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Professional Mountain Bike Advocates Creating New Opportunities in U.S. Regions

For Immediate Release 3-19-2013
Contact mark [dot] eller [at] imba [dot] com (Mark Eller)
IMBA Communications Director
303-545-9011 ext. 115

IMBA recently hired several new full-time employees to advance mountain biking in distinct U.S. territories. The new positions significantly expand the IMBA Region Directors program, bringing the total number of professional mountain bike advocates to 13:

  • Adam Coppola, Northeast Regional Director, adam [dot] coppola [at] imba [dot] com
  • Hansi Johnson, Midwest Regional Director, hansi [dot] johnson [at] imba [dot] com
  • Lori Hauswirth, Upper Midwest Associate Regional Director, lori [dot] hauswirth [at] imba [dot] com
  • Patrick Kell, Southwest Regional Director, patrick [dot] kell [at] imba [dot] com
  • Anna Laxague, Pacific Northwest Regional Director, anna [dot] laxague [at] imba [dot] com
  • Frank Maguire, Mid-Atlantic Regional Director, frank [dot] maguire [at] imba [dot] com
  • Tom Sauret, Southeast/SORBA Regional Director, tom [dot] sauret [at] imba [dot] com
  • Andy Williamson, Great Lakes Regional Director, andy [dot] williamson [at] imba [dot] com
  • Tom Ward, Northern California Regional Director, tom [dot] ward [at] imba [dot] com
  • Pending hire for South Central Regional Director (Job description)
  • Pending hire for Colorado and Wyoming Regional Director position (Job description)
  • Pending hire for MORE/IMBA Associate Regional Director (Job description)

“IMBA’s regional program is making a big impact,” said Mike Van Abel, IMBA’s executive director. “Our volunteer network continues to achieve great things, but when you combine volunteer-led efforts with paid staff there’s a powerful multiplier effect. Professional staff members have both the resources and the accountability to makes good things happen at a rapid pace.”

The region director program launched in 2010, with generous funding from SRAM. The grant funded two successful years of program development. Today, IMBA’s region-based efforts are largely funded by the chapter program, where local groups share their membership revenue with IMBA. “IMBA’s success is directly tied to the success of local chapters. As they take on bigger and bigger challenges, the best way for IMBA to support their work is to hire full-time staff and task those employees with enhancing the efforts of our local groups,” said Van Abel.

The newest development in IMBA’s paid regional positions is the advent of shared staff members assigned to a particular local-level organization. In Colorado, Michigan and the greater Washington D.C. area, a professional staff member will be shared jointly by IMBA and a Chapter club (respectively, COMBA, Copper Harbor Trails Club and MORE). “Many of IMBA’s most successful chapters and clubs have considered hiring paid staff,” said Van Abel. “Splitting the position with IMBA eases the strain of paying for and administering a full-time position and creates the opportunity to connect regional efforts with IMBA’s national-level resources.”

In addition to the shared revenue generated by IMBA’s chapter program, private donors and foundations are helping underwrite the costs of regional positions. “I can’t thank SRAM enough for giving us the opportunity to start putting professional staff on the ground — hardly a day goes by when I don’t hear about a new trail system or project that would not have happened without a full-time advocate to drive it,” said Van Abel. “Our goal is to increase the numbers of local paid staff in the United States, and eventually in other nations where IMBA is active. Funding those positions will always be a challenge, but as the mountain biking movement continues to expand I’m confident that we will find creative strategies to continue adding these incredibly effective positions.”