Below, you will find the statements from those interested in running for the upcoming open positions on the Overland Mountain Bike Club Board of Directors. There are two board positions that will be filled per this election. Board members serve two-year terms. The members running for those two positions are Bob Choate, Kent Leier and Hannah Wittmeyer. Current President, Kent Leier, is running for another term. Continuing board members serving until November 1, 2019 are Robbie Jackson, Tyson Kayman/Marie Walsh (shared position) and Marty Peckins. Per the recently updated OMBC By-laws, two additional board members will be appointed by the board for this upcoming term. Voting invitations will be emailed to members on October 23, 2018 and the election will run through November 13, 2018.
Candidate 1: Kent Leier
I am your current OMBC President and I would like your support in serving an additional term. I was elected to the Board two years ago. I originally served as the Club’s Secretary before being appointed President by the Board. In the past two years OMBC has accomplished a great deal and I feel like we are stronger than ever. We have increased our membership, we built new trails at Hermit Park, we have done fantastic and back breaking work at Young’s Gulch, we are in process of building the On the Rocks trail at Bobcat Ridge, we have proposed a number of new trails to the City and County (some of which have been approved and some not), we developed a Youth Committee to get more kids on bikes, we have increased our fundraising, we developed a Business Partner Program, we developed a long range trail vision plan that we are presenting to city and county officials, and we are now getting together for destination rides across the region to still have some fun. These are just a few highlights that stick out in my mind during my first term. I can in no way take credit for what OMBC has done, but I want to see the organization as a whole continue to do great things. Now is not the time to ease off the gas.
Should I be elected for another term, I would like to see us continue to increase our trail advocacy work. We started as a patrol group. We then evolved into a patrol, riding club, and trail maintenance/advocacy group. I would like to see us continue to evolve as the region grows. This is why I was the catalyst behind the Board’s recent decision to change the name from Overland Mountain Bike Club to the Overland Mountain Bike Association. We are so much more than a riding club. We like to have fun, but I want Overland to be a powerful voice in the region when it comes to trails. I would like to initiate more of a top down approach when it comes to trail advocacy. This means maintaining our relationship with local land agencies, but fostering more of a relationship with City Council Members and County Commissioners to explain that more trails lead to a healthier population and a healthier economy. We need to educate our elected officials about what increased soft surface trails can do for the region and we need to encourage our own members to get more involved in local government. This is where real change can happen. Fort Collins is historically ranked as one of the top 5 biking cities in the U.S. This is great, but I believe a lot of it is due to our paved bike networks. We need to put additional pressure on our elected officials to concentrate on new soft surface trails to keep up with neighboring communities and our ever growing population.
Kent J. Leier
Candidate 2: Bob Choate
Hello all you wonderful and beautiful Overlanders!
I am Bob, and I ride bikes. I ask you to vote for me for the board of the Overland Mountain Bike Club. As the Club “levels up” to the Association, it is more important than ever for local mountain bikers to have a seat at the table and a strong, persuasive voice. I can help us get there. I am a current member of the Larimer County Planning Commission, which makes direct recommendations to the Board of County Commissioners about all land use development outside of our cities and towns. I’m also an attorney who works in local government and public policy.
My vision – make Northern Colorado and Southern Wyoming into a singular RIDE DESTINATION. Think: Moab, Crested Butte, Durango, and many others. How do we get there? Broadly speaking, we have to convince the non-mountain-biking community that it is good for them as well. We have to organize, grow our membership, put on awesome events like the Tooth or Consequences race and festival, maintain and repair existing trails, build new trails, seek sponsors and partners, and build strong ties with other community groups. I can help us get there. I am particularly interested in the long term planning process to create soft-surface trails connecting Loveland and Fort Collins to the MTB trails outside of town, and connecting the Laramie State Land Trust trails to Happy Jack.
So please vote!
Candidate 3: Hannah Wittmeyer
I was excited and unsurprised to see that the OMBC Tooth or Consequences Festival was so successful; my partner was able to attend but I had co-organized a conference that weekend in downtown Fort Collins. Congratulations on a great festival!
I would like to submit my candidacy for board role on OMBC. Though I haven’t been a member of OMBC for very long and consider myself a novice (though newly impassioned) mountain biker, I bring critical grant-writing, community engagement/networking, and related knowledge of the Northern Colorado funding and non-profit communities to your board. In my role on the Grants, Management, and Strategy team at the Bohemian Foundation, I co-manage two grant programs that serve non-profits working in Larimer and Weld counties. While the work of my team focuses on building community through music, the insights are applicable to any non-profit organization. Much of it involves diligent research, evaluation, and financial analysis. I also help manage a portfolio of board-directed grants and strive to understand the needs of our partners by developing feedback and communication mechanisms and curating a Strategic Learning plan for the Bohemian Foundation’s Music Programs. My colleagues and I frequently work with the Downtown Business Association, CSU, and the City of Fort Collins to coordinate our efforts and align our visions. I hope to bring the insight from these partnerships and collaborations to the OMBC board, especially given the vitality that biking (both mountain biking and bike culture at large) brings to the culture and livelihoods of Northern Colorado communities.
Furthermore, I have experience in event planning, having recently organized a 2-day gathering that brought together funders, non-profit leaders, researchers, policymakers, and business leaders from all over the United States. Prior to my role at Bohemian Foundation, I have worked for two other non-profit organizations, one of which I managed fundraising campaigns for, and had brief experience with executive search for board members and CEOs for corporations.
Perhaps less boring?: I want to plug into the MTB community of Northern Colorado. I grew up in Fort Collins and recently moved back. I’m an avid endurance racer, though I focus mainly on adventure racing (which usually consists of 60% MTB), trail running, and mountaineering. As my racing partner and I continue down the rabbit hole of AR, we’ve grown more passionate about preserving public lands, trails, and cultivating stewardship and respect for the trails we use across the state. I’ve worked with Sustain Music and Nature and the Wildland Restoration Volunteers to connect them with more resources to expand their work. The CO adventure racing community, while small, is an excellent model for leave-no-trace and minimizing waste and footprints. It is also a tightly knit community that helps its own. I imagine your organization is the same and would delight in serving it and the NoCO MTB community by becoming a board member.
Thank you for your consideration,