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Leadership is the art of leading others to deliberately create a result that wouldn’t have happened otherwise. It’s not just the creation of results that makes good leadership. Good leaders are able to deliberately create challenging results by enlisting the help of others.

For the past 18 years 102 different people, filled with the desire to make a difference, have come together to share their skills and talents providing leadership to PWA’s Friends For Life Bike Rally.

Building off the success of what many have commented as “one of the best Bike Rally’s ever,” we are proud to introduce you to the amazing Steering Committee for the 19th annual PWA’s Friends For Life Bike Rally.

Co-Chairs

Todd DTodd Davies

2016 & 2017 Co-Chair

13th year on the Bike Rally

I am very excited to be coming on board as a co-chair for the 18th Annual PWA’s Friends For Life Bike Rally. This will be my 13th year with the Rally and I look forward to working with everyone to continue our goal of raising funds for PWA. When I joined many years ago, it was from a desire to give of my time to a worthy cause and support my friends who were dealing with HIV/AIDS. Although this goal has not changed – we still battle the stigma and disease – it is heartening to see how many people have joined us along the way to work towards our common cause. Every year the enthusiasm we see, both on the Ride and from the communities we pass through, is infectious and helps us move forward towards our common goal. A big thanks to those who have helped me over the years and I look forward to working with each and every one of you over the next 2 years.

 

Ted RTed Robinson

2017 & 2018 Co-Chair

9th year on the Bike Rally

I rode in my first Bike Rally in 2009 to honour a friend who couldn’t do it himself. I’ve ridden every year since then because in honouring my friend, I found a village where I knew immediately I belonged. I am humbled to have been entrusted with the responsibility of co-chairing the 19th and 20th bike rallies, and I am so excited to work with my friend Todd Davies , the thoughtful, dedicated and generous people on this year’s Steering Committee, the staff at PWA, and the entire Friends for Life Bike Rally community as we do what we can to make sure PWA can continue to do its vital, beautiful work. It takes a village to raise a child, for certain; it also takes a village to sustain each of us as we live our lives. I’m proud and grateful to be part of this village.

 

cochairs@bikerally.org

Community Engagement

Billy-CBilly Curtis

Community Engagement Lead

3rd year on the Bike Rally

I have been blessed with the ability to be a Rider with the Toronto People with AIDS Foundation Friends for Life Bike Rally for two years since I moved here from the U.S. After hearing about so many experiences from friends and past Riders, I knew that I had to contribute my time and effort to such a worthy cause. I have been working with PHAs since I was 18 years old, functioning as a healthcare professional in Nephrology and other departments in several areas in the Northeast U.S., from as far north as New Jersey and south as Washington D.C., both areas highly impacted by this disease today. Working with such a community has been beyond humbling and I have gained as much from this foundation as I have given and maybe even more. It seemed like the appropriate move to take another step in my contribution to this year’s rally and join the Steering Committee, to continue to help make this ride as amazing as it has always been and will be in the future. I am grateful for this opportunity and must thank all those who helped guide me towards the growth that has come from being a part of this wonderful organization and fundraiser to help relinquish the stigma and bring light to those in our area living with or affected by HIV/AIDS.

community@bikerally.org

Food Crew

Leadership, KarenKaren O’Conner

Food Crew Co-Lead

10th year on the Bike Rally

I joined the Friends for Life Bike Rally as a way to celebrate the life of one of my dearest friends. The opportunity for a personal challenge, the bonds of friendship, and most important the chance to give back have enriched my life is many ways. Our Health is a gift – one we must never take for granted. I started out as part of the food crew and found my niche on the rally. This will be my 10th year on the ride and 9th year on Steering Committee as Food Co-lead. Each year my journey is different but always full of joy, remembrance and new friendships. It is an honour and privilege to be part of a group of dedicated committee members, PWA agency staff and the Bike Rally participants who truly understand what a difference we can make.

