and dedication to the Walkway has driven our successes and accomplishments and her effective leadership and innovative thinking have enabled us to weather turbulent storms. We most certainly would not be who we are today if not for her leadership,” said Ms. Solero.

Ms. Solero praised the thoughtful transition now underway at the organization. “Together we have developed a plan to ensure a smooth transition to a new leadership structure that will serve the Walkway well into the future. To that end, we are pleased to report that Diane Haight, who has been enormously valuable to our organization in her capacity as Managing Director, will be appointed Interim Executive Director following Elizabeth’s departure,” she said. “The Walkway has successfully navigated the uncertainty of the COVID pandemic and is in a strong financial position with a dedicated and passionate Board of Directors and staff. John Storyk has skillfully, creatively and successfully led the Board of Directors for the past three years and I will do my best to continue to move this dynamic organization forward.”

Mr. Storyk worked closely with Ms. Waldstein, staff, and the Board of Directors on several key projects in recent years, including construction of two new Visitors Centers at the east and west entrances, as well as the design and funding of an extensive new solar lighting system. “Serving on the Walkway Board for over 15 years and as Chairman has been an amazing honor and a rewarding experience,” said Mr. Storyk, Founding Partner of the Walter Storyk Design Group. “I will continue to lead the Walkway Amenities Committee during this exciting transition moment, while supporting Maureen as our Chair and Diane Haight as the Interim Executive Director. I wish Elizabeth all the best and know she will never be a stranger to the Walkway.”

Since Walkway Over the Hudson opened to great fanfare in October, 2009, the nonprofit friends group has worked tirelessly to improve the Park, draw new visitors, and enhance visitors’ experience. After Ms. Waldstein was hired to helm the nonprofit in 2010, the organization grew significantly, adding staff charged with fundraising, program management, and marketing in support of the Park’s growing mission. Under Ms. Waldstein’s leadership, the Walkway organization has raised $9 million for operational and programmatic efforts and another $10 million for capital improvements to the park.

Working in partnership with the New York State Parks and other regional partners, the Walkway achieved significant projects including:

  • The Greater Walkway Experience branding and marketing program
  • Operation of an 11 person electric tram for persons with limited mobility
  • Completing new Visitors Centers at East and West entrances
  • Design and installation of all-solar lighting solution
  • Connecting to the Hudson Riverfront via the 21-story elevator
  • Purchasing rail trail property to connect to the Dutchess Rail Trail
  • Improvements to the West – Highland entrance and parking access

While she is retiring from her full-time role as Executive Director, effective May 1, Ms. Waldstein plans to remain involved with the Walkway through the leadership transition, while exploring future opportunities. For more information about the Walkway organization, visit walkway.org.



Maria Disalvo 845-453-0086

Steve Densmore 845-234-8713

Elizabeth Waldstein 845-454-9649