Chequamegon Area
Mountain Bike Association

BIG WOODS. ENDLESS TRAILS.

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BOARD OF DIRECTORS STATEMENTS 2018

Sam Hughes

I am a professional trail builder, currently employed by the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation as the trail manager. Previously I lead the CAMBA trail crew for one season and prior to that worked under Aaron Rogers of Rock Solid Trail Construction, out of Copper Harbor, Mich. I have been involved with local trail organizations and have been building trail for the last 18 years. I started volunteering when I was 15 years old with the Ice Age Trail Association, and was heavily involved with CORBA, the Chippewa Off-Road Bicycle Association in the Chippewa Valley region of Wisconsin.

I have previously held the positions of Trail Coordinator and Trail Liaison for Northwest Park in Eau Claire. I have worked with land managers and owners to facilitate trail development in that area and am familiar with the processes that facilitate trail building other than moving dirt. Additionally, I served on the CAMBA board before heading out west to work as a BLM firefighter last summer. Having relocated back to the area with my wife and buying a home adjacent to the trails, I look forward to re-involving myself with the local bike trails!

I believe that I can bring a wide variety of skills and perspectives to CAMBA in a professional sense. I’ve had opportunities to ride and experience a variety of different trail systems and mountain bike organizations, and have a wealth of knowledge to offer from those interactions. I believe that CAMBA is a fantastic trail system, leading the way for local club and trail area development in the Midwest.

My perspective is that CAMBA should begin to think of itself as a business. We have a marketable product in our trail system, and at this time we need to think progressively. We can look at other trail systems like Duluth, Cayuna, Marquette and the Keweenaw, which are experiencing rapid growth and catering to a changing demographic in young rider definitions to develop a strategy that will be effective locally. To stay competitive, we need to modernize some of our trail building practices, incorporate new trail designs, and show the Midwest that we can offer everything that these other areas do, as well as the largest interconnected trail system in the Midwest. We’re already moving forward in this direction, and I think that we can excel to a greater degree.

Suzann Mouw

My background includes over 20 years of Management Level Marketing experience in the medical device industry — specifically in cardiovascular and orthopedic sports medicine.  Although I am not a hardcore mountain bike racer, I use and enjoy the CAMBA trails almost daily.  Over a year ago I was invited to join the CAMBA board to replace an early-departing member.

During my time on the board I have played a role in several important initiatives.  CAMBA is much more than an organization that builds trails.  Part of its mission is to expand use of the trails and encourage all abilities to experience the trail system.  With that in mind we launched a rebranding of CAMBA that successfully articulates and differentiates what the trail system offers.  This creates an opportunity to expand membership and attract more funding for future CAMBA initiatives.

My strength in marketing was also used to guide the organization through a process of setting strategic objectives.  This will help CAMBA stay focused on its goals and be more likely to accomplish them without unnecessary distractions.

Additionally, my marketing experience complements the backgrounds of others on the board, creating a diverse group that draws on the unique strengths of everyone.

I understand the positive economic impact CAMBA has on the area and, if you vote for me, I would continue my efforts to ensure a successful future for the organization.

Rhonda Tworek

I have been a member of CAMBA for many years, but am relatively new to mountain biking.  I’ve always loved to run and snowshoe the singletrack trails, and in the last year and a half have enjoyed the trails as a mountain biker.  I have absolutely fallen in love with the new Hospital Gateway Trails and am always sharing the joy of that fun and accessible system with others either new to the area or new to mountain biking.

I recently took part in the Women’s Weekend Mountain Bike Clinic – hosted by CAMBA – and I can NOT thank CAMBA, Jane Bidwell, Marcia Engebretson and the rest of the coaches, enough for an AMAZING time of skill and confidence building amongst some fantastic female riders on some sweet trails.  I learned SO much, and I practice those skills every time I am out on the trails.  As a group, we went out Seeley Pass and up to Gravity Cavity (a first for me!!), which only made me want to play a larger part in our mountain biking community.  I have offered to assist Jane and Marcia with future Women’s Mt. Bike Clinics – as it was so much fun, and so successful.

