From our new Executive Director, Dave Cieslewicz:
On October 7th I’ll join the Bike Fed as its new executive director. My thanks to the board for its lapse in judgment in selecting me. Seriously though, I’d like to say thanks to Kevin Hardman for the great work he did in this job for years and to Dave Schlabowske for his great work as interim director.
Some quick background. I served two terms as Madison’s mayor between 2003 and 2011. Before that I founded and ran a nonprofit called 1000 Friends of Wisconsin and previous to Friends I worked at The Nature Conservancy and as a staffer in the Wisconsin legislature.
I ride my trusty old, recycled Trek (420 frame) with mustache handle bars around town pretty much every day. Since leaving the mayor’s office I’ve been consulting on community development and urban bicycling issues, teaching at the UW Madison (“Bikes, Pedestrians & Cities” in the Urban & Regional Planning Department among other courses) and writing a blog called Citizen Dave for the alternative weekly Isthmus.
It’s all been fun and profitable, but this will be better. In fact, bikes are a vehicle to make everything better. Concerned about climate change? Biking adds no greenhouse gasses to our environment. Crowded roads got you down? Every bike means one less car on the street. Worried about the growing obesity rate? Biking is a great form of exercise. Sprawl driving you crazy? Designing communities for bikes is also designing them as vibrant, safe, interesting neighborhoods. Love the outdoors? Bikes will get you there.
And here’s one you might not think much about. Want more jobs? The bike industry contributes $1.5 billion to the Wisconsin economy and supports more than 14,000 jobs. So, while bikes are more than toys, they are still fun. And if there’s anything that the Bike Fed stands for its the celebration of the pure joy and freedom of riding.
I’m looking forward to getting to know the staff, board and members better over the course of the next few months. In the meantime, if there’s stuff you want me to get to work on, just comment below or send me an email.