Voting for 2023 Board Members will take place at online from Dec. 1-5, and in person at our Dec. 6 Social Meeting at Magellan's On Main Street.
Metro members can vote online from December 1-5 HERE.
No online votes will be accepted on December 6.
Melissa Clark (candidate for Board Chair):
Hello, I’m Melissa Clark, current Metro Mountain Bikers Board Secretary.
Serving on the Metro Board the past 2 years, I’ve had the privilege of working with extremely passionate individuals advocating for trails, building and maintaining trails, and putting on community events and fundraisers. I’ve met many riders and their families and have listened to their stories, visions and desires for Metro Mountain Bikers. My dedication to Metro stems from the joy and passion for mountain biking I find in these individuals. I am running for the Chair position to continue to serve our cycling community and to build upon what Metro Volunteers have built for us over the past three decades.
Metro MTB Activities the Past 2 Years that I’m Proud of:
- Building Strong Relationships and Communication with our Leadership and Trail Stewards across all four Metro Counties: Milwaukee, Waukesha, Washington, and Ozaukee County. Communication is fundamental for an organization’s success.
- Metro’s most successful fundraising campaign ever! Our IMBA Dig-In Campaign where we fundraised $23,000 for a Skills Park at Heritage Trails County Park!! (credit John Slawny for leading the Dig-In Grant)
- Planning this year’s Women’s International Mountain Bike Day. I have been involved in this event since its fruition in 2021 with fellow founder and Board Member, Lindsay Carlson.
- Planned and organized our Sept. Metro Meet & Social/ Pizza at Heritage to Fundraise for our Skills Park. We raised over $1,000 on site through this event!
- Trail Fairy Recognition: created Trail Fairy of the Month and led our annual awarding of our Metro Trail Fairies.
- Merch Sales: Pop-up Merch Sales at Heritage in Fall of 2023 and helping with trucker hats and pre-order sales in 2022 which have fundraised a few thousand dollars for our trail projects!
- Ride to Burch! A pop-up event I planned and organized in just 3 days, where we got over 60 people to ride out to former Metro MTB Chair, Dave Burch’s, home to show our support in his fight against Leukemia. (credits: Amelia from Wheel & Sprocket, Magellan’s on Main and Ron Stawicki)
- Metro Road Trip to Silver Lake! Our first Metro social visiting another local trail system! I organized the group rides, grilling and potluck, games, and raffle! We met a lot of great new friends, and the event increased our Membership. (credits: John Slawny for co-planning, booking, and donating the Silver Lake Pavilion rental)
- Organized and led the 2023 Earth Day Clean up at Tosa’s Oak Hill Trails! We had over 30 folks come out and we cleaned out an incredible amount of trash from the urban trail.
- Planned and organized our Kegel-Alpha 2.0 Trail Opening Group Ride and Associated Metro MTB Meeting at W&S in Franklin.
- Planned and led our Burch Barn Dedication at Minooka, June 4th to honor Dave Burch and celebrate our new equipment storage shed.
- Planned our Bike-to-Bennos ride to Celebrate Marty’s Retirement (credits: Ron Stawicki for route and group ride lead)
- Planning and Coordination with our County Partners: I’ve met with Waukesha, Milwaukee, and Washington County on our trail projects.
- Volunteering for Trail Workdays (putting in the manual labor) for multiple trail workdays across multiple counties. Not being the best at moving dirt, I’ve also volunteered to bring refreshments to our Trail Volunteers.
- Responsible for most of Metro’s Social Media posts on Facebook and Instagram.
- Planning, coordinating, and promoting most of our Metro Meetings the past two years. I also have taken and issued Meeting Minutes from all our meetings as part of my Secretary duties.
