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Elect Our 2018 Board of Directors

Author: Bike East Bay

Date: November 14, 2017

How It Works

As a nonprofit, Bike East Bay is overseen by a volunteer board of directors.

Who elects the board?

Bike East Bay’s own members! Any current member can participate by attending our Annual Member Meeting and exercising their vote.

Bike East Bay’s Annual Member Meeting and Election

When: Tuesday, December 5,  from 6:30-8pm. We vote first thing, so please arrive promptly!
Where: Sports Basement in Berkeley, 2727 Milvia Street
Who: Bike East Bay members (Not sure if your membership is current? Join or renew now, or come a minute early to take care of it at the door.)
What Else: Free pizza! 20% off at Sports Basement! Drinks and a toast to kick off our program for the evening! First, get to know other members in a quick ice breaker, then get inspired with a screening of Velo Visionaries, a short film series about bicycle culture’s great thinkers, followed by a Q&A with director Kristin Tieche.

RSVP to let us know you are coming.

How do we vote?

As an official meeting of the Bike East Bay membership, Roberts Rules of Order govern the proceedings and our current Board Vice Chair will preside. You’ll hear about each candidate, and then you’ll vote on the slate of candidates.

What are the issues?

There are lots of considerations for deciding on board members. Board members need to be strategic thinkers, networkers, fundraisers, management consultants, and community organizers. In order to give Bike East Bay members an insider’s perspective on the challenges facing our organization and what it will likely take to be a good board member, the board of directors does an analysis of candidates and suggests a slate each year. Then, it is up to the membership to decide who will be on the board through the vote.

Recommended Slate

Bike East Bay’s Board of Directors voted unanimously for the recommended slate of directors below, for the 2018 board. The board’s priority this year was to find individuals who would help Bike East Bay to:

  • Bridge the diverse communities of people who bike in the East Bay,
  • Fundraise to support our advocacy work and staff,
  • Contribute leadership and active participation to the board.

In filling the open seats, we also seek to move the implementation of our strategic plan forward. All candidates on this year’s recommended slate have applied during our open call for new board members this fall and have been interviewed by our Governance Committee.  We are excited about this slate of engaged and seasoned board members to lead us into 2018.

The board recommended slate for 2018 is:

Kristin Tennessen

Kyle R. Smith

Lauren Haughey

Michael Santero

Mimi Torres

Morgan Kanninen 

Rolland Jurgens * 

Steven Birenbaum

* Incumbent, these candidates are continuing on our board and their proposed two year terms will end December 31, 2019. The remaining candidates are all new and their proposed three year terms will end December 31, 2020.

Candidate Statements

Kristin Tennessen (Walnut Creek)

Bike East Bay is a tremendously important organization as it brings together a diverse group of people who share a common goal of improving the health of our planet through the joy of bicycling. My role as a board member is to help Bike East Bay in continuing its work as a social justice organization by being an ally for groups historically marginalized through transportation policies, and supporting hyperlocal grass roots organizing in my community through Bike Walnut Creek.

Kyle R. Smith (Berkeley)

I’m an avid cyclist in my personal life and a legal advocate for injured cyclists in my professional life. Additionally I have served since April 2016 as a Public Works Commissioner for the City of Berkeley. I believe that my background in the law and local politics would enable me to contribute to the board both in a policy and fundraising capacity.



Lauren Haughey (Oakland)

I’m a lifelong cyclist and 30+ year resident of Oakland. I currently work as the VP of Finance/Admin/HR (9 years) at a Berkeley youth cycling nonprofit (National Interscholastic Cycling Association) and volunteer as the treasurer of the BOD of a local east bay trail advocacy council (BTCEB). My kids attended OUSD, and I have volunteered throughout the years in the schools in various capacities, as well worked on various school boards and committees. I have coached Oakland youth cycling clubs/teams. I have commuted to work by bike for 20+ years through Oakland and Berkeley streets – and am interested in helping to contribute to Bike East Bay and my surrounding community as I have been the beneficiary of the wonderful work the organization has produced over the years. I have extensive experience working in a community nonprofit, board committees, school fundraising events and adult/youth cycling events. And last but not least, I have a fabulous sense of humor.

Michael Santero (Oakland)

I have been a member of Bike East Bay for several years and would like to expand biking opportunities in the East Bay. I currently work for First Community Housing (FCH), which provides housing for over 1,400 low income households in the South Bay. FCH has hosted bicycle clinics and bike mechanic classes, built bicycling infrastructure, and promoted bike share in our communities. I currently commute two days per week by bicycle and Amtrak from Oakland to San Jose. I have previously served on the board of Community Housing Partnership in San Francisco.


Mimi Torres (Berkeley)

In 2005 I made the conscious decision to never own a car. I’ve have been a bike commuter since 2007 and a resident of the East Bay since 2009. I joined Bike East Bay after an event in downtown Oakland in the summer of 2009 where I was grateful to use their bike valet service. When Rene joined Bike East Bay as Executive Director in 2011, I wasn’t aware that he was Bike East Bay’s first paid employee. It’s been inspiring watching the organization grow in staff and membership and develop an overall culture of philanthropy in that time. I’m a three-time Climate Rider, and I recently completed a bike tour from San Francisco to San Diego. My professional background includes experience with nonprofit fundraising and event planning. I currently serve on Bike East Bay’s Fundraising and Membership Committee.

Morgan Kanninen (Oakland)

Grateful to serve on Bike East Bay’s board since 2010, I see the bicycle as a tool for solidarity and community health. I am committed to making our transportation system more just and accessible. Growing up Fremont, I biked to school over train bridges and through abandoned lots in order to cross the suburban labyrinth. I know that neighborhoods all over the counties of Alameda and Contra Costa could be a lot safer and easier for people to get around by bike, bus, and foot. Public spaces especially need to be safe for the most vulnerable members of our society. I believe we can make cities work for everyone if we stand together. My background as an urban planner and as an educator has shown me that everyday advocates are needed to demand equitable planning decisions and that anyone can learn the technicalities that are required. In 2009, I co-founded a collaborative workshop in East Oakland, where cyclists of all ages learn to repair and build bikes in both Spanish and English, and it is now run by the Original Scraper Bikes Team. Since then, I have been working in the background to increase the Bike East Bay board’s capacity to work equitably with people from all backgrounds. I would be honored to spend 2018 doing what I can to make Bike East Bay even better at bike advocacy.

Rolland Jurgens (Walnut Creek, Treasurer)

I am seeking re-election to Bike East Bay’s Board of Directors, where I currently serve on the Finance and Governance Committees.  I have been in the accounting and auditing profession for 20 years, and am a licensed CPA in the state of California. As an active racer in the masters category, I appreciate the importance of safety on our roads. My financial acumen and governance experience, along with a strong commitment to safe cycling, make me a great fit for Bike East Bay and its mission.

Steven Birenbaum (Oakland)

I was five when I learned to bike on a fast little red machine. I haven’t stopped since. Biking is the most efficient way to get around. It enables you to engage with the world. I want to make cycling safer and more accessible, especially for commuting to work and school across the East Bay. A parent of two children, I am very concerned about the future of our planet. Too often, our behavior is disconnected from the long-term impact on the health of the Earth. Encouraging more people to cycle is one tool that can help change this while bringing joy to people’s lives. I am a long-time communications professional at an Oakland-based health care foundation. As a writer, my essays have appeared in The New York Times and many other outlets. Previously, I served as fundraising director at my children’s elementary school and as a coach in the Albany-Berkeley Girls Softball League.

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