2017 Board of Directors Candidate Bios

It’s time to start off the new year for NWTA with our annual board of directors elections.  This year, we have some existing directors renewing their commitment to NWTA, as well as some new folks generously offering their time and talents in support of our mission.  Please join us at our January general membership meeting to cast your vote.  Membership meeting details can be found here.

Andrew Yeoman

Hello NWTA members,

My name is Andrew Yeoman and I am running for my second term on the NWTA board. I have served as the NWTA’s treasurer for the past two years and look forward to hopefully continuing on in that role if re-elected. I am well-suited to serve the NWTA as its treasurer as I have a post-bachelor’s certificate in accounting. I also have personal experience in managing accounts and communicating with financial institutions and regulatory bodies. As the NWTA treasurer, I have ensured that our assets have been meticulously and conservatively tracked and managed, allowing the NWTA board to make decisions that stand in line with our resources and that return maximum value against cost.

I began mountain biking 7 years ago in Chicago and my passion for the sport has grown tremendously since moving to Portland 6 years ago. I’m a member of the Ruckus Test Team and I particularly love big day all-mountain riding, as well as traditional cross country, cyclocross and enduro racing. I’m also looking forward to trying a bit of downhill in 2017. Thanks!

Chris Negri

Hi, I’m Chris Negri. I started working with NWTA about 1.5 years ago helping with communication and doing the newsletter. I then joined the NWTA Board of Directors to fill a vacated position this past summer.

I’m interested in continuing as a director because I feel communicating with our members is important to the long term health and success of our organization. Working as a director with the board allows me to be more effective in helping NWTA communicate with our members, prospective members, and the general public.

Before moving to Oregon in 2008, I lived in the SF Bay area for 20 years. The political atmosphere there was fairly anti MTB with very little rideable single track close in — sound familiar? My experience living in the Bay Area motivated me to get involved with NWTA. I want to work with NWTA to help ensure we are doing all we can to protect, maintain, and grow the riding areas we have, and help advocate for more, especially close to, and within the Portland Metro area.

Through my participation in numerous NWTA events over the past year-and-a-half, I’ve been impressed and energized by the huge number of enthusiastic volunteers engaged in helping our sport in so many ways — and it made me feel positive about our long term ability to grow and be successful in furthering our mission: To create, enhance, and protect mountain bike riding opportunities; to advocate for trail access; to promote responsible mountain biking; and to build, maintain, and ride sustainable trails.

If you’re interested in my professional background, feel free to visit my LinkedIn profile Thanks!

Chris Rotvik

My Motivation
I love mountain biking— being in the flow, in nature. I first joined NWTA simply to express gratitude for the trails I love. As an active volunteer, I enjoy the community, growing myself and the NWTA, and ultimately seeding health and happiness through the effort.

The Opportunity
I see opportunity all around NWTA, so much so that it’s inspiring.

I see Gateway Green not only setting a high water mark for a suburban bike park, but becoming a catalyst, infusing energy into surrounding neighborhoods and opening Portland hearts and minds to mountain biking. Properties such as Chehalem Ridge and Forest Park becoming the trail ride chill to workday stress, and a growing family’s gateway into our world.

I see a wedge of the Tillamook State Forest becoming our reply to BC’s Coast Gravity Park, and, coupled with coming expansions to Sandy Ridge and Stub Stewart, creating a bike tourism economy that spirals upward.

I see a weekly pump track elimination wedged between Short Track and ‘cross season. NICA events hosted on many, if not all, of our trail systems. A local Enduro series feeding talent into the OES and the NAET. #Morekidsonbikes. #Moregirlsonbikes. Oh, and just for fun, the West Coast’s retort to the Fat Bike Birkie: Yardsale, a one of a kind, dead of winter, in the snow downhill for fat bikes.

And I see the NWTA recognized by Northwest land use managers as their go-to center of trail building expertise and resources, assisting them in creating value for the communities they serve. I even see Pinkbike and Freehub features on our trails and builders.

All riders, all trails.

What I Bring
I’m about service. Collaboration. All-inclusive community. Synergy across our ecosystem of sponsors, members, land use managers, and industry. Respect.

I’m about setting goals and strategy. Seeing the big picture, painting the details. Learning new stuff. Results. And having fun every step of the way.

I’m also a technology guy. I’ve managed people and businesses. Worked as a self-employed marketing and design consultant, corporate minion, and tech startup executive. I bring business acumen, logic, and creative skill to the party.

