Meet our Board of Directors. They guide the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition in fulfilling our mission. Board membership is a volunteer position for a two-year term, with elections held annually online and at our annual membership meeting.
To find out more about the functions and duties of the Board, see our governance structure and bylaws.
Amie is a passionate cycling evangelist, environmentalist, and urbanist. She is committed to the idea that cities should have cyclists in mind during local and regional decision making. Amie works as an environmental planner and project manager and has championed bike-related amenities as part of roadway improvements, commercial office, public park, and residential development projects throughout the Bay Area. She is a dedicated bike/Caltrain commuter and appreciates the physical and mental boost that an active commute provides. As a board member, Amie leverages her connections with city staff and partners the development world to ensure that necessary bicycle infrastructure is included in long-range planning documents and is ultimately constructed. If you build bike paths, they will ride!
Phil’s cycling passion started as a child in a Los Angeles suburb riding his bike to school and around town. Eventually, school and his career brought Phil and family to the Silicon Valley and he has ridden thousands of miles on Bay Area roads and trails since.
Having started riding in Los Angeles, it’s always been clear to Phil that the Silicon Valley bicycle advocates and planners made a huge contribution to the safety and success of road cycling in the area. Phil would like to continue to develop that legacy for all future riders. Safety on the roads continues to be a big challenge. For example, while many of our roads have safe shoulders for cyclists, there’s much more to do. One of the most challenging areas, and the one he’d really like to impact, is raising awareness in the cycling and driver communities on how to safely co-exist.
Gary has been an avid cyclist for over forty-five years. His passion for cycling has shaped his professional career. He has been in private law practice since 1976, specializing in personal injury litigation. Twenty-five years ago he decided to specialize in bicycle litigation and today his entire caseload consists only of cycling-related matters. He has personally handled over 1,000 bicycle cases.
Gary is also very committed to bicycle advocacy. In addition to his work on the Board of Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition, he also served on the Board of Directors of the League of American Bicyclists for nine years, the Board of Directors of the California Bicycle Coalition for ten years and the Sacramento Bicycle Advocates Advisory Board.
His office proudly co-sponsors the Velo Girls as well as many other groups and cycling activities. In his spare time, he acts as a volunteer attorney for various racing clubs, writes magazine and newspaper articles, and travels across the country speaking to bicycle clubs about cycling safety and the law.
Poncho Guevara is the Executive Director of Sacred Heart Community Service, one of the leading grassroots antipoverty organizations in Silicon Valley. A native of Santa Clara County, Guevara’s professional career has been geared toward the advancement of low-income families –from providing direct services and community organizing, to serving in executive management roles in nonprofit housing and human service organizations.
Guevara’s experience has reinforced his dedication to creating systemic responses to poverty through a combination of investments in human services and organizing for wider public policy solutions. By cultivating and creating bridges between diverse constituencies, he has helped develop and lead campaigns on critical issues in workforce development, children’s health care, homelessness, affordable housing, and wage standards. Guevara is also involved in a coalition of organizations working to provide better transit options for transit-dependent individuals.
Poncho Guevara lives in San José with his two daughters. In addition to his expertise as a nonprofit executive, he represents the “every day rider” perspective.
Andrew Hsu has been riding a bicycle ever since a young kid, when his dad needed a companion to go on his bike trips to Washington DC from their suburban Virginia home. From then, Andrew’s passion for cycling has developed, much to the dismay of his family, into a life-long obsession. Rarely a day goes by when Andrew does not talk about bicycles and their complementary benefits to our modern society, or attempt to simplify a complex issue through the use of a bicycle racing analogy.
Although bicycle racing continues to be a strong interest, these days, Andrew does most of his bicycle riding on his daily 30 mile commute to work. While this started as a way to avoid the monstrous traffic on the 101 freeway, it also helps maintain enough fitness so his teammates do not laugh too hard when he competes in the soul-crushing world of masters cat4 road racing,
When not on his bike, Andrew spends lots of time thinking of bikes and how to get more people to ride them. Beyond racing for Peninsula Velo, a 300+ member performance-oriented bicycling club, since 1998, Andrew joined their board of directors in 2010, and then served as president from 2013 to 2018. Outside of PenVelo, Andrew has led the bike-to-work efforts at his work since 2011. Unlike the competition focus of PenVelo, much of Andrew’s bike-to-work advocacy is spent convincing his fellow work colleagues that anyone with a bicycle can be a bike commuter. Andrew is an outspoken regional advocate for getting more people to ride their bicycles, and for safer roads in the Bay Area. Until Andrew’s less-than-stellar bicycle racing career finally takes off, Andrew continues to work as the Director of Concept Prototyping at Synaptics, the leading supplier of human interface solutions based in the San Jose.
