Meet the 2012 - 2013 Boston Cyclists Union Board of Directors

New Members: 

Omar Dauhajre, having grown up in Puerto Rico, an island that has potential to be a bicycle haven but has instead given into sprawl, decided to move to Boston where his quality of life could be improved by its urban transportation infrastructure. It had been his dream for a long time to be able to be independent of his car to earn his living, and it became true when he was hired for his current job, about 4 years ago, as an Executive Assistant at Inquilinos Boricuas en Accion. Its location is close to his house and is easily accessible through the South West Corridor. This has improved his quality of life in such a way that it has made him an advocate for bicycling ever since.

 Jeff Gang grew up biking for fun in  Beverly, Mass. Three years ago, he rode  with Climate Summer, doing bike-based  community organizing around climate  change, which led him into political  organizing. Today he is the Coordinator of The Green Life Online, a national netroots non-profit that works with environmental consumers. He mostly bikes to get from A to B these days, but it’s still fun.

Vanessa Green has worked with the  national nonprofit Clean Water Action  since 2004 to politically engage people,  from leading field canvass teams on health  issues and electoral campaigns to  collaborating with local, state and national  groups towards improving neighborhood air quality. She studied and lived in Europe during 2008-2009 and learned that huge steps forward in bicycling infrastructure are possible for Boston and other metro areas in the US, and that one of her favorite things to do is to ride her bike in the quiet of the night under any skies. Amidst her active interest in yoga and meditation practices, playing basketball and other games, and the healthy development of children/youth, Vanessa is ready to reserve time and space in her life to organize and fund-raise in support of the Union’s vision.

Trina Jackson  has facilitated numerous  trainings, workshops and dialogues on  racial justice, anti-oppression organizing,  and reproductive justice for women of  color. In addition to coordinating the work  of NIAAS (Network of Immigrant and  African Americans in Solidarity), she works as an organizational development consultant to social justice nonprofits in Boston. She has served as an advisory board member of the Mass CEDAW Project, is a founding member of Boston Incite! Women of Color Against Violence, Boston Women of Color Coalition for Reproductive Justice, and served on the Board of Directors for Alternatives for Community and Environment (ACE), an environmental justice organization.

Conor Semler is an urban transportation  planner focusing on planning, design, and  implementation of non-motorized and  public transportation systems. Following  five years of consulting nationally and  internationally, he moved to Boston to work for the Downtown Business Improvement District where he is the staff planner and project manager. Conor has lived car-free since moving to Portland, Oregon in 2007 and has integrated bicycling into his daily life, which serves as his professional motivation and contributes to his personal health and happiness.

Aisha Shillingford has over 10 years  experience in youth work, community  organizing, and nonprofit administration  and has worked in the nonprofit field in  Boston since 2002. Aisha has served on  the board of directors of Bikes Not Bombs and is an avid volunteer and leader in Jewish-Muslim interfaith organizing and dialogue. She is a trained bicycle mechanic and recently started mountain biking in Franklin Park. She also loves bicycle touring, city riding, and encouraging and supporting others to ride bicycles in the way that best works for them. She is passionate about sewing and art with found objects, and lives in a co-operatively structured house with her partner, five other housemates and two cats. She has a BA in Environmental Analysis and Policy from Boston University, an MSW in Macro Practice from Boston College and is currently pursuing an MBA in Nonprofit Management and Entrepreneurship from Simmons School of Management. She is originally from Trinidad and Tobago and has lived in the Boston area since 1998.

Philip Stango is an avid cyclist  (commuter, racer of road and cyclocross,  long distance rider, around town, etc.) who  has been biking to work at Boston Health  Care for the Homeless Program almost  every day for the last five years. During his time at BHCHP he’s worked as an Americorps volunteer, case manager, front desk manager and project manager, and he plans to bring skills from each of those roles to the Union.

Jason Stockmann is an MRI researcher  by trade and a lifestyle cyclist who is  eager to get involved in bicycle advocacy  and organizing in Boston. Before moving  to the Bay State, Jason was gubernatorial  appointee to the Connecticut Bicycle and  Pedestrian Advisory Board, where he served as secretary and webmaster. As a board member of ElmCityCycling and a member of Rail*Trains*Ecology*Cycling, Jason was also active in a successful multi-year campaign to add bicycle hooks to Metro North railcars between CT and NYC.

Continuing Members:

Noelle Janka (current president) is  program coordinator for the Middle East  Initiative at the Harvard Kennedy School. Before that she was the recruitment  director for Green Corps, a training  program in grassroots environmental  organizing. Noelle has worked on multiple political and environmental campaigns, including the campaign to elect President Barack Obama. She is a resident of Jamaica Plain, a yogi and an avid gardener. Noelle works with several committees, helps coordinate interns and volunteers, and looks forward to the day when all Bostonians can ride around the city with children and grandparents and feel totally safe.