My Goals for Metro MTB 2024-2026:
- We must Grow our Membership. We are currently around 170 Members. This is very low considering we have 7 trail systems spanning over 4 Counties. Membership is what “keeps the lights on” for our organization. It covers our insurance to build, maintain and put on events, and covers the cost for our non-profit organization to exist. Minooka’s Facebook page has 3,600 followers, Heritage has 3,100 followers. We need to be better at sharing our story and the significance supporting our trails. We can’t do more until we build upon our base.
- Maintaining our Trails in All Four Counites. We cannot push to build more if we are not doing a stellar job maintaining the trails we have. We need to bring in new Volunteers and Trail Stewards to care for the 30+ miles of single track we have. We have work to be done with bridges and rerouting sections at our Tosa Trails. We need Trail Directors for our Ozaukee Country Trails.
- Expanding Trails within the City and our Metro Communities. Metro’s Mission is to bring mountain biking to our Milwaukee and Metro’s communities. Many do not have the privilege to be transported to ride trails in rural locations. We want to build more trails to serve our urban and suburban communities. We have teamed with the Chris Kegel Foundation to bring a bike park to inner city Milwaukee, and we will continue to advocate to make this vision a reality.
- Strengthening our Relationships with our County Partners to Build More. We cannot build new trails and advocate for more trails without a successful partnership with the Counties. We are hopeful for opportunities to build more trails in Waukesha County. We are actively working to bring more trails to Milwaukee County Parks.
- Continuing our Trail Building at Heritage and Retaining the Talent of our Heritage Volunteers. We are currently working with Washington County on our Heritage MTB Trails Master Plan and visioning the next 5+ years. To keep our builders building and bring these projects to fruition, we need to do a lot of fundraising.
- FUNDRAISING! Did I mention we continually need to fundraise? We cannot dream of new trails without massive fundraising and grant writing efforts.
- Continuing and Doing more Community Events such as Women’s International Mountain Biking Day, our Metro Road Trip, and other fun social events and rides at our Trails. The social aspect of our regional Mountain Bike Club is essential. I will continue to plan and push for more social rides, events, and gatherings.
- Bringing back Metro MTB Socks!
Professionally, I am an Architect, and my expertise includes master planning, programming, conceptual design, all phases of building design and construction, leading the multidisciplinary design teams of Consultants and Engineers, legal contracts, meeting with the local jurisdictions, the DNR, land-use, building codes and permitting, neighborhood engagement, producing fundraising packages and participating in fundraising events, as well as documentation for sustainable design accreditations, energy grants and other incentives. I am also a LEED and WELL Accredited Professional which denotes Leadership in Sustainable Design, Health, and Wellness. My most recent projects are the $110 million Student Center at Georgia Tech completed last year and my current project, a new $96 million Library at UW Stevens Point, has just started construction. This professional experience directly correlates to the role of Chair for Metro MTB in visioning for the future and leading teams to execute our projects across our four counties. I am hoping to pass on my responsibilities as Board Secretary and focus on leading our organization to achieve our goals for 2024 and beyond.
Kevin Eccles (candidate for Board Chair and Board Co-Chair):
Kevin began racing road bikes at the age of 14 and continued for twelve years until he realized a serious lack of talent would sideline his professional aspirations. After graduating from the UW Madison School of Business, Kevin joined Team Sports, Inc., where he managed media relations and sponsorship sales for the Saturn Cycling Team, Volvo Cannondale Mountain Bike Team, Saeco Timex Women’s Cycling Team, Rollerblade (Racing and Aggressive) Teams.
He was a co-founder and Executive Director of Team Sports Events, where he developed the 24 Hours of 9 Mile mountain bike race, 24 Hours of Telemark cross country ski race, Pedro’s Fest Midwest, and the Wisconsin Off-Road Series race at Alpine Valley, WI. Kevin was also the Local Event Director of the 2002 Alpine Valley stop of the NORBA National Championship Series event.