 

Pat LPat Lucas

Food Crew Co-Lead

11th year on the Bike Rally

I’m a 11-year Bike Rally veteran, having joined the team in 2006. My introduction to PWA and the Bike Rally was when I was invited to see a friend off on Departure Day 2005. Although at the time I knew absolutely no one living with HIV/AIDS, I was so moved by this singular experience that I signed on as a member of the Food Crew the following year. To date I have no regrets about that decision! This year, I am honored to be Co-Lead of the Food Crew. The sense of community, fellowship, lifelong friendship and the sheer optimism of everyone involved in the Bike Rally I encounter compel me every July to start dusting off my camping gear. Roll on F4LBR19!

 

food@bikerally.org

Fundraising

Eli EEli Elsasser

Fundraising Co-Lead

8th year on the Bike Rally

This will be my 8th year joining the excepiontally caring community of Riders and Crew who challenge themselves to support people living with HIV. As a member of the Media and Communications Committee for 6 years, I managed the Bike Rally website. This year I am partnering with Michael to co-lead the Fundraising Committee. Each year I have ridden, my greatest reward has been to raise funds for PWA, surpassing the minimum required to be counted among the Top Fundraisers each time. You can do it too. Your friends, family and colleagues want to support you. Michael and I are there to help you reach and surpass your fundraising goals.

 

Michael-CMichael Cress

Fundraising Co-Lead

14th year on the Bike Rally

This will be my 14th year on the Friends For Life Bike Rally – 11 years as a rider and three wonderful years volunteering.  I am excited to be on the Steering Committee co-leading Fundraising with Eli.  Each year I gain more and more from the Bike Rally and I am pleased to b able to give back by helping riders meet and exceed the fundraising goals.

fundraising@bikerally.org

Media & Communications

Patric-SPatric Senson

Media & Communications Co-Lead

6th year on the Bike Rally

Patric is really excited to be back involved with the Bike
Rally after a two year absence. He’s had a long connection with the Bike Rally, having ridden 5 times, twice as a team leader, and is a previous Media and Communications Co-Lead on the Steering Committee. His hope for the 2017 Bike Rally is to make sure that Riders and Crew get the information they need, when they need it, and that they’ll always feel connected to what’s going on. That and have fun with his Co-Lead Steven, as we explore new and interesting things to share about the Bike Rally and its amazing community. If you’ve got a story about the Bike Rally or your connection with PWA, let Media & Communications know, and we’ll make sure it’s shared!

Steven-JSteven Jackson

Media & Communications Co-Lead

10th year on the Bike Rally

I have been an off and on volunteer for the Bike Rally since year three. Starting in the production of a film of the Rally, I participated on both the Rustlers and Food Crew. In 2014, I returned to school to complete a post-graduate program in Arts Administration and Cultural Management at Humber College and in the past year, I have worked at Crow’s Theatre, TAPA, Canadian Opera Company and the Toronto Shambhala Centre. I’m hoping to use these skills towards the Media & Communications area of the Bike Rally.

media@bikerally.org

Participant Engagement

Gilbert-LGilbert May

Participant Engagement Co-Lead

5th year on the Bike Rally

I love that participating in the Bike Rally gives me an opportunity to support PWA; that cycling, something that I enjoy very much, can be so noble. From my very first training ride in 2006 and continuing through every kilometre of four bike rallies as a cyclist and eventually as a team co-lead, participating in the F4LBR has meant being embraced as family. I support the Bike Rally in large part because of the sense of inclusiveness and belonging that it generates, the feeling that we’re one big family working towards a bigger goal. As this year’s co-lead in participant engagement, I look forward to helping everyone find that spirit of family.

engage@bikerally.org

Recruitment

Leadership, MattMatt Lamb

Recruitment Co-Lead

7th year on the Bike Rally

This is my seventh year on the Bike Rally and I’m super excited to be a member of the Steering Committee leading the Recruitment Committee with Pato Vera-Rodriguez. I’ve been a Team Leader three years (twice with my husband and once with Steve Yeates) and last year my father and I rode together! The Bike Rally is a special experience and I hope you will join us fundraising for PWA. I have met so many wonderful Friends for Life over the years and I’d like for you to meet them too!

