The Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition is a member supported and volunteer driven organization working to make riding a bike safer and more joyful in Minneapolis. Every year hundreds of volunteers help make our work possible; doing everything from street monitoring (and sometimes hula hooping) at Open Streets to leading work groups and group rides.
Have questions or want to learn more about getting involved?
Contact one of the staff below!
Karlie Cole, Web and Administrative Coordinator
Karlie joined the Coalition in December 2013. She loves using her tech skills to support people to connect in their neighborhoods through Open Streets as well as helping to make our streets better and safer for pedestrians and people on bikes.
She has over 10 years of international, national and local web design, development and training experience. Her B.A. in Sustainable Community Development was one of the first in the nation completed via distance learning through Prescott College.
Her advocacy work on local food and environmental issues continues including building web tools and data visualizations that support awareness and taking action. She now makes most of her family's food from scratch and is learning to make shoes.
Ethan Fawley, Executive Director
firstname.lastname@example.org | 612-964-8902
Ethan became the Coalition's Executive Director in August 2013 after being a volunteer leader since 2009. He believes you should love what you do and has a big passion for Minneapolis and the power of biking to improve quality of life in our city. Before joining the Coalition, he was the Transportation and Built Environment Director at Fresh Energy.
He holds a Masters of Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs and a B.A. in Geography, with a minor in Urban Studies from the University of Minnesota. He serves on the Minneapolis Downtown Council's Transportation Committee and Met Council's Transportation Advisory Board.
Ethan lives with his wife, Lesley, and young son, Quincy, in the Midtown Phillips neighborhood. He is a big soccer fan (including a season ticket holder of Minnesota United FC, the local team) and tries to play soccer at least twice a week.
Laura Kling, Community Organizer
email@example.com | 612-888-4528
Laura Kling joined the Coalition in September, 2014 as a Community Organizer. Since 2009, they have been co-organizing Grease Rag, a group women, trans, femme cyclists in the Twin Cities, and continues to participate in the group's activities. Through Grease Rag and other work, Laura has gained experience organizing volunteers, managing projects, and fostering safer spaces for women and transgender folks.
Laura has been living in Minnesota since 2003, and biking in Minneapolis for the last seven years, enjoying group rides, commuting, and biking in all seasons. When they are not biking or organizing around biking, Laura enjoys thinking about biking, planning bike trips, and hanging out at home with their roommate and two kitties.
Nick Ray Olson, Event Logistics Coordinator
Intermittently riding with the Coalition for two years now, Nick Ray went pro just in time for the 2016 season. Previously, he was tackling bicycle and pedestrian initiatives with the City of Minneapolis.
Performance enhancers of choice include fresh, colorful food, mid-ride reading breaks and handlebar baskets.
Connor Phelan, Communications and Outreach Associate
firstname.lastname@example.org | 612-524-8029
Connor is new to the Coalition and joined in August 2016 through Lutheran Volunteer Corps. She hails from from Wilmette, IL and graduated from St. Olaf College in May 2016 with a degree in biology and concentration in women's and gender studies. She first got into biking as a kid but was introduced to road biking in the summer of 2010 when she participated in a 280 mile bike trek up the west coast of Michigan with her fellow Venture Crew Scouts. She loves riding her beloved bike, the Hot Tamale, and is excited to explore Minneapolis by bike. When not biking, Connor enjoys playing rugby, reading, and planning her next adventure.
Emily Stumpf, Volunteer and Program Coordinator
email@example.com | 720-588-0516
Emily cruised into the Coalition in August 2015 starting as the resident Lutheran Volunteer Corps member working on communication and outreach. Falling in love with biking, Minneapolis, biking in Minneapolis and Open Streets she joined the team permanently in September 2016 as the Volunteer and Program Coordinator. Emily is from mountainous Monument, Colorado and graduated with a BA in Communication Studies and Environmental Studies from Luther College in May 2015.
In her spare time, she loves to concoct meals with farmers market finds, cycle outdoors and indoors, practice yoga, knit, travel, hike, hang on high ropes, and enjoy Minneapolis!
Alex Tsatsoulis, Development and Communications Director
firstname.lastname@example.org | 612-615-1222
Alex joined the Coalition staff in 2014, after having been a volunteer for a number of years. Previously he was the Development Director for the Minnesota AIDS Project, and before that an Associate Director of Advancement for the Sierra Club. Alex is passionate about making bicycling fun and accessible for all.
Alex has a Masters degree in Public Policy with a focus on the environment from the University of Chicago, and currently serves on the City of Minneapolis Capital Long-Range Improvement Committee (CLIC).
Alex loves biking around the Twin Cities year-round, and if he's not in the Coalition office, he's probably out riding!
