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IMBA Welcomes Laurel Harkness to Northern California Region Director Role

For Immediate Release 10-8-2014
Contact mark [dot] eller [at] imba [dot] com (Mark Eller)
IMBA Communications Director
303-545-9011 ext. 115

IMBA welcomes laurel [dot] harkness [at] imba [dot] com (Laurel Harkness) to her new role as the director for the Northern California IMBA region. Harkness was most recently the Executive Director of the nonprofit Snowlands Network, based in Nevada City, California. Previous to that she was the Executive Director of the Mount Shasta Nordic Ski Organization. A 1996 graduate of Univ. of Calif., Davis, Laurel has professional experience in land-use policy, government relations, grassroots organizing, fundraising and event planning.

"Laurel's energy and enthusiasm for outdoor recreation strikes me as boundless," said IMBA Executive Director Mike Van Abel. "Better yet, her mountain biking experience runs deep, spanning decades to the early years of the sport's development. She knows firsthand the challenge and the promise of advancing bike access and trail development in the state where IMBA was born."

Harkness succeeds Tom Ward, one of IMBA's first regionally based staff members. Ward is retiring from full-time work, though he expects to contribute to IMBA's efforts on projects from time to time. "Tom Ward helped set the stage for IMBA's current organizational approach," said Van Abel. "The many achievements and advances he made for mountain bikers in California are too numerous to recount here. In short, Tom's outstanding work has made it clear that placing professional mountain bike advocates in distinct territories, where they can directly support IMBA chapters, is the clear path forward for our association."