Dear Bike Fed members and supporters,
It is with mixed emotions that I announce to you my resignation as Executive Director of the Wisconsin Bike Fed. I am leaving my Bike Fed adventure to embark on a new adventure. I will soon be joining Midwest BikeShare Inc. as their Launch Director, where I will work closely with the Board of Directors and a growing team of supporters to launch Milwaukee’s first large-scale bike-share system.
The last four and a half years have been the most enriching professional experience of my life, filled with exciting challenges, deep education and tremendous opportunities. I never imagined, when I began as your Executive Director, that I would have had such a fulfilling job. In fact, the Bike Fed was never just a job. The Bike Fed became and remains a central part of my life.
I have always loved cities and have spent my last 12 years helping to create more interesting and vibrant communities. My role at the Bike Fed provided me a direct line to this passion. It’s simple: communities are better when there are more bikes on the roads, paths and trails. Believing I understood all the potential of the bike, my perceptions were transformed in 2010, after spending six days traversing Paris using Vélib’. I saw, on a dramatic scale, how a bike-share system not only revolutionizes urban mass-transportation but leverages a city’s assets to become healthier, more economically diverse and more attractive to live, work and visit.
Bike share will bring these positive changes to Milwaukee, as they are beginning to do in Madison. Once Midwest BikeShare has launched a Milwaukee system we will then seek opportunities to launch bike-share systems in other cities in Wisconsin and the surrounding states. I am very excited at the potential to create such a tangible, on-the-ground impact to the well-being, health and vibrancy of communities.
The Bike Fed has never been in a better place. You, our members, have a truly awesome staff working on your behalf. This team not only focuses on the ins and outs of the state budget, legislation and state trail development but more importantly is working in your community to make your ride better. The Bike Fed has staff based in six separate Wisconsin markets: Eau Claire, Sheboygan, La Crosse, Hayward, Madison and Milwaukee. Their work, in partnership with you, will not only continue, it will continue to grow. We also have a very strong, diverse and professional Board of Directors. The 18 board members work hard to build a best-in-class organization that helps you realize your highest Wisconsin bicycle dreams.
I like to say that I “married in to Wisconsin.” I grew up in Cincinnati, a city that I love and thought I would never leave. In 1996, I met Jen who was only a few months removed from her graduation at UW Madison. Jen and I dated in Cincinnati then decided to marry and begin our lives together in Chicago. We lived in Chicago for nearly 9 years, had two of our daughters and had a hell of a great time. In 2007, we began our next adventure, moving to Jen’s hometown of Wauwatosa. A third daughter soon followed.
When I moved to Wisconsin, I hardly knew anyone beside Jen’s family and a few of her friends. I stand today proud to call myself a Wisconsinite. Not only that, I am most proud to be a card-carrying member (Bike Fed member of course) of one of the world’s greatest bicycle communities. I am blessed to have met thousands of people during my Bike Fed adventure and honored to call many of you my friend.
Though your next Executive Director has not been identified, I will work, over the coming months, with the board and staff to ensure a smooth transition to a great, new leader. This isn’t goodbye nor is this my final thank you. Expect to hear from me soon.
In the meantime, continue riding, continue racing and continue working to make Wisconsin bicycling great.