Peter is a recovering mountain bike rider and now enjoys fitness cycling on the roads of San Mateo County.
Prior to becoming a community development consultant, he served for 23 years as an executive manager in the cities of Richmond and Redwood City. When he left his last position of city manager in 2010, Redwood City had nearly completed an award-winning general plan and a bold new downtown precise plan – both providing for cycling. He also serves on the Habitat for Humanity Greater San Francisco board.
His motivations for serving on the SVBC Board of Directors:
- A strong interest in policy and governance, as well as many years of nonprofit experience in both membership and charitable public service organizations.
- As a person who cycles, he knows that there is much work to be done in changing relationships on the road, such that everyone is safer and we lessen the rate of cycling injuries and deaths.
- He also believes that bicycles can and should play a key role in reducing our dependence on car trips and forever shift us from suburban development patterns.
As a youth, James Lucas fell in love with the freedom his blue, 24” wheeled Schwinn Varsity could give him. He didn’t know at the time that this passion would cause him to seek out all knowledge bike related and result in his becoming a race mechanic, fit technician, and an expert in retail operations. He has spent the last 10 years managing people, operating a business, and converting people into regular cyclists.
At UCSB, James served the campus community on multiple boards of governance and as the Student Director of the Sport Clubs program. He competed in the first ever Collegiate Mountain Bike National Championships, raced incessantly, and provided mechanical support for Shimano and the USA Cycling National Team during his tenure there. Afterward, he followed his passion to the University of Wyoming to work on his Master’s in Exercise Physiology. There, he taught Exercise Physiology and served his campus community on boards of governance.
James is now working on his next level of service through bicycle advocacy. He went to his first National Bicycle Summit in 2010 and saw what individuals can do accomplish just by showing up. James is the former owner of Calmar Bicycles and recently returned to school to get a teaching credential. When not studying, he follows his two young sons on their rides to the park.
“I believe that there has never been a better opportunity for SVBC to positively influence our community, and I’d like to assist in those efforts.”
Jim has been an avid cyclist for the past 20 years in and around Silicon Valley, including century rides and commuting to work, as well as being a founding member of two of the larger regional triathlon clubs, Silicon Valley Triathlon Club and TRIbe.
Jim is interested in incentivizing more local employers to encourage bicycle commuting.
Alyssa is a native of the bay area and by design currently lives in the biking rich Santa Cruz Mountains. In college, she exclusively commuted on her bike and her love for cycling has continued to grow. Alyssa rides road, cross and mountain bikes in addition to competing occasionally. Alyssa has experienced riding in many countries and states and it is clear the attitude towards cyclist is so important to the overall cycling experience and safety. Creating a community and infrastructure that embraces cycling is a dream. With more and more people coming to the bay area the importance of non vehicle transportation is imperative. The opportunities and impact SVBC can make to silicon valley in the next few years is hugely exciting but also a bit daunting.
Alyssa is a CPA with PWC and has been on SVBC’s Board and Finance Committee for the past eight years. Alyssa will use her expertise in accounting and finance to help SVBC manage their growth against the many opportunities. Alyssa is excited to be a part of SVBC is the coming years.
Jeff has worked in the cycling industry for more than 30 years, the past 15 as the General Manager of Palo Alto Bicycles. He has been an ardent advocate for cycling; running the Bikestation Palo Alto (a non profit for cycling commuters) since 1999, traveling to Washington DC as well as the State Capital in Sacramento to lobby for cyclist rights, and serving on the SVBC Board of Directors since 2010. Jeff is excited to continue his work with SVBC and plays a lead role in helping the organization understand how to work with the bicycling industry and recreational community.