Kevin later worked as the Marketing Director of Wisconsin Sports Development Foundation where they ran the Badger State Games, and acted as local organizers of Ironman Wisconsin, and ESPN’s Great Outdoor Games. After a long career in sports management, Kevin moved into Financial Technology where he has enjoyed an 18-year sales career with FIS.
Kevin is an avid road rider, mountain bike rider, nordic skier, and hunter.
After coaching soccer for 15 years, Kevin is excited to re-focus his volunteer efforts back to the cycling community. If elected to the MMB board, he hopes to use his past bicycle industry and tourism experience to continue the long-standing partnership with the county parks systems, other officials, and ownership groups. He plans to use his professional relationship acumen to expand volunteer engagement and fundraising to benefit MMB maintenance, advocacy, and expansion efforts.
Michael Golden (candidate for Board Member at Large):
I am looking to join the Metro Mtb Board to help maintain and expand mountain and fat bike riding opportunities in the Metro Milwaukee area for people of all abilities and skills, and from a wide variety of backgrounds. I have a passion for bringing new people into the sport, as witnessed by my NICA experience, and would like to expand on that evangelism by working as part of a team/organization that is invested in expanding and improving the trails systems in our area. Thank you for your consideration - Mike
Volunteer and Board Experience
In Cedarburg (2011 - present)
In Oshkosh (prior to 2011):
Marion Gottschalk (candidate for Board Member at Large):
I am a business owner, a wife, a singer, a cyclist, and most importantly a parent. My son Matthew got me interested in Mountain Biking in his 7th grade year at St. Robert School in Shorewood, Wi. The Shorewood district allows any child in the village regardless of what school they attend to be a part of their sports clubs. Due to illness resulting in the loss of a kidney, ball sports were not the best idea for our kid; doctors wanted him to wear a kidney protector while playing. He didn’t care for that. It was too hot and cumbersome. We tried Cross Country. My kid, like his mom, has terrible feet and really thinks running should be reserved for when one is being chased. Enter Mountain Biking. Matt took to a helmet much better than a kidney guard. We got him a Trek Marlin and it became his “lifelong sport.” That summer he insisted that I try it and become a coach like his friends’ parents.
Fast forward 6 years. I became a NICA coach and have loved every minute of it. My son had his final NICA race this October and we are both continuing to coach next year. What NICA has to offer middle school and high schoolers in incomparable. The friendships, leadership skills, love of nature, and introduction to nature conservation that NICA brings to the table is unparalleled and could not be possible in Southeastern Wisconsin without trail access and the work that MMB does.
This summer I got to experience urban mountain biking at its finest. Minority Mountain bikers held its first event in Wisconsin. Through a partnership between MMB, Minority Mountain Bikers, Boys and Girls Club and the Bike Fed, I had the opportunity to teach elementary school students about mountain biking, trails, and nature. That experience changed me. The looks on the kid’s faces as they conquered the brown loop at John Muir was pure joy. The work done to maintain trails within an urban area is essential. Urban trails are accessible, inexpensive learning opportunities and fun for populations that are often isolated.
In the last 15 years I have served on several boards. I have an excellent grasp of what a well-run working board’s responsibilities are and would love to serve for MMB. MMB’s mission excites me. I can bring organizational acumen, my enthusiasm and energy and the perspective of a coach, parent, and cycling.
Past Board Experience
Shorewood Foundation, VP Marketing 9 years
My responsibilities included fundraising, planning fundraisers, and working on marketing and social media for the organization.
Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Forte Chair (5 years)
Forte is the volunteer organization for the symphony. My responsibilities included organizing volunteers, planning and executing fundraisers, securing sponsorships.
St. Robert School Advisory Board, Technology Chair (3 years)
My responsibilities included assessing technology being used in the school, evaluating new tech purchases for security, financial viability, and usefulness.
Current Board Experience
Florentine Opera 2020-present, Finance Committee/Technology advisor
In addition to donating CIO as a service and technical support to the opera through my company, I sit on their finance committee providing guidance as a small business owner.