I Can Help
I’d love to help guide NWTA to the next level. Get our story out there. Increase the breadth and flow of sponsorship, the reach and engagement of our membership. Raise funds. Produce events.

But I’m not picky.

Bob Lessard
I have been an avid mountain biker for 25 years, and an NWTA director for the last two years. I have worked in forestry, wildlife, and fisheries management most of my life. I believe that the NWTA can play a meaningful role in developing recreational opportunities for our community. I believe we have fostered good working relationships with local and regional land management partners, and we can build on that reputation to expand our reach. I advocate for bringing more riding opportunities to the greater Portland area and I strongly support regional partners and clubs. I think we have abundant local parks and green spaces that should be accessible to cyclists, and our members should not have to drive an hour to have access to safe off road cycling activity.

Matthew Weintraub

Hello NWTA members, my name is Matthew Weintraub, and I am running for my first full term on you Board of Directors.  In the spring of 2016 was appointed by the Board to fill a vacancy, dutifully served my fellow members and am back for more.  I grew up in MTB free Seattle and as a high school boy had to poach trails throughout my city in order to satisfy my desire for riding.  I don’t want that for our children here in Portland and throughout Northwestern Oregon.

I previously worked for the International Mountain Bicycling Association and bring many years of experience in bicycle advocacy across four states to NWTA.   Coupled with an educational background in natural resource management and current work in tourism destination marketing, I bring a suite of applicable skills to serve our members and community.  My particular strengths lay in the areas of long-range planning, advocacy and governmental and land manger relations.

My perfect day on the bike is cruising along single-track through high-elevation montane forest and into alpine meadows with several friends in tow.  My ideal commute to work includes two wheels and features those 0.2 miles of neighborhood single-track we all helped to build and maintain, as a respite from horns, exhaust fumes and angry drivers.  I look forward to serving all NWTA members by making Portland and NW Oregon the best place to ride mountain bikes possible!

Abby Watson

I grew up outside Cleveland, OH and started chasing my dad around our local “ski hill” on his hand-me-down mountain bike when I was in 6th grade. He’s 6’2″ and I’m 5’4″ (on a good day), so needless to say the fit left something to be desired and I ultimately stopped riding bikes in high school when I realized that all my friends were playing more traditional sports. At the time, there was no community of peers for me as a 14-year-old girl in mountain biking, so I hung up my bike for the next 10 years until I moved to Portland. When I moved to Portland, riding bikes became my means of exploring a new city, meeting friends and finding direction professionally. Over the past eight years, I’ve worked for Chris King, Trek, Rapha and adidas. I’ve been a brand ambassador, bike racer, team manager and avid commuter. I’ve organized women’s cycling events and helped develop new cyclists primarily focused on road and CX.

Despite my previous focus on road and CX, I’ve maintained my MTB roots. As a part of NWTA I want to build a women’s MTB community that brings new riders into the sport and helps connect and develop women who are already riding.

I’m also interested in working with NWTA for selfish reasons – Portland’s a cyclists dream, unless you want to ride MTB. I want to be a part of solution rather than complaining that we only have .5 mile of single track in Forest Park. I want to leverage things like OBRA to grow NWTA and create more unity across subsets of Portland cyclists around the common goal of increasing responsible trail access for mountain biking within city limits.

Erin Chipps

Born and raised by sort-of-hippies in beautiful and super fun Salem, Oregon, I developed an appreciation for outdoor adventure at an early age. What else is a quiet, law-abiding kid in Salem to do besides entertain herself in the woods? Though bikes played just a small roll in my childhood, I spent much of my free time exploring and appreciating nature from foot trails or on horseback, or just sitting by our pond and watching the small creatures that lived there. This youthful interest in the natural world led to a bachelor’s degree in biology, followed by a master’s degree in environmental management, and ultimately a “very professional” government job hiking remote forests, exploring ghost towns, riding ATV’s, and generally having a grand old time and getting paid for it all while ensuring compliance with environmental laws and regulations, and building solid and trusting relationships with people in federal, state, and local government offices.

