After 6.5 years behind the handlebars of this fantastic organization, I am stepping down from my position at Bike Easy. My last day will be September 30th.
I’m so proud of the ground we’ve covered together and the momentum we’ve built for better biking in Greater New Orleans, and I’m grateful to everyone – Board, staff, Members, supporters, community leaders, and more – who have trusted me to be part of steering this movement.
Since moving to New Orleans in 2006, bicycling has been a huge part of how I’ve built community here – from the alley cat and Critical Mass rides of the late aughts to the social rides and shared bike commutes a few years later to all the wonderful times at Bike Easy. I’m so grateful for all my experiences that were rooted in the joy of bicycling and flowered into deep relationships with so many great people. The best part of this job has been meeting and working with all of you.
You are the reason this movement to improve bicycling – and all the health, equity, sustainability, and quality-of-life benefits it brings – is so strong! In my time at Bike Easy, we’ve added dozens of miles of bikeways and built momentum for many more to come soon, taught thousands of people how to ride – and drive around people riding – safely, firmly established bikeshare in the City of New Orleans, built new partnerships and coalitions with lasting power to improve transportation options, and so much more.
Bike Easy is in a strong position to keep it rolling! The great staff and Board of Directors have been working hard to ensure a smooth transition, and the organization is poised for great things. I’m pleased to announce that Robert Henig Bell, Bike Easy’s long-time Campaign Manager, will become Acting Executive Director on October 1st. Allene La Spina, Bike Easy’s Program & Operations Manager, will be promoted into a new role of Deputy Director. Rob and Allene have both made invaluable contributions to the organization in their current roles, and I’m excited for both of them to take on more leadership!
As Acting ED and Deputy Director, Rob and Allene will work closely with the Board of Directors to keep things running smoothly in the immediate future while the Board conducts the search for a new Executive Director (more on that soon!), and they’ll be setting the stage for many strong years ahead. From experience, I know that working with each of them is a joy. Returning and new Board Members alike will have a fun, impactful time collaborating and working with these great leaders. You’ll also have a great time putting your talent in strategic thinking, financial forecasting, organization behavior, project management or policy advocacy in service to the Greater New Orleans bike culture. On top of that, you’ll gain new skills, meet lots of great folks, and have a major impact on the region.
There are many more victories and improvements for biking ahead, and the volunteer Board of Directors will be a crucial force behind impressive and necessary changes to our region. This upcoming Board term is ripe with opportunity to help choose the route – from hiring a new Executive Director and updating the Strategic Plan to all the regular governance work and operations support.
On a personal note, I’ll be taking some time to reflect and focus on personal projects while figuring out the next step in my career. After pouring so much of myself into this role, it’s time to refill my cup. I’m also excited to take a step back and think big about where I can best have an impact next. As part of that brainstorming, I’d love to chat with you! Please reach out anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org or 504-321-1247. I’m staying right here in New Orleans, and of course, biking has been and will always be part of my life here. I’ll continue to be active in the bike community – just in different ways – and I very much look forward to seeing everyone out there riding.
Also, Bike Easy is throwing me a going away party (thanks, team!), and I’d love to have you join us! We’ll be hanging out at The Domino, 3044 St Claude Ave, on Saturday, October 2nd from 4pm to 7pm. There will be a cash bar, and I hear rumors of cake and champagne.
Finally, when I put the gears into motion for this transition a while back, Hurricane Ida certainly wasn’t part of the plan. It feels a little strange to be sharing this news now with so much else going on, but since my last day is coming soon, I wanted to let you know. I hope that you are managing the aftermath of Ida and Tropical Storm Nicholas as well as possible, and I’m wishing everyone strength and resolve throughout the recovery process.
Thanks for all you do to improve our region through better bicycling, and I’m grateful for the time we’ve spent together working to achieve Bike Easy’s mission. Here’s to the next phase!