On Sunday, October 23rd, at 10am, Bike Calgary will be holding its Annual General Meeting (AGM) online (https://us06web.zoom.us/j/82393925468?pwd=aTB4dERMSXIyREZyUkI1MjRQVWpiQT09). Part of our AGM is an election for vacant roles on the Board of Directors. To help our members decide on whom they’d like guiding the Board over the next year, we are providing brief write-ups from each of the candidates. Please take a look at these submissions to help you decide whom you are going to vote for on October 23rd!
Molli Bennett (incumbent Director, current President of Bike Calgary)
I have been honored to serve on the board for the last 2 years. I am a firm believer in the power of bicycles, simple machines that can change our lives and our urban spaces. I am a year-round commuter; I love spending time outside and I am passionate about building community. My background is in community development and community organizing. I wish to stay on the board because I believe bicycles can be effective tools to fight injustice, build livable cities, and fighting climate change. My leadership and collaboration have helped move this organization forward. I am proud of the work that Bike Calgary has accomplished in the last 2 years and excited for our future.
Systems of power have historically seen cycling as recreation, dominated by folks with higher socioeconomics status – typically white and male. This has created inequities and barriers for anyone else. We see disparity in access to mobility options, especially in NE Calgary. As someone with privilege it is my role to listen, amplify, and work to get more diverse voices into our organization. Bike Calgary still has immense internal work to do in this area, which I am committed to engaging in. We must advocate for equitable access to active transportation, a right which should be afforded to all citizens.
I also believe we must act with urgency around the climate crisis – active transportation is a critical tool in the face of that emergency.
Bike Calgary has a strong strategic plan to make cycling better in Calgary. I am committed to the plan the board created. I look forward to building community, riding bikes, using our collective voices and working collaboratively with decision makers to build an equitable and vibrant city.
My name is Darren Harrold, a 53 year-old resident of Calgary and father of two pre-teen children who frequently bike to school. I have lived in the NE, NW and SW quadrants.
I cycle for fitness, pleasure and utilize Calgary infrastructure to bike commute. I cycle ~10k km annually (https://www.strava.com/athletes/186473), and am lucky to have experienced cycling in many destinations, observing best practices and thinking about solutions and opportunities for YYC.
Safe school routes, practical solutions to improve cycling access for everyone, and advocating for enhanced cycling infrastructure are areas of interest to me.
I look forward to participating with Bike Calgary in enhancing the Calgary cycling experience. Thank you for your consideration.
My sales, marketing and management experience in diverse industries offers a skillset Bike Calgary can leverage including brand development, partnership negotiations and revenue generation.
I’ve been active in my community, experienced volunteering at events (e.g. Grey Cup, Brier), held various board positions including with Lougheed House. My role at Lougheed House included sitting on the Executive Committee and committee work including finance and fund development.
I’ve been a long-time recreational cyclist. Since retiring in May 2020. I joined two local cycling clubs which increased my cycling activity and made me aware of several relevant issues.
The three priorities I would like Bike Calgary to pursue to raise its profile. create new partnership opportunities and deliver value for local cyclist include:
Improve bike safety by hosting safe cycling clinics through key partners
It is readily apparent a lot of cyclists are unaware of safe cycling practices and could benefit from additional training and education.
– New partnership and funding opportunities
– Increased profile
– Improved cycling experience for all cyclists, pedestrians, and motorists
Improve last meter security.
This infrastructure improvement is not adequately being addressed. The lack of adequate secure parking throughout the city prevents cyclists from using their bike due the high risk of theft.
Bike Calgary can be a catalyst for change by partnering with commercial, retail or public organizations to pilot approaches to improve bike security.
– New partnership and funding opportunities with commercial and retails management firms.
– Demonstrate leadership
– Better security for Calgary cyclists
Identify future infrastructure needs.
Mobility options are increasing (scooters, e-bikes, e-trikes, cargo bikes). The current infrastructure was designed for bicycles that didn’t envision these new options. Bike Calgary has a leadership role in identifying needs and potential solutions that impact new infrastructure development.
– Increased profile- Influence future infrastructure development
– Increase diversity of users of Calgary bike network
I have been working in the cycling industry for the past 15 years in multiple roles. I spent 10 years with Bike Doctor in Saskatoon working my way from a service tech to service manager. Since moving to Calgary in 2020 and joining Ridley’s, I have worked as a service tech, service manager, and in March 2022 became the Store Manager for the new Westhills Ridley’s location. In addition to my professional background, bikes form a large part of my personal life. Since childhood, bikes have taken me places out of necessity, curiosity, adventure and challenge. I am comfortable and enjoy cycling the pathways in the City, the mountain trails in Bragg Creek, and road riding the Golden Triangle with family, friends, and those you meet along the way.
In 2018 I started volunteering with the Bicycle Film Festival, bringing the event to Saskatoon in 2019, and then to Calgary in 2020 and 2021. Our Saskatoon event raised $2600 which was donated to help Saskatoon Cycles. At Ridley’s I have helped with local cycling groups including Spin Sisters, and MMBTS.
I would like to continue working collaboratively in highlighting the cultural, educational, and infrastructural aspects of cycling within Calgary. Host in person, post covid events bringing people together. Help make our pathways more cohesive and functional for commuting and daily usage, with particular emphasis on the importance of education regarding pathway safety and regulations.
Current YYC pathways total 36.49%
449.1km of 1230.7km completed.
My name is Leithan Slade and I’m excited to put my name forward for election to the Bike Calgary board of directors.
Born in Squamish, B.C., my passion for bikes began when I bought my first mountain bike at age 10.
Fast forward to today, and I’m a three-season cyclist (four once I buy some warmer gear!) who takes advantage of Calgary’s bike paths to get to work each day and spends weekends logging miles among mountains or exploring the city on two wheels…Occasionally, I’ll sneak out at lunch while working from home for few downhill laps at COP or a quick spin in the trails behind my house.
As a commuter, I’ve also developed a desire to improve cycling for Calgarians and those who visit our city. Starting with safety, I want to work to enhance education and awareness among all road and shared path users to prevent incidents and injuries.
I also want to contribute to Bike Calgary’s ongoing advocacy around improved infrastructure, as well enhance inclusion, so that cycling continues to grow in our city and barriers are removed.
With 15 years of professional communications experience, including a background in journalism, I would bring to the board a skill set suited to improve our community outreach, stakeholder engagement, media relations, social media, fundraising, and event planning.
Additionally, I’ve served in multiple volunteer roles including vice-president of the Wood Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame, board director for Fort McMurray Tourism, and I’ve supported Team Alberta as a member of mission staff and communications lead at three multi-sport games, including the 2017 Western Canada Summer Games.
I’m confident my skills, experience, hard work and commitment can benefit the Bike Calgary board as we set our sights on the 2023 Strategic Plan and beyond.
Thank you for this opportunity.