Tom Hartman (candidate for Board Member at Large):
I’m Tom Hartman and I have just completed my first two years as a Member at Large on the MMB Board. My focus and time have been invested predominately on the Heritage Trails project. While leading the Heritage project I have been responsible for raising the money to fund the trail system, as well as working closely supporting Gavin and the others who have done an outstanding job of creating something quite special for the upper Midwest Mountain bike community. I have also invested a lot of time as the MMB point of contact negotiating with Washington county to build a long-term relationship focused on building out Heritage as a regional mountain bike destination. There have been many challenges with the mining project, park neighbors, and keeping all involved moving forward. The reward in addition to building something quite unique and special has clearly been meeting and working with an ambitious great group of people.
Heritage has so much to offer because we have one of the best trail builders in the country, a property located along the highway 41 corridor making it accessible to a large population, a supportive landowner, and an exceptional group of volunteers.
My vision for MMB and SE Wisconsin is to build out at least 5 plus miles of new trails per year and work to secure new properties in Waukesha and or Milwaukee County to continue the momentum once Heritage is nearing completion. It is realistic that MMB can reach 60 miles of trails in 5 years.
I’m willing to invest a few more years to keep Heritage moving forward and would appreciate your vote.
Kayla Weiss (candidate for Board Secretary):
Hi, I’m Kayla Weiss. As an avid mountain biker with a passion for promoting the sport and trail advocacy, I am thrilled to be considered for Club Secretary.
My involvement in the biking community spans various roles and initiatives:
- Treasurer & Gear Coordinator, Team Pedal Moraine: Effectively manage finances and gear needs for a local biking team. Collaborated with Borah and the team on Kit design, demonstrating strong organizational skills and effective communication.
- Level 1 BICP Certified Mountain Bike Instructor: Committed to promoting safe and enjoyable riding experiences through professional certification and continuous learning.
- Level 2 NICA Coach, Washington County Trail Sharks: Guiding and mentoring young riders, instilling a passion for the sport while promoting safe riding and skill development.
- Instructor, Ninja Mountain Bike Performance: Sharing knowledge and expertise, empowering riders to enhance their skills and confidence on trails.
- Raced in WORS (Wisconsin Off Road Series): Participating in competitive events, showcasing a passion for the sport.
- Active Involvement at Heritage Trails: Contributing to the maintenance of trails, ensuring an enjoyable riding environment for the community.
- WI MTB Trail Work Network: Established a facebook group for sharing trail work events in the state of Wisconsin.
My dedication and accomplishments include:
- Organizing Pop-Up Merch Sale (November 2023): Volunteered to conduct merch sales with Melissa Clark, selling out every Double Dragon T-Shirt and successfully raising over $1500 in funds dedicated to trail maintenance and enhancement.
- Metro's Trail Fairy of the Month (May 2023): Recognized for consistent dedication to trail maintenance and volunteering at International Women's MTB Day where I held an Athletic Brewing N/A Beer tasting and a longest jump competition for female riders at John Muir.
- Fundraising Efforts (August 2023): Prepared and delivered a PowerPoint presentation alongside Tom Hartman to Slinger Kiwanis, aiming to raise funds for the skills park at Heritage Trails. While we are still awaiting for a decision on Metro being selected as their beneficiary next year, the presentation generated significant interest and positive feedback.
- Team Pedal Moraine Kit Cost-Savings (June 2022): Led a cost saving initiative resulting in an extra $2,200 in savings by personally managing orders, creating invoices, collecting payments, and manually sorting gear. This streamlined process eliminated the necessity for a club store, maximizing our team's savings.
My involvement in fundraising, events, trail maintenance, and coaching reflects my commitment to the mountain biking community. If elected, I aim to further advocate for trail access and continue my involvement with the community.
Thank you for considering my candidacy. I am excited about the opportunity to contribute my expertise and passion to the growth and betterment of our mountain biking community.