José Luis Villaseñor, Community Organizer
José Luis is an avid Xicano bicyclist that works and lives in the East Phillips neighborhood for many years. He is especially committed to raising awareness on indigenous cultural roots and reclaiming our relationship with Mother Earth by promoting sustainable transportation systems and locally grown food. José Luis is also a proud father of three boys, all founding members of the Southside Bike Club.
Board of Directors
The Board meets on the first Tuesday of every other month at 6:00pm. If you are interested in more information about the Board, contact us at email@example.com.
Current Board Members
As a free range kid, growing up in Indianapolis, I have many fond memories of crisscrossing the town on my BMX bike. It gave me sense of freedom and connectedness to the community. Having moved to South Minneapolis for over 20 years ago, I was amazed at the extensive trail system and have watched it grow over the years. It is an understatement to say that this system serves me well for both recreation and commuting. I regularly ride my road bike with friends on these trails. I am also able to ride my new fixie to work in Maple Grove entirely on these bike trails. Extensive and functional systems like this do not happen easily. They are the result of technical, financial and political processes, which play out overtime, and reflect consistent and constructive engagement of organizations like the Bicycle Coalition. It is my firm belief that these trails are critical to supporting vibrant urban communities. David Byrne writes in his 'Bicycle Diaries' that you connect much deeper to a city while riding a bike in it. Nothing could be more true. The ability to safely and efficiently crisscross a city on a bike is an essential component of its long term success. Bike trails connect us to our community. As a user of our trail system, I have not yet had the opportunity to add value to it, until now. I greatly appreciate the opportunity to serve on the Coalition board and look forward to continuing the legacy by improving this important resource for current and future riders.
I have spent the last nine years as a volunteer bicycle advocate working with government, business, community groups and individuals to develop and promote bicycling in Minneapolis and Hennepin County. Prior to 2002 I was involved in every major new development of biking in Minneapolis from 1980 to 2002, first as an aide to Mayor Don Fraser from 1980 to 1994 and then as an aide to City Council President Jackie Cherryhomes from 1995 to 2002. I was assigned to oversee the Minneapolis Public Works Department. I am the former chair and a member of the Minneapolis Bicycle Advisory Committee (BAC) from its inception in 1993 to date, a member and liaison from the Minneapolis BAC to the Hennepin County BAC from 1993 to date, and member of the Bike Walk Advisory Committee of the Transit for Livable Communities (TLC) from 2006 to date, a member of the Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition for the past two years and a member of the Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota Advocacy Committee for the past three years and on other community committees and task forces to promote non-motorized transportation options. I live in north Minneapolis.
Grant Boelter, Secretary
I rediscovered the freedom bicycling offered when I bought my first road bike about four years ago, a beastly and rickety early-90s Schwinn 10-speed. After my first ride across town took about half as long as I expected, I was hooked. I enjoy riding the Midtown Greenway/Cedar Lake Trail to my office in Hopkins where I work as a writer for a marketing and public relations company. I also love riding anywhere along the Mississippi, and think it’s fantastic that we have a bike trail that runs underneath Target Field. I joined the MBC board because I want to do what I can to make it easier for anyone and everyone to give biking a try.
My favorite place to bike in Minneapolis is the Minnehaha Parkway bike trail. It's really close to my house and you can enjoy your ride without any cars. I joined the board because I am a passionate bicycle advocate, and I want to help promote bicycling as an easy and fun transportation choice, especially for women and families. My background is in public health and legislative policy. I believe building a bicycle infrastructure is a beautiful intersection of public health promotion and policy advocacy. I ride a Trek hybrid, oftentimes with a Weeride Copilot attached. I live in the Northrop neighborhood with my partner, two kids and two dogs. Our street, 17th Ave. S., is slated to become a bicycle boulevard.
Julia Bulbulian Wells
I first started using a bicycle as transportation as an undergrad at the University of Minnesota almost fifteen years ago. While being on the board at Cycles for Change as Treasurer for five years, I learned to be a full-time, year-round bike commuter. After being car free for several years now, I bike, walk, and use transit every day to get around. I believe that non-automotive transportation methods are more cost-effective, build community by allowing people the opportunity to engage with one another on the street, create an active and healthy lifestyle, and provide environmentally sustainable commuting options. I work for an environmental restoration nonprofit in finance and HR, along with doing contract accounting work for small nonprofits. I have a master's degree in Nonprofit Management, a BA in economics, and a BS in accounting. I am excited to be a part of the Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition community, and am honored to help support the Coalition's amazing work in making our city a safe and fun place to bike and walk.
Learning how to bike during my first year of undergraduate was one of the biggest accomplishment of my life. Growing up in small town in eastern part of Ethiopia, biking was male-dominated activity that was not accessible to me. I found it empowering and a great way to connect with people and cities. My professional background and interest is in public health. I have a B.A. in Biology and Anthropology from Macalester College, and MPH from UMN. Active living is a crucial component of community and individual health. Therefore I am excited to be engaged with MBC's work to improve infrastructure, awareness, access and inequities regarding active transportation in Minneapolis.