I bought my first mountain bike when I was 14 years old… A rad full-rigid Specialized Hard Rock which was primarily used to commute on pavement to my best friend’s house when my parents didn’t want to drive me. Then I turned 16 & drove everywhere for the next 13 years. I didn’t really ride bikes for fun again until my late 20s when I started racing cylcocross… Then of course came more bikes and more bike-related outings with friends, and eventually everyone realized that mountain biking is way more fun than road riding, and weekends were spent driving to far off lands just to ride our bikes on dirt.

I would like to be on the NWTA Board of Directors because I want to help change the way that mountain bikers are perceived in Portland, with the hope that changing public perception can help alleviate our issues with access to trails in the area. Most of us are not Red Bull Rampagers. Many of us are women and children. We are out to get away from civilization for a few hours, to enjoy the sights, smells, sounds, and feels of the forest (or grasslands, or wherever it is we ride), to move our bodies and test our physical limits, and to revel in the accomplishment of clearing whatever obstacle we might face on the trail. We are here to help build and maintain trails so that others can enjoy them and the natural environment for years to come. I believe that with my background in natural sciences and 10 years of hands-on experience coordinating and cooperating with the public and government employees to reach agreement on sometimes controversial projects, I can be an asset to NWTA’s advocacy efforts.

Susan Rotvik

Hello fellow NWTA members. I am Susan Rotvik and I am running for my first term of the NWTA board. I have been a member of NWTA for two years, becoming a more active volunteer last summer with organizing the Take A Kid Mountain Biking Day (TKMBD) event. Back in the day, I was a member of P.U.M.P for a couple years, when it first organized.

I am running for an administrative position, a role I am excited to hold, and serve in a capacity I am very comfortable with. My corporate career was in International Marketing at Tektronix for 16 years, before stepping off “Wall Street” to “Sesame Street” to become a stay-home mom and raise our family. The subsequent years provided me the opportunity to volunteer in my community and I have been a full time volunteer ever since. I have been blessed to support organizations like Lake Oswego School District, Tualatin Riverkeepers, Oregon Public Broadcasting, Oregon Natural Health Clinic, American Red Cross and now NWTA.

I’m a mountain biker at heart; ever since my parents gave me my first girls banana seat bike back in the mid sixties. My Dad was a builder in Corvallis, and we always had mounds of rock and gravel around our house, to support his construction projects. Much to my Dad’s chagrin, I loved to ride up the side of these mounds, trying to see if I could get to the top before the avalanche of gravel would take me and my bike back to the bottom. Soon I was following the older neighbor kids on their bikes and discovered little trails here and there that lead me to secret places: a little pond no one knew about and an old abandoned cabin the older boys told me was haunted (I think they were just trying to scare off this little kid that kept tagging along). I saw deer in the fields, watched raptors hunt rodents from the skies, and found snakes and frogs along the ponds edge (yes, I love reptiles and all life). I rode animal trails to my elementary school so I could swing on the big swings, and not have to wait my turn ~ very important stuff when your 6, 7, 8 years old! My bike was my freedom and everyday was an adventure ~ that sealed my love for mountain biking as it always takes me to magical places!

As I started junior high our family moved from Corvallis to a farm in Washington and the two-wheeled pony was traded for the four legged kind. My parents said it wasn’t safe for me to bike the Yakima Valley with loaded Tree Top apple trucks barreling down windy country roads, so they gave me a horse. Spent those years literally kicking $#it (cleaning stalls), milking cows, moving irrigation pipes and helping my folks run our small farm. Loved those years and they developed in me a strong work ethic and a no nonsense, tell it like it is approach to life. If the Emperor is naked, I ain’t gonna say he’s got a pretty coat on!

Bought my first mountain bike in the eighties, a Cannondale M500, full rigid. Loved to ride her on the fire lanes and trails of Forest Park; this is where I met the members of P.U.M.P one evening and joined their weekly group rides. As soon as front suspension forks came out I upgraded my M500 and discovered my love for upgraditis! I believe in the right tool for the right job, and I love all aspects of mountain biking, so today I have a wonderful stable of two wheeled ponies that take me on amazing adventures at places like Stub Stewart, Sandy Ridge, Rainbow-Riverside, Mollala River Corridor, and “Rattlesnake Ridge” (the Deschutes River in Biggs). This summer I discovered pump tracks and Lumberyard!!! and of course, had to add a DJ pony to the stable (absolutely N+1). I bring all this to the table to serve NWTA: a lifetime passion for mountain biking, a strong work ethic, an honest approach to life and an enthusiasm for adventure and magic all facilitated by the two wheeled ponies I love!