Professionally I am the Volunteer Coordinator for the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation.   Managing 2,500 volunteers annually, for our year-round events, working with community members promoting world-class events, elite athletes and citizen participants.   The Birkie Trail is a treasure in our own back yard, and the fact that many CAMBA trails cross or parallel the trail is a win-win – more ways for folks to be outside and active amongst our amazing Northwoods!  The economic impact of having great trail systems is extremely important to our communities, especially outside the normal “tourist season” of Memorial Day to Labor Day, and further promote a healthy, active lifestyle, and should go hand-in-hand (or hands on handlebars) with the CAMBA trail systems and CAMBA events.

As a board member of CAMBA I would enjoy being involved in sharing information about the CAMBA trails, especially the Gateway Trail and the awesome trails up at Mt. Ashwabay, in hopes of promoting membership and over-all interest in CAMBA as a whole.  Given my professional background, I understand what it takes to put on large-scale events, be it sporting events or fund raising, and would hope to put that to good use as a CAMBA board member. I appreciate your consideration as a nominee for the Board of Directors of CAMBA.

Joe Vadeboncouer

I have recently transitioned from 30 years of executive level positions at Trek Bicycles to a semi-retired status, and with that I have recently moved from Madison to live full-time in Seeley. Six years ago we built a house specifically located in Seeley so that we would have mountain bike trail access from our front door. What started as a part-time house is now our full-time residence.

I have been a lifelong mountain bike rider, and I have worked in the bicycle business for more than 30 years. My family loves the CAMBA trails. Like you, I want to see the CAMBA trails continue to evolve and be an even more amazing sustainable asset for the community, attracting riders of all types to the area to live and enjoy the trails.

I will bring my 30 years of bicycle business experience to my involvement on the board of directors of CAMBA. These next few years will be a pivotal time for CAMBA, and many different strategic decisions will need to be made on future directions for our trails. I welcome the opportunity to do the research and help make those decisions for the benefit of our trails.

I have time to be present at the meetings that will matter, and I will participate in decisions with the intent to work for the benefit of us all with the trails.

Over the years my professional experience has included working in or management of nearly every capacity at Trek Bicycles, arming myself with the knowledge, skills and expertise to help transform a business. Building a business requires a clear vision, cultivating an effective team, and a persistence that comes with experience. After nearly three decades at Trek Bicycles I am an outdoor industry veteran, with a proven track record in: building and defining brands, expanding to a global business, leading internal and external teams, developing new business, directing mergers and acquisitions, and cultivating culture in an organization.

I am experienced at working directly in the field with a new brand, as well as working in management to build a brand into the #1 market share; the lessons of building customer trust and a solid partnership are the same in both roles. Over time they have formed my philosophy of business overall: you can only become successful if you work for the benefit of your customers.

I am experienced at building a brand’s product portfolio from the ground up, leading both internal and external teams and the industry overall in the development of technologies that become the benchmark for the industry. As VP Product Development & Product Design at Trek I managed product development efforts across multiple brands and categories with globally based development groups. In the early days of Trek, the global supply chain was managed by the product development group; all of the sourcing dynamics that are in place at Trek now were developed while I lead product development. I played a key role of the Trek Mergers & Acquisitions team, participating in and directing more than 60 acquisitions of major brands and businesses globally.

As VP Brand Marketing & Brand Design I oversaw the transformation of the Trek brand into the world’s leading performance brand, developed brand stories for the family of brands owned by Trek and developed the voice of the customer for the different brands, successfully managing multiple brand identities while simultaneously keeping them all profitable and growing.

In addition, as VP Sports Marketing I managed sponsored teams and athletes, negotiated contracts at the global level, built a UCI World Tour Tour de France team from the ground up, and delivered multi-year 3rd party title-level sponsors to those teams.

Most recently, as SVP Global Retail I worked to build a direct retail organization from the ground up and expanded to 75 stores globally in 24 months.

Time-and-time again I was afforded the opportunity to create something from the ground up in areas where Trek didn’t have a presence or a structure. That is what made the years at Trek so exciting and fulfilling. I have learned the art of the start-up, the challenges and opportunities of a global business, and developed the skills needed to help others achieve their goals.

Today I am pursuing a business development and management consultancy, GoodHeart Solutions,  http://www.goodheartsolutions.com/.