Like most, Lisa loved riding her bike growing up. She was among a nucleus of students who started a bike club at her high school and rode to school regularly. Her bike was her primary mode of transportation during college. She began riding recreationally nearly 30 years ago when she and her husband, also a cyclist, moved to a house near the velodrome and the Coyote Creek Bike Path.
Lisa earned her Bachelor’s in Religious Studies from San Jose State in 1971, an MSW in 1983 and studied for a Master’s in Comparative Religion at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She began her career as an executive recruiter and has spent the last 25 years in human resources at corporations such as Sun and Adobe. Her preference however is small companies and over the last several years she has been the Human Resources Director at three start-ups.
Lisa is committed to cycling for personal enjoyment, as a sport that everyone can enjoy at all ages and as a critical part of the answer to complex transportation issues facing our community today and in the future.
Cheryl discovered she liked bike commuting to work as a way to train for long events and for many more reasons. As a nearly life-long type 1 diabetic, she appreciates the daily health benefits of exercise. As a casual environmentalist, she appreciates the sustainability aspect of it. She has been fortunate enough to take several international bicycling trips and enjoys looking at the infrastructure and attitudes other countries have toward cycling. She has been captain of several Tour de Cure teams and organized Bike to Work Day, Earth day and Diversity day, Bicycle Exchange activities through her work club. Cheryl considers herself very fortunate to live in a climate that allows biking almost all year and near so many trails and a Caltrain stop.
Cheryl Smith works at SAP where she founded the SAP Cycling Club. The club now has both an active local chapter and an internal website with members throughout the world commenting on their favorite rides, equipment and advocacy activities. The club has led initiatives to secure more bicycle parking, repair stations, and towel service for the campus. They have also sponsored events so companies can share information and activities.
Jorg is a life-long cycling enthusiast who grew up in Sunnyvale back when kids rode everywhere as basic transportation and drivers kept their eyes on the road. Jorg recently spent two years based in France where he had a chance to sample the bike infrastructure of most of the major European cities as well as test his legs on the major alpine passes of the Tour de France. He is eager to use his experience as a business executive to grow SVBC’s capacity to make the roads safe for all types of riders.
Jorg Heinemann is a purpose-driven leader with over 25 years of business development, sales, operational, and large-scale business transformation experience. He serves as Chief Commercial Officer at Primus Power, a provider of low-cost, long-life and long duration energy storage systems and previously served in several executive leadership roles with SunPower and Accenture. Jorg lives in San Carlos with his wife and four children (ages 12-25).
Josh Mello, AICP
Josh is the District Transportation Lead for Google and has a long track record as a transportation manager specializing in bikeway and complete street planning, design, and construction. Projects he’s worked on include the Cross-City Trail in Wilmington (NC), NACTO Urban Bikeway Design Guide, and the first bicycle plan for the City of Compton. Prior to Google, Josh served as the Chief Transportation Official for the City of Palo Alto, and Vice-chair of the VTA Technical Advisory Committee, where he became a thought leader on all things bikes for neighboring cities to emulate. He has also worked for Alta Planning + Design, Atlanta (GA), and Wilmington (NC). While with the City of Atlanta, he helped establish the position of Chief Bicycle Officer, which is partially grant-funded. In 2013, Josh won an award for Professional of the Year from the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals and a Blinkie Award from the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition.
When he was with Palo Alto, Josh commuted from Millbrae by bike and Caltrain. He is still trying to figure out his Google commute. On weekends, he likes to take his whole family on bicycle rides throughout the Bay Area.
Margarita is a car-free cities lover, cycling fanatic, coffee addict and a Colombian. She is trained as an environmental engineer and has been working internationally in the field of sustainable transportation to reduce local pollution and global carbon emissions.
Margarita worked for 8 years with the Hewlett Foundation managing the transport portfolio as part of their Global Climate Initiative, and before that she helped the ClimateWorks Foundation to promote clean energy and sustainable transport solutions to reduce pollution in cities in Latin America.
Currently she is a strategy consultant with GRID Alternatives, integrating zero emissions mobility, renewable energy and equity in California. Margarita also serves on the Board of the Sustainable and Low Carbon Transport Partnership, a global organization dedicated to providing a voice for sustainable transport before the United Nations organizations and development agencies.
In her free time Margarita bikes everywhere in Redwood City with her husband and 6-year-old daughter, including biking to school in the mornings!