We're already well under way into another year for Madison Bikes, and 2019 comes with a number of new faces on our board or directors! In addition, we have a new president and vice-president. But let me start by introducing our new board members: Jake Foley, Elysha Jones, Steph Shelton, Peter Taglia, and Jim Wilson.
Jake Foley moved to Madison with his family in 2015, and lives on the North side with his wife, daughter and soon to be new baby. Relocating to Madison to design bikes for Trek Bicycle, Jake has enjoyed planting roots in the community. Using his background in art and design Jake is thrilled to be involved with Madison Bikes, where he hopes to contribute in efforts to improve the infrastructure of our great city. Having traveled all over the world for Trek, Jake is inspired and excited to bring some influences to Madison to help make it the number one cycling city in the world. In his spare time he enjoys commuting by bike, trail running, playing basketball, racing cyclocross, mountain biking, paddle boarding, and water skiing.
Elysha Jones grew up in St. Louis, MO. The bicycle infrastructure there was lacking, especially if you wanted to bicycle with children, so her and her family looked for a more bike friendly city. Madison fit the bill beautifully and they have called it home now for the last 7 years. Elysha is a stay at home mom who does most of her errands by bike, that includes picking her two daughters, aged 5 and 9 up from school along with another neighbor girl who hitches a ride everyday in Elysha's bakfiet. She is a year round cyclist and strives to be as "car lite" as she can be.
Steph was born and raised in Racine, WI. After living in other states and serving in the Peace Corps, she returned to Wisconsin and has been living in Madison for five years. As a year-round bike commuter and a dedicated cyclocross biker, Steph believes that safe biking can and should be accessible for all Madison residents. As such, she hopes to make an impact on making year-round biking a choice for all. Steph currently holds an MS degree in Population Health and works as a Cancer Data Specialist at the UW Carbone Cancer Center.
Jim has lived and bicycled in the Madison area his whole life. Finding his bicycle to be a more reliable, more affordable, and healthier form of transportation, he ditched the car lifestyle in late 2013 and has been car-free since. Around the same time, he began actively learning about the issues surrounding bike advocacy in order to help make Madison a place where anybody can bike anywhere conveniently and comfortably year-round. Jim first learned of Madison Bikes at the 2017 Brazen Dropouts Bike Swap, and became active with the Advocacy Committee a few months later. Having graduated from the UW-Madison’s College of Engineering in December 2018, he hopes to put his knowledge to work in a bicycle-related field and help promote biking everywhere, but most importantly in his home city of Madison.
New President and Vice-President
Grant Foster has been the one who got Madison Bikes started. Back in 2015, he invited us to his house, and gathered around the dining room table we made plans for founding what would eventually become Madison Bikes. Since our incorporation as a non-profit, Grant has been our President. While Grant remains on the board and has no intention of moving away from bike advocacy, he stepped down as president of Madison Bikes to focus on his run for Common Council in District 15. Without any exaggeration I can say: Without Grant, Madison Bikes would not exist and be what it is now.
Grant's successor as president is -- well, me, Harald. I'm very excited to work with our board, with our awesome volunteers, and with the larger Madison Bikes community to pursue the Madison Bikes vision. I strongly believe in a bottom-up approach to bike advocacy, as we have pursued it up to now. I want to keep Madison Bikes an organization that is anchored in its community and that runs an effective, lean operation. We're 100% run by volunteers, and so we always have to be mindful of how we can best put to use our board's and our volunteers' capacity to achieve our goals.
Taking over as vice-president is Heather Pape. Heather joined Madison Bikes in 2016 and has been our Communications Committee chair since then. I'm very happy to team up with Heather to keep Madison Bikes rolling along! Our to-do list is long, and we're eager to get to work on it.
Finally, I want to say thanks to the board members who stepped down last year: Hank Weiss, India Viola, Michael Lemberger, Kevin Mulcahy, and Becky Jollay. Please stay involved with Madison Bikes, and thanks for your contributions over the years!
To a successful 2019!