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News & Press: Potomac Pedalers News

Meet the 2016 ExCom Nominees!

Sunday, January 17, 2016   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Brenda Ruby
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Members of the 2015 ExCom

The following positions on Potomac Pedalers Executive Committee (ExCom) are open: Chair, Vice Chair (presuming affirmative vote on bylaw change), Recording Secretary and up to three Members-at-Large. (Pursuant to Bylaw Section VI(2), the membership at the general meeting can increase or decrease the size of those serving on the Executive Committee.)


A vote to elect these new ExCom members will take place at the Annual Meeting, held Jan. 23. Below are the current candidates:



Matt Birnbaum, running for reelection as Chair


I am about all things bicycling and believe it is transcendent for individuals as well as for cities and regions. In an earlier life as a faculty member with a Ph.D. in urban and regional planning, I even wrote a little about this in social scientific gibberish. Since arriving to DC in 2004, I have been a proud member of Potomac Pedalers. During these 11 years, I have had the pleasure to participate in rides throughout the year and have made many close buddies because of our club.


A few years ago, I decided to give back for all that our club has given me. I served as Chair-elect two years ago and completed my first term as Chair last year. If elected, this year will be my final term. Through these three years, I have worked hard in helping to solidify our Club as the premier recreational bike group in the region. This includes increasing the quality of our approximately 1,200 rides offered throughout the year with training and mentoring of ride leaders as well as targeted multi-class "tailgates" each month. Additionally, we transitioned to a new home for the Back Roads Century in Shepherdstown, West Virginia


Less noticeably, I have worked hard to help improve the image of our Club. Our membership continues to increase and we remain very healthy financially. We are continuing to reinvest in using staff and volunteers more prudently for sustaining our footprint. This includes the hiring of our first part-time communications director last year. It also extends to changing ways we express our appreciation of all of the amazing volunteer contributions from our members and welcoming all into our community.


If elected, I will be focusing to work with others on the Executive Committee and other volunteers to advance the following: (1) ensuring the implementation of a new website that provides a more user-friendly ride calendar, better tells our stories, and assures back-end stability for managing memberships and other financial transactions; (2) expanding the ease for all members to get better engaged with our rides, special events and operational functions; (3) figuring out a way to offer better opportunities for socializing in strengthening our community as we begin the celebrations of our 50th anniversary; and (4) resituating our Club to more effectively award grants and advance efforts to make it safer for us to ride recreationally.



Martine Palmiter, running for Vice Chair (if membership passes Bylaw change) and otherwise as Member-at-Large


I am submitting information to serve as Vice Chair (or otherwise as Member-at-Large) of the ExCom. I joined the ExCom as a Member-at-Large in March 2015, to fill in for a exiting member, and have really enjoyed being on the Women’s bike committee, the Ride Leaders Committee, editing the “Ride Leader Rally” for Pedal Patter, and various other duties that needed to be done. I feel that my energy and experience as a relatively new Club member helps – I joined the club and started to ride in 2010 and became a new ride leader in 2014. This year, I have lead D, C, CC and B rides mainly in Montgomery County. There are a lot of new Club initiatives for 2016 that I want to continue working on, including a new focus on engaging membership through more social bike events, involving more new members to learn about club activities through the annual meeting, and encouraging more people to lead rides they enjoy, in all parts of MD, DC and VA.


Bio – I am an HR manager for the Federal Government by day, have two grown kids in the area, a wonderful partner Vic who also cycles with me on weekends, and taught me about training rides to improve my cycling. I also enjoy yoga, hiking, spin class, swimming, gardening, and zen practice. I live in Rockville, MD.



Stephen Krill, running for Recording Secretary


I'm delighted to potentially serve as an ExCom member in the role of Secretary and to give back to Potomac Pedalers.


You may ask, how am I qualified?


Beyond the bike, I served as secretary for an international public safety organization, preparing meeting minutes, executive correspondence, and annual report. I currently serve for two other public safety organizations as a U.S. delegate and as a training and education committee member, respectively. I really enjoy these volunteer roles, being able to work with others, and making a contribution.


In cycling, it's definitely about the journey and the destination. I often ride the weekly Annandale Evening Excursion (aka SpeedWorks) and enjoy longer rides, such as BRC, Seagull, Reston, and RAGBRAI. Having ridden as a guest with other east coast clubs, I see first hand how Potomac Pedalers really makes a difference: club rides, regional rides, member discounts, and news and information. I appreciate what the ExCom and our ride leaders do to make this such a great club, and I look forward to contributing as Secretary.


Thank you for your consideration.



David Helms, running for Member-at-Large


Early Days: Growing up, I was always on a bike. The thrill of riding without training wheels was the first of many I would enjoy throughout my career on two wheels. The neighborhood kids built a jump at the base of the hill in my front yard, from it, I would catapult my 40 lbs green Iverson coaster brake bike for 10 feet (we measured); Evel Knievel would be jealous. We built trails through the old sand pits and created our own MTB course before such things existed. The first purchase from my summer dish washing job in 1978 was a Motobecane Mirage, a very beautiful bike. I bravely rode the Mirage from Portsmouth (my home) to the Newport, RI, beaches on a whim ignoring the treacherous traffic, (never told my mom!); loved my first long ride, and was hooked! I guess the movie Breaking Away (1979) had some impact on me. I repeated this ride in 2014 when I went attended my 35th High School reunion.