 

 

Leadership, PatoPato Vera-Rodriguez

Recruitment Co-Lead

8th year on the Bike Rally

This will be my 8th year riding. I originally joined for the physical challenge but over the course of the 6 days I built amazing friendships and slowly realized that the same amazing people that I had come to know were some of the people that need the services from the PWA. It was that moment I realized that I had a reason to ride. The bike rally has become such a huge part of my life over the last few years. As soon as my work schedule steadied, I jumped at the opportunity to join the steering committee. I’m honoured to take on the role on the recruitment team and can’t wait to meet the new riders.

recruit@bikerally.org

Rider Team Lead

Leadership, StephanieStephanie Pearl-McPhee

Rider Team Lead Co-Lead

6th year on the Bike Rally

This year marks my 6th year on the Rally, and it seems I get in a little deeper every year. I initially became involved as a result of family and peer pressure, and now I can’t imagine a summer without it. I’m a slightly dumpy writer, knitter, and mother of three adult daughters and it’s only in the last two years that I consider myself a cyclist, which I guess is a little weird, considering how much I ride my bike. This year I’m looking forward to reprising my role as the Co-Lead of Rider Team Leads (together with Cameron McLean) and I think it’s going to be a fantastic year.

 

 

Leadership, CamCameron McLean

Rider Team Lead Co-Lead

5th year on the Bike Rally

This will be my 5th year as a Rider on the Friends for Life Bike Rally, and second year on the Steering Committee. The week of the Bike Rally has really become the highlight of my year. Cycling, camping and eating are three of my favourite things in the world, and I cannot imagine a more entertaining, interesting and devoted group of people to do it with. I’m grateful for this opportunity to act as Co-Lead of Rider Team Leads together with Stephanie, and looking forward to doing what I can to support PWA and everyone involved in the Rally.

 

teamleader@bikerally.org

Road Support Crew

Leadership, David HDavid Hughes

Road Support Crew Co-Lead

9th year on the Bike Rally

Very late one evening in 2001 it seemed like a sensible idea to accept a challenge from a friend and join a small group of cyclists riding to Montréal the following summer in support of an organization I knew nothing about, PWA. In July 2002 we left Nathan Phillips Square in the pouring rain and I wondered what on Earth I had signed up for. Seven rides later (accompanied by my wife 5 times and my daughter twice – we’re still working on my son!) the Friends For Life Bike Rally has become a big part of my, and my family’s life. As a member of the Road Support Crew last year, it was gratifying to assist Riders on some very long, hot days. I am really pleased to be the Co-lead of the Road Support Crew again this year with Paul Dawson, and look forward to building on the success of previous years’ rides and making the experience a great one for the Riders.

 

Leadership, PaulPaul Dawson

Road Support Crew Co-Lead

6th year on the Bike Rally

This will be my 6th year participating in the Bike Rally, and every year the personal rewards and memories made keep getting better and better. I started in 2011 on the 13th year of the ride on Food Crew. The following year I moved to Road Support, and have never looked back! Over the years, I have developed strong friendships with many participants, and have also been blessed with the opportunity to help out and give back to PWA and the clients they serve. Volunteering on the Bike Rally has been a wonderful experience for me, allowing for personal growth and a chance to do my part to ensure our Riders have the guidance and support needed to make the journey from Toronto to Montreal.

