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New League Staff: Meet Lili Afkhami
The League is excited to announce the arrival of a new member of our staff: Lili Afkhami. Lili is our new Development Officer, and she brings years of development experience and a passion for bicycling to the League. Here’s a quick Q&A on Lili’s background…
What’s your first memory of riding a bike?
I was five years old, riding my hot pink bike with training wheels down the sidewalk – I felt like the coolest kid in town with my rainbow tassles hanging off of my handlebars! My bike was the first sense of freedom and independence I experienced.
What’s your background in development, and how do you envision applying that here at the League?
My entire professional career has been in development, primarily in higher education. I love the complexities of multifaceted organizations, which is why I’m so excited to join the team at the League. We have so many incredible programs and initiatives, and understanding the nuances of each and every one of them is essential, but at the end of the day the League’s mission is what unifies these programs and brings the pieces of the puzzle together.
What got you interested in working for the League?
I’ve always wanted to find a place where I could combine my professional passion for development and fundraising with my personal passion for cycling and fitness. Most importantly, though, I believe in the League’s mission; when I believe in something, I advocate very strongly for it, and I think the bicycling community needs strong voices to advocate for our needs.
What will your average day look like here?
If done well, there is no “average” day in development! It’s all about establishing and nurturing relationships, supporting the mission of the League in any way possible, and garnering the financial support to improve the lives of our nation’s 57 million cyclists. My day-to-day operations will vary based on our immediate and long-term needs, but relationship-building and fundraising will always be at the forefront of my responsibilities.
What bike are you riding now, and what inspires you about cycling?
Right now, I ride a Trek 2.1, which I have affectionately named Betsy. Betsy and I love riding the quiet, winding roads on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Cycling literally changed my life – I lost 105 pounds on my bike. I became a triathlete on my bike. For me, hopping on a bicycle is the best form of therapy; it keeps me centered.