By 1980, I was enlisted in the Air Force. I brought along my Mirage to my first station in Dover, DE. Always solo, I liked riding west of Dover into the DELMARVA countryside, seeing the Amish buggies, just finding peace. One summer day, I decided to ride to Rehoboth Beach, DE; no planning, no water, no food, no real sense of distance. I had driven between Dover and Rehoboth Beach several times, how hard could it be? I made it to the beach and back (about 100 miles I would later calculate), but the return ride was painful, with onset of dehydration and sun burn. I had so much to learn.


With the on-set of mid-life, my riding had ceased, my neglected Mirage was relegated to the shed and in poor shape. My weight ballooned to over 300 lbs with retirement from the USAF reserve. I was unhappy, even depressed. I thought about my past, what made me happy. Ready to make a positive change, I set about rehabbing my old friend, the Mirage: new paint, wheel set, and tires, fresh grease for the internals. The project was a success. I started riding, first just a few miles, then a couple more, slowly building strength. Eventually, I searched for people to ride with, and found the Potomac Pedalers. I started with the C and D riders, and eventually riding with the B and A riders, making friends along the way. This year, I became a PPTC Ride Leader, continue to explore new roads through solo rides, routinely bike commute, and do the occasional sprint triathlon (to lose weight so I can go up hills faster/less slow), racking up over 6,500 miles in my first full year after getting a pace maker.


I am truly grateful to PPTC and the wonderful people who keep it rolling. I have learned and drew inspiration from you; to name a few: Greg Gibson’s healthy lifestyle journey, Jim Sherman’s mobile mechanic skills, Jim Quinn’s mastery of route planning, Tim Guilford’s grit and determination, Davey Hearn’s grace and power, and group leadership from Rudi Riet and Mariette Vanderzon. Going forward, I hope to support PPTC in any way possible.



Paul Huey-Burns, running for Member-at-Large


I wish to run for election as an At-Large member of the ExCom. I have benefitted greatly from being a PPTC member, and I have relied, to a great extent, on the efforts of others. Time to “pay it forward.”

I first joined PPTC perhaps 20 years ago. I was active in the club for many years, but then family and career obligations intervened, and I had to de-prioritize cycling. Now that I’ve accomplished what I needed to accomplish for my family and career, I have reconnected with my bike and the biking community. I rejoined the club 5 or 6 years ago, and I generally ride B/BB and lead B rides in northern MoCo, from Laytonsville, Riley’s Lock, and elsewhere, including my annual Birthday Ride from Riley’s in November. (I also am a committed runner, and I’ve run 3 marathons in the past year. I’ve recently added swimming to my workout schedule, and I’m hoping to begin competing in triathlons this spring, because “why not?”)


I think that I would bring valuable skills to the ExComm. I have practiced corporate law for 33 years, first in government (at the Securities & Exchange Commission, where I was Assistant Director of Enforcement), then as a partner in the DC office of a global law firm. Three years ago, in part to provide more balance to my life, I joined a smaller but still substantial law firm in Potomac, MD. (I believe that, if I were elected to the ExComm, I could provide not only my own expertise, but access the expertise of my colleagues as necessary.)


I also have substantial experience with non-profit organizations. I have served on the Executive Board of the National Capital Area Council, Boy Scouts of America for almost 20 years, including a substantial tenure as General Counsel to the NCAC, and as a member of several standing and ad hoc committees (the former including the Endowment and Investment Committees). As General Counsel, I was involved in a wide variety of issues (including the BSA’s change in membership standards (I was a strong internal advocate for the change), governance issues (including revising the Council’s corporate documents), and contractual and employment issues.


I believe that the primary responsibility of ExCom members is to be responsive to the needs of the membership. This is a member-driven organization, and personal agendas should be secondary. It is important that we maintain the high quality program that PPTC offers to its members, including the club century and other club-wide events. Having said that, I would like to see the club undertake more programs that involve outreach to the community, including raising the club’s profile to “new rider” events and programs for “at risk” kids.

Thank you for your consideration.



Debbie McCall, running for Member-at-Large


Debbie McCall is willing to join the executive committee to drive the energy level even higher. Love to bounce ideas back & fourth until all or most are smiling with the final decision! My intended position is to make the club more welcoming to the ladies through Women & Bicycles rides, the C-pace rider, and working behind the scenes of any weekender or major Club ride.


My experience with women's club riding is that I am one of the organizers of the "DIVAS," established four years ago. We inspire and motivate ladies to ride to their next level and wow, do they! I want to bring this energy and wisdom to the Potomac Pedalers. I also volunteer as the newbie ride leader for the Maryland group GII. I have enjoyed my three or so years with my buddies (Harold and George and now, Rob) at the Tuesday and Fridays Buddy Attick Ride. I have attended most of the Farm Tour and Women & Bicycle rides; PPTC has the best organized events ever!

more Ride Schedule

CANCELED RAIN CC/B * 35 * MD * 11:00 AM * Bud Bike Tuesday * Buddy Attick Park (BUD) * 50°

CC/B/BB/A * 17-29 * MD * 6:00 PM * The Slurpee Ride * Laytons Village SC (LAV)

Featured Members
Linda B. KolkoLinda is the C Ride Coordinator for MD & DC.
Matthew BirnbaumMatt was the Chair of the Club in 2015 and 2016.