Once again, I will be taking on the Co-lead role for Road Support for the 19th annual Bike Rally. I look forward to the exciting times and new challenges which lie ahead. I am also happy to be working again with my Co-lead partner, David Hughes.

roadsupport@bikerally.org

Rubbermaid Rustler Crew

Leadership, BobBob Beerman

Rubbermaid Rustlers Crew Co-Lead

10th year on the Bike Rally

I have been volunteering with the Friends for Life Bike Rally since 2007. I believe in giving back to my community and I enjoy participating with the Friends for Life Bike Rally. I have always worked with the Rubbermaid Ruslters. I have met and worked with many amazing people over the years, and I am looking forward to the 2017 Friends for Life Bike Rally.

 

 

 

 

Leadership, BrentBrent Everett James

Rubbermaid Rustlers Crew Co-Lead

16th year on the Bike Rally

The 19th Annual Friends for Life Bike Rally will be my 16th year with the Rubbermaid Rustlers since 2001, and after a couple years away from involvement in coordinating, my tenth year on the Steering Committee. I’m excited to be back, and look forward to working closely with Bob Beerman again and building a great team for 2017! This incredible event is extremely rewarding, both personally and spiritually. The energy of the Rally and excitement of the Participants each year remind me why I returned after my first year. I continue to participate with inspired passion, thoughts and memories of dear friends, and the anticipation of new bonds and friendships! Here’s to 600 kilometres of smiles and cheers to the Bike Rally family!

 

rustler@bikerally.org

Sponsorship

Tim-LTim Ledger

Sponsorship Lead

9th year on the Bike Rally

This will be my 8th as a rider and 5th year as part of the Steering Committee. I’m excited to be back as Sponsorship lead and looking forward to helping the Bike Rally continue to support those in our community living with HIV/AIDS. Along with all the volunteers and PWA staff our sponsors are a very important part of making the Bike Rally a success.

 

 

sponsorship@bikerally.org

Training & Support

Leadership, WalterWalter Dimini

Training & Support Co-Lead

16th year on the Bike Rally

People often ask me what keeps me coming back to the Bike Rally. Though I’m happiest when I’m on my bike and never get tired of the scenery along the way I have to say that it’s the people that keep me coming back. I think that the Bike Rally is testament to the human spirit. To be part of something where egos are parked and primary consideration is given to the collective well-being is truly amazing. And to have so much fun along the way and still be helping PWA reach their goals makes it even more amazing. To quote Margaret Mead, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

 

 

Nora-KNora Kelly

Training & Support Co-Lead

2nd year on the Bike Rally

After hearing stories from previous participants over several years, I finally registered and completed the 6-Day Ride this year! It was a truly transformative experience. The Bike Rally is a great way to support the work of PWA – to raise awareness and reduce the stigma around HIV and AIDS. I am excited, and grateful for the opportunity, to be taking my participation up a notch this year by working with my co-lead Walter to help riders prepare for the physical rigours of the ride. As both a longtime distance runner and cyclist, I also bring experience as an instructor and coach preparing runners for endurance events with advice on fuelling, road safety, etiquette, hill training and dressing for the weather.

training@bikerally.org

Wellness

Margaret-MMargaret McCormack

Wellness Crew Co-Lead

9th year on the Bike Rally

This is my 9th year on the Bike Rally and every year has been a little different but always amazing. I have been so fortunate to be able to take part and to meet all of the wonderful people that make up the ride. A bit of background – I am a Registered Nurse and I currently work for the Connecting GTA Program – developing the first regional electronic health record. I look forward to meeting everyone. Drop by for a chat – even if you don’t need our assistance!!

 

 

 

 

Bill-SBill Smith

Wellness Crew Co-Lead

10th year on the Bike Rally

Hi Everyone, this is the start of my 10th year on the Friends For Life Bike Rally. I was a member of the Wellness team for 2 years and have been a Co-Lead of Wellness 6 times and a Rider twice. I bring my experience of working as a Paramedic for the City of Toronto to assist all the amazing Riders and Crew that will be making The Friends For Life Bike Rally 2017 the best ride yet!

 

 

 

wellness@bikerally.org

Find our more about the amazing Bike Rally Leadership Team.