The search is over. Our board has hired a new Executive Director and we are thrilled to announce that it is Barb Chamberlain of Spokane.
serves as the Director of Communications and Public Affairs for the
Washington State University-Spokane campus, where she has built the
communications staff from one person to a team of six. She is also a
founding board member of the Empire Health Foundation, led a successful
Spokane public school levy campaign, and served on the North Idaho
College board of trustees.
With a passion
for bicycling and active transportation, Barb worked with the Bicycle
Alliance and a host of other groups when she volunteered to spearhead
Spokane’s Bike to Work Week beginning in 2008. She was a member of the
Spokane Bicycle Advisory Board and chaired the group in 2010-2011, and
currently serves on the Transportation Advisory Committee for Spokane
Regional Transportation Council. She is a daily bike commuter and
launched the blog, Bike Style Spokane, as a way to encourage more women to try biking.
Barb has been a
policy maker as well as a policy advocate. In 1990 she became the
youngest woman ever elected to the Idaho state legislature, where she
served as a state representative and senator for the Coeur d’Alene area.
An Inland Northwest native, she welcomes the opportunity to apply her
talents with a statewide organization.
Alliance does great work that doesn’t get as much recognition as it
deserves. With my experience in communications, marketing and branding I
hope to position it for a clear understanding of its statewide role and
importance,” Barb stated.
that we do that in partnership both with bike groups and with others
working in this general arena, so another priority for me personally is
to understand and assess all existing partnerships and look for
opportunities to strengthen and to add to the overall network so it’s
truly statewide,” she continued.
On the policy
front, Barb wants to grow awareness both within the community of people
who ride bikes and with leaders who work on tra nsportation
policy and community and economic development of just how important
bicycling is and why it deserves serious policy attention and consistent
funding. She believes bike infrastructure and a fully multimodal
transportation network in general will make critical contributions to
improved health, to congestion mitigation, to air and water quality, and
so many more problems we face.
critical work to do given last week's congressional action on
transportation and the Bicycle Alliance will work with partners at all
levels to ensure our future transportation system reflects how America
wants to travel, which is increasingly multimodal in scope," reflected
transportation for everyone, even for people who will never ride a bike
because it helps them if others make that shift to cut down on traffic,
parking, emissions, and wear and tear on the streets,” she elaborated.
“With Washington named the #1 Bike-Friendly State for the fifth year in a
row by the League of American Bicyclists, and with the attention biking
is getting on many fronts, we need to grow as an organization to rise
to the expectations and the opportunities we have before us. We can
genuinely lead the nation and that’s where we need to be.”
president of the Bicycle Alliance board of directors, is looking forward
to working with Barb to grow the organization and to achieve their
mission of bringing cycling into the transportation mainstream.
“Barb has a
great combination of skills, a long history of activism and political
involvement, and a passion for cycling advocacy. I’m confident that her
background as a professional communicator will serve us well in helping
a broad segment of policymakers and the public to understand that
getting more people on bikes will benefit everyone,” he remarked. “The
goals we’ve set for ourselves as an organization are challenging, but
with Barb’s leadership I know we’ll create and seize every opportunity
we can to achieve them.”
Barb grew up in
the Inland Northwest, first near Lewiston, Idaho, then in the Spokane
Valley. She was a recreational rider until a bike lane was installed in
front of her house. The new bike facility motivated her to try bike
commuting and she’s been biking to work ever since.
She and husband
Eric Abbott, who is a bike racer, have four children between them.
They enjoy family bike rides, movies and board games. Barb loves to
cook and bake bread using her pet sourdough starter. When time allows,
she also practices yoga and knits.
Barb will take the reins as Executive Director in August. Outgoing director Barbara Culp announced her retirement earlier this year and will assist with the transition.