by Mark Blacknell, President of the WABA Board
The Washington Area Bicyclist Association Board of Directors and I are excited to announce the appointment of Greg Billing to serve as the organization’s next Executive Director.
You’ve probably received emails from Greg before—he has been with the organization for more than five years, most recently as our Advocacy Coordinator. During his tenure, Greg led WABA’s transition to “bicycling for all” advocacy, which focuses on inclusive, comfortable and safe infrastructure and public policies to support growing ridership.
Greg Billing at Bike to Work Day 2015
In his own words, “I fell in love with this city by exploring it on my bike. There’s no better way to meet neighbors and connect to the community. I am thrilled to lead the amazing team at WABA as we work to bring access to bicycling to everyone in the region.”
And: “The next chapter for WABA will be exciting as we expand to serve the growing number of everyday and casual riders. We will focus on becoming more inclusive, open and transparent.”
I and the rest of the board are particularly excited about Greg’s leadership. He has many talents, but his ability to help others understand what takes to makes our streets safe for everyone is amazing. We look forward to working with Greg to make sure that WABA’s capacity to achieve its mission grows significantly in the years to come.
In the coming weeks, WABA will finalize and release a 5-year Strategic Plan—a bike map for the future of the organization. The Strategic Plan presents a vision that recognizes the historic growth and popularity of bicycling in the region and provides a framework for continuing that growth.
Greg Billing begins his tenure as Executive Director immediately. Please welcome him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
WABA Board President.
WABA is always looking for people with a passion to help make the Washington area a safer and more welcoming environment for people using bikes. To this end, WABA’s Board Nominating Committee is now searching for director candidates with strong leadership skills and experience in helping non-profit organizations execute strategy and development plans.
WABA enjoys a solid foundation of loyal members and a dedicated funding base. However, we have a particular interest in candidates who can help us further expand our partnerships with a broader pool of private organizations and individuals who share and will support WABA’s goal of making the Washington area the most bicycle friendly in the world. Direct experience with membership development, institutional giving, and major gifts a plus.
WABA board members are volunteers who serve two year terms and are expected to participate in regularly scheduled board meetings, provide counsel to WABA staff in their areas of expertise, and make WABA a significant part of their individual philanthropy.
Candidates who are interested in exploring whether their skills and interests align with WABA’s are invited to make an initial expression of interest by filling out the form here. If you have previously filled out an expression of interest, and remain interested, please email me at email@example.com. While the search for director candidates is an ongoing one, the board expects to present a slate of candidates at the February 20 annual meeting.
WABA is looking for leaders with a passion to help ensure our ability to continue making the Washington area a safer and more welcoming environment for cyclists. WABA’s Board Nominating Committee is searching for director candidates with strong leadership skills and experience in helping non-profit organizations develop and execute strategy and development plans.
While WABA has loyal members and a dedicated funding base, we have a particular interest in candidates who can help us expand our partnerships with a broader pool of organizations and individuals who share and will support WABA’s goal of making the Washington area the most bicycle friendly in the world. Direct experience with institutional giving and major gifts a plus.
WABA board members are volunteers who serve two year terms and are expected to participate in regularly scheduled board meetings, provide counsel to WABA staff in
their areas of expertise, and make WABA a significant part of their individual philanthropy. Candidates who are interested in exploring whether their skills and interests align with WABA’s are invited to make an initial expression of interest by filling out the form HERE.
I had a great ride today, and was thrilled to see so many of my fellow Washington area cyclists out for an easy spin on a beautiful Mother’s Day Sunday. There was definitely a hitch or two, but I’m confident in reporting that thousands of us finished the ride with giant smiles on our faces. So I thought I’d share my experience of the day. Hit the jump for more.
Hi, Mark Blacknell here. I’m a cyclist. And a driver. And a pedestrian. And WABA’s newest Board President.
Yesterday, my fellow WABA board members placed their confidence in me, electing me President along with re-electing Martin Moulton as Vice President, Paul d’Eustachio as Treasurer, and Randall Myers as Secretary. The board – and WABA as a whole – owe Barbara Klieforth a debt of gratitude for her years of dedicated service as President. Thankfully, she will be remaining on the board, and will continue to help guide WABA.
I feel very lucky to be taking this on right now. We’ve got a membership who actively support our mission. We maintain good relationships with most area governments. We certainly have a fantastic and effective staff. In short, we’re in good shape.
So what’s left to do? Plenty. Here’s my personal agenda:
- First and foremost – we need to keep pressing on the basics: infrastructure, enforcement, and education. The area has definitely seen some successes in recent years: infrastructure expansion in DC and Arlington, an explosion of interest in Capital Bikeshare beyond its original limits, and the introduction of an anti-assault bill for cyclists in DC. We can’t rest, though, as we’ve still got long way to go on infrastructure, uptake of cycling by new bikeshare users will require greatly expanded education efforts, and that anti-harassment bill? Is still sitting in committee. We can’t rest, even when it comes to the basics.
- I also look forward to supporting and expanding WABA’s efforts to reach out to communities that haven’t traditionally been a focus of bike advocacy. The development of our East of the Anacostia project has been thrilling to see, and I hope we can build the capacity for similar efforts with the “Invisible Cyclists” of our immigrant communities. The gender gap is something that should concern all cyclists, and I eagerly anticipate the next step in the process started at the Women’s Bicycling Forum. Shorter version: cycling is for everyone, and our advocacy should reflect that.
- Finally, I’ll be working to improve region-wide cooperation and communication among cycling advocates. WABA can’t – and doesn’t need – to be at the table for every cycling issue that comes up in the greater Washington area. We can, however, help connect and support local advocates in addressing their local issues. On the other side of that coin, I hope to engage my fast friends in MABRAland and my dirty friends at MORE to ensure that when big cycling issues are on the line, we can bring our full and joint voice to the discussion.
So that’s my hope for WABA in the future. But I can’t – WABA can’t – do any of this alone. We need your help and ideas. So I’d very much like to hear about yours. You can always reach me at Mark (at) waba.org, share your thoughts in the comments below, or say hello at the next WABA event.
P.S. That rumor that Shane Farthing started on Twitter, about me wanting a Katy Perry-led bike ride in DC? Totally a joke. (Unless you’re reading and interested, Katy. Then you should call me.)