In my ideal world I’d be able to bike everywhere I need to go feeling safe and comfortable riding with my two year old son. I also strongly believe that building a critical mass of bikers utilizing a network of safe bikeways is a key part of creating vibrant and healthy communities in Minneapolis—a place I want to live, work, and play! In my day job, I run the business-end of a nonprofit that works on clean energy policy, so reducing our reliance on fossil fuels by biking is a win-win for me. I’m hoping to further the mission of the Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition by utilizing my background in human resources, governance, finance and budgeting, as well as strategic planning, revenue development, organizational systems, and general office administration. I received a BA in Environmental Studies and Geology and a MBA from the University of Minnesota, Duluth. I also hold the following certificate degrees from the University of St. Thomas: Mini MBA for Nonprofit Organizations, Mini Masters in Project Management, and Fundraising.
Casey Pavek, Treasurer
I manage a small non-profit refurbished bike and coffee shop in North Minneapolis and teach the art of bicycle repair to young people on the Northside. It is my honor to represent them on the board and present the unique perspective of a young cyclist in the emerging bike scene in North. I hope to connect young people to policy makers and city planners so they may be part of the process that builds their cycling future. My personal views on biking are pretty practical. Riding is a fun, cheap and healthy way to get around our wonderful city. The more people I can expose to that the better! Managing the only bike shop in North we introduce new riders to the scene every day. As infrastructure continues to become more inviting I believe we'll naturally see a rise in ridership. I challenge you to frown while riding a bike, it's nearly impossible.
Only recently did I rediscover the joy of bike riding. A few months after my 50th birthday, I hauled my son’s old 1998 Schwinn Searcher out of storage and jumped onto the Midtown Greenway. It was love at first ride. So far, I’m a fair weather, mostly recreational cyclist. My favorite places to bike locally are the Greenway and Cedar Lake Trails. On pleasant summer weekend days I enjoy riding out to Excelsior, usually with a stop for lunch at 318 Cafe. I’m a case manager (aka social worker) at a Minneapolis non-profit social service agency. I completed a B.A. in Psychology at the University of Minnesota, and one year of postgraduate work at William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul. I want to help make Minneapolis a safer, more welcoming place to ride bikes, especially for new and less experienced cyclists. I live near downtown in the Whittier neighborhood.
I began bike commuting to my workplace at the UofM in 2008 and was immediately hooked. I love beginning and ending my day with fresh air, a little exercise, and lots of smiles as I pass my fellow cyclists on the Greenway. I enjoy biking on Bryant Ave. S. ... to get groceries at the Wedge, early morning donuts at Bogarts, or to the Sculpture Garden for a picnic. As a Kingfield resident, you can also find me loading up my bike baskets every Sunday at the Kingfield Farmers Market. I have benefited greatly by the inspiring bicycling advocacy work being done in Minneapolis and have decided that now is my time to contribute what I can to this important initiative. My day job is in education abroad at the UofM and I have a M.A. in Comparative and International Development Education.
Annie Van Cleve
LaTrisha Vetaw, President
I am on the board representing North Minneapolis. I love riding my Purple Bianci Road bike around the Nortside! I have worked in North Minneapolis for over 10 years and I love for people to recognize me while biking especially with a helmet on. My reason for joining this board is to create safer streets and trails for bikers on the Northside. I would also love more education and trainings for residents around using bikes as transportation.
Maria Wardoku, Vice President
I joined the board of the Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition to grow the power of community members to advocate collectively for the kind of infrastructure that makes our city a safe and easy place to ride a bike (and a more fun place to live!). I especially hope to make cycling safer for women and others who are frequent targets of street harassment. I am a Northeast Minneapolis resident and passionate bike commuter, and it is my dream to ride on a connected network of protected bikeways all through the city. I mostly use my bike for going to work, running errands, and visiting friends, but I also love riding my bike along the Mississippi River and the Midtown Greenway just for fun and exercise.
I stopped biking sometime in grade school for reasons I don't remember. On a whim one weekend day in summer 2010, I borrowed my mom's bike for a trial commute to my job at the University of Minnesota. I rode from my home in Northeast Minneapolis to the West Bank campus along West River Road, a separated bike trail. I was tired on this inaugural commute, but never felt unsafe on the trail, and a joyful passion for riding bikes was born. I quickly bought a used bike and fell in love. I have volunteered with the Coalition since 2012, and am excited to serve on the Board to advance safer and more comfortable streets for all riders, so that more people can share a similar story of discovering the joys of biking. I love group rides, commuting to "unexpected" destinations (like weddings and job interviews), and biking to and through nature, with a book and a camera along for the ride.
Melody Hoffmann, Enforcement Work Group Lead
Sarah Tschida, Fundraising Committee Lead