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Recognizing 100 CEOs & C-level Executives
Susan Trautman Great Rivers Greenway

Susan Trautman

Chief Executive Officer

Great Rivers Greenway

Location: St. Louis, MO

Founded: 2000

Industry: Government

Susan Trautman has spent her entire career improving communities by guiding the development and enhancement of parks and open spaces, trails and recreation centers. From a 13-year-old camp counselor in the City of Bridgeton, to her first post-college job crisscrossing the state of Missouri to help small towns access national park grants, to founding a private firm, to leading municipal park departments to her current role as CEO of Great Rivers Greenway, she has made a positive impact on people’s lives.

Great Rivers Greenway is a public agency, created by a vote of people in St. Louis City, St. Louis County and St. Charles County in 2000 to create a sales tax dedicated to parks and greenways. The organization’s mission is to make the St. Louis region a more vibrant place to live, work and play by developing a regional network of greenways with partners and communities, enhancing healthy habitats and watersheds along the way.

“She brings projects to life that connect people to nature, link and strengthen their neighborhoods, encourage healthier active lifestyles and stimulate the economic well-being of the region,” said her staff.

During her tenure at Great Rivers Greenway, Trautman has grown the public agency from one tax revenue source to two, with annual revenue increasing from $10 million annually to $70 million in 2023. Trautman was responsible for overseeing the agency’s role as public steward of the $100 million in public funds, to match $250 million privately raised for the renovation of the Gateway Arch National Park and the St. Louis Riverfront.

“To accomplish this work and respond to community feedback, Trautman reorganized the agency, creating multiple teams, and oversaw staff growth from eight people to 40,” said her staff.

Since 2010, Trautman and staff have worked with communities across the region to plan and build new greenways and trail amenities now totaling 135+ miles while establishing the Great Rivers Greenway Foundation and its board of directors. Her efforts have landed her accolades including the 2023 Shaping the Region award from St. Louis Magazine and the Missouri Athletic Club’s Women of Distinction award.

“The world we live in is especially challenging and having the integrity and courage to always do the right thing and be best at what you do while remembering who you serve is critical to success,” said Trautman. “I never stop working toward the best possible outcome even against all odds; you have to wait for the right moment and look at a problem from all angles to achieve success.”

For her successful leadership, Trautman has been named a Titan 100.

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Did you know?

I am not sure it is a superpower, it is simply patience and persistence. I never stop working toward the best possible outcome even against all the odds. You have to wait for the right moment and look at a problem from all angles to achieve success.

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