Ray Porfilio (current treasurer) is an  architect and principal with Epstein Joslin  Architects where his work focuses on the  planning and design of sustainable  solutions for civic and institutional clients.  A resident of West Roxbury, he rides his  bicycle for his commute to Cambridge, for  good causes, and for fun. He has been  involved with the Boston Cyclists Union  since its inception, and serves as chair of the Finance and Operations Committee.

Kiersten Kaye (current clerk) is an  organizational development consultant  with her own practice. Her work focuses  in three primary areas: leadership  coaching and teambuilding; corporate  training and performance programs; and  talent acquisition programs. Kiersten resides in Medford Square and is a member of the Northeast Bicycle Club (NEBC) and a ride leader for their Tuesday Night Women’s Paceline Ride. Additionally, Kiersten teaches indoor cycling at the Boston Sports Clubs in Davis Square. Whether riding in the city, on a country road, or in the woods, with a group or on one’s own, Kiersten believes that safety is the foundation for all cyclists and hopes her work with the Boston Cyclists Union will benefit cycling safety and awareness for cyclists and non-cyclists alike. She also serves on the Finance and Operations Committee and chaired the Board Selection Committee.

Nick Abreu is a fourth-year medical  student at Harvard Medical School. He  lives in Cambridge and looks forward to  his daily commute into Boston on his Bike  Friday. After rediscovering his childhood  love of bicycles while researching abroad  in London after college, he’s been hooked;  rallying classmates to commute by  bicycle, working with administrators to make HMS a greener, healthier community, and traveling to western Kenya to research how bicycles may be used to improve healthcare delivery. He is co-chair of the Communications Committee.

Jasmine Laietmark believes in bikes.  Since graduating from Massachusetts  College of Art, she has worked for  transportation justice in a variety of roles.  She was Director of Grassroots  Fundraising at Bikes Not Bombs,  coordinator of the City of Cambridge’s  CitySmart program, and Resource Organizer at Alternatives for Community and Environment. As a cycling advocate, she was a driving (cycling?) force behind the Boston Bicycle Reflector publications and the Lady K Memorial Ride series. She has been with the Bike Union from its inception, serving as chair of the first annual meeting and spring kick-off events and member of the Union Building Committee. Jasmine believes that the bicycle is a powerful tool for solidarity, empowerment, and transformative change.

Jonathan McCurdy had his eyes opened  to cycling as transportation when he  moved to Jamaica Plain in 2004 and  started volunteering at Bikes Not Bombs.  He was a year-round bike commuter from  2005 to 2010, when changing work  requirements caused him to start driving.  Looking longingly at cyclists while stuck in traffic has reinforced his faith in the bicycle as transportation. Jonathan has been a member of the City of Boston Bicyclist Advisory Board since 2000. He has been involved with the Union since its inception and serves as vice chair of the Bike Promotion Committee. He is also one of the organizers of the Halloween Bike Ride; you might see him leading the costumed wheeled masses around the city on Halloween night. Jonathan works for the Massachusetts Department of Public Health providing direct services and case management to homeless families in the greater Boston area.

Dana Ostberg can be seen riding down  the Southwest Corridor in JP to her  position as the nurse in the Adolescent  Clinic at Martha Eliot Health Center in  Jackson Square, encouraging her patients  on the way to bike safely and choose  health. She worked previously with young people at Bikes Not Bombs, Boston Public Health Commission, and The Steppingstone Foundation. In her spare time, she trains for the World Four Square Championship as part of the squarefour.org league and participates in the local agriculture scene as consumer, volunteer, and friend.

Luis Sanchez is a retired civil engineer  with most of his career endeavors in the  Boston area. Since his retirement he has  been devoting much of his time to bicycle  advocacy. He believes in bicycling as a  way to empower people and build closer  communities. He serves as lead mechanic  for the Union’s Bike to Market program and is a member of the Bike Promotion Committee.

Phi Tran is currently attending UMass  Boston double majoring in studio art and  sociology. Phi’s main passion is  community organizing with the youth  community of Boston to address social  injustices such as teen dating violence,  homophobia, and gang violence. Phi has become environmentally aware ever since getting involved with green initiatives on and off campus, and he rides his bike to and from school instead of driving to reduce his carbon footprint. Phi serves on the Finance and Operations Committee and the Bike Promotion Committee with a special focus on developing youth programs.

Meet board members old and new at the Union’s 2nd Annual Meeting September 27, 2012. Questions about the board selection process should be sent to boardselection@bostoncyclistsunion.org

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