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Warm Welcome to the League’s New Board Members!
Earlier this summer, we asked our members to consider running to join our Board of Directors. The League’s Board is made up of volunteers who willingly donate their time, skills, and other resources to guide the League and rally the resources we need to realize a future filled with more bike joy. Several raised their hands to serve and whether elected by our membership or appointed by the Board, our Board candidates are dedicated to the League’s vision of an America where everyone recognizes and enjoys the many benefits and opportunities of bicycling.
“The League of American Bicyclists is on a mission to build a Bicycle Friendly America for everyone and to do that effectively requires a Board of Directors that dedicates their passion, experience, and expertise to leading the organization,” said Ken Podziba, chairman of the League’s Board of Directors and president and CEO of Bike New York. “I’m looking forward to welcoming two new members to the League’s Board and welcoming back three re-elected Board members at our October meeting. With a new strategic plan in the works, a hybrid National Bike Summit coming up in March 2022, and continuous growth in the League’s programs, this is an exciting time for the League, its thousands of members, and the 100 million Americans who bike. I’d also like to thank our outgoing Board Members Harry Brull, Bob Oppliger, and AJ Zelada for their incredible service to the League’s mission. It is through the tireless efforts of the League’s staff and board — past, present and future — that we will create safer roads and stronger, better-connected communities.”
Please join the League in welcoming these new and re-elected Board members to their next term, which begins on October 23, 2021.
Melissa considers herself as an urban planner, community organizer, social alchemist, and reformed public servant, steeped in the certainty that anything is possible when radical imagination pairs with action. She has over 20 years of experience shepherding socially innovative programs from inception to completion across multiple U.S. cities. As Director of Planning and Community Engagement at Concordia LLC, Melissa leads a team of seasoned experts to work collaboratively and think holistically to create unique human-centered places and spaces around the world. She also serves as the Board President of Bike Easy, the regional bicycling education and advocacy organization dedicated to making bicycling easy, safe, and fun for everyone in Greater New Orleans. During her 3-year tenure as Board President, she has led an intentional internal equity transformation process, which led board, staff, and members to a deep understanding and recommitment to place multiculturalism, inclusivity, and anti-racism at the center of their work.
As the immediate past chair of the League board, Ralph served during the initiation of new equity measures—including adding a new “E” for Equity into the League’s guiding “E” principles. These efforts informed the League in many ways—from the selection of board candidates to new programs that reflect the League’s diversity. As past president of a bicycling club, he has also worked closely with League staff in creating and presenting a robust menu of club sessions at the National Bike Summit and with diversity-based organizations in helping them develop and grow their riding and advocacy programs and activities. Also an active League Cycling Instructor (LCI), he helped launch a series of bicycle safety education workshops for children and adults throughout the Sarasota, Florida area and created a “Ride a Pedicab” program developed for mobility-challenged people. Ralph is also an active member of the Florida Bike Association, board member for the Sarasota Bicycle Pedestrian and Trail Advisory Council, and Bicycle Director for The Friends of Osprey Junction Trailhead Park in Osprey, FL.
Since becoming an LCI, Cadesha has dedicated her volunteer efforts to better local and national bicycling. She currently serves on the board of the New Haven Coalition for Active Transportation (NHCAT), whose mission is to offer free bicycle education that is accessible to all. As a board member, she provides strategic inputs as well as oversees the organization’s technology needs. Cadesha also serves as a Shero on the New Haven chapter of Black Girls Do Bike (BGDB). As a BGDB Shero, she finds great joy in introducing women to the joy of cycling, coordinating local group rides and the fellowship. Her goal is to help the bicycle movement forward by advocating for improved bicycle safety, improving the laws to protect cyclists, and encouraging others to get on the saddle, in hopes that at some point along the way, the small victories will inspire someone to make big changes.
Mike serves as Gresham Smith’s active transportation service line leader bringing more than 20 years of experience in the planning, design and implementation of transportation projects. Leading projects ranging from rural roadways to major multimodal planning initiatives, Mike has spent the past decade focused on complete streets and right-sizing our roadways for all users. A daily bike commuter himself, Mike’s advocacy efforts for bicyclists and pedestrians have helped forge many important relationships within the local communities he serves and the broader transportation industry. As the child of working-class parents, Mike and his family moved to the country when he was eight years old. It was there that he first experienced the inequalities of transportation and what it felt like to live in a community that failed to support the people that lived in it. Mike believes transportation is the lifeblood of our communities and, as an avid bicyclist, has focused his career on walking and bicycling as the great equalizer.
Karin’s greatest passion is bicycling which she pursues on a daily basis to get around. She uses her passion for bicycling and shares her cycling skills by teaching others to ride as a League Cycling Instructor. Karin worked for Consumer Reports for 32 years as a market analyst and was selected as Westchester’s Bike Commuter of the Year, commuting 10 miles each way through rain, snow, and all weather conditions every day by bike. She also served as Vice-Chair for Consumers Union Newspaper Guild and acted as grievance chairperson for six years. Karin studied Chemistry and German as an undergrad and got an MBA in Marketing from Wharton. Beyond cycling and studying, her hobbies include tennis, bridge and travel (often by bike, such as a ride she took across the country in 2000 and another ride from Minneapolis to New Orleans in 2004).