Board of Directors

Board effectiveness and competency are influenced by a great many factors. Arguably a critical factor is the skills held by board members and how these are used in concert to strengthen both the board and the organisation. That’s why the BWCF  Board of Directors have deep experience and rich understanding of the challenges to walk and bike in our region and want to be part of an organization making positive progress in improving the safety of our streets and health of our community.

The BWCF Board is a ‘working’ board and are more active than their counterparts serving on larger, more established nonprofits. In other words, our Board members are volunteers and work as unpaid staff for the nonprofit – everything from researching policies, scheduling speakers and attending public meetings to organizing the Bike Five Cities event, writing for newsletters and submitting public comments on local projects.

BWCF is always seeking passionate leaders with the experience, talents and expertise to BWCF. If you’re interested in serving on the BWCF Board, please contact Executive Director, Amanda Day at [email protected] or BWCF Board Member, Lisa Portelli at [email protected].


Meet the BWCF Board

Under the direction of BWCF Board Chair Billy Hattaway, the BWCF Board of Directors consists of 9 members who represent a diverse range of disciplines and community interests with one common goal – to advocate for safe, comfortable bikeable and walkable communities throughout Central Florida.


FOUNDING CHAIR

IMG_0807Linda Chapin, former Mayor of Orange County

On average, a pedestrian is killed every week in Metro Orlando, and two are injured every day. This, for doing something as simple, and necessary, as crossing the street. In fact, Metro Orlando has ranked as the MOST dangerous community in the country for pedestrians for more than a decade. With gas prices rising, and SunRail expected to put even more pedestrians on our streets, this problem is likely to only get worse.

As a former Mayor of Orange County, and a concerned citizen, I think we should address this problem – today, before anyone else gets hurt. It’s time for us to come together as a community and put our best foot forward for pedestrian safety. After all, whether we drive, bike, or ride the bus as our primary transportation, we’re all pedestrians at some point every day.

It is going to take the support of the whole community to turn this  around, and I would like to thank those that have stepped up to show their support. It is community-minded pepole like you who make me proud to call Central Florida my home.

Thank you for putting your best foot forward and supporting Bike/Walk Central Florida.

Linda Chapin signature

Linda Chapin
Founding Chair


Billy Hattaway, P.E., BWCF Board Chairman

Hattaway

Billy Hattaway, P.E. is the Transportation Director for the City of Orlando. Previously, he served as District Secretary for District One of the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT). He has over 35 years of transportation and program management experience with FDOT and the private sector. He has a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering Technology from Wentworth Institute of Technology and an MBA from Florida State University.

In addition to his responsibilities as Transportation Director, he is the Chair for Bike/Walk Central Florida, a non-profit organization dedicated to safety for pedestrians and bicyclists.

His professional experience includes transportation planning, street design, safety and traffic analysis for a wide variety of transportation projects including redevelopment, transit-oriented development and master plan charrette projects to create walkable, bike and transit friendly communities.

Hattaway was recently recognized by Governing Magazine as a 2014 Public Official of the Year, and by the Florida Chapter of the Congress for the New Urbanism with the John Nolen award for his leadership on the Department’s bicycle/pedestrian safety and Complete Streets initiatives.

Why are you devoting your time to this cause?

I became focused on transportation safety when I was the State Roadway Design Engineer for FDOT during a previous tour. I learned about the number of fatalities on our roads at the time and felt that more could be done to reduce the fatalities for all users. As time passed, there have been significant reductions in fatalities concerning motor vehicle occupants due to improved protection by the auto manufacturers. However, little if any improvements have been achieved concerning vulnerable users such as bicyclists and pedestrians.

When Dangerous by Design was published, I decided to get involved in trying to improve safety in Central Florida by joining BWCF. Within a couple of years of joining BWCF, our past Secretary Ananth Prasad asked me to return to FDOT to lead a statewide effort to improve pedestrian and bicycle safety.

Are you a biker or a walker?

I was a runner until 2009, and I decided because so many of my runner friends were having knee replacements I should try another form of exercise. So I picked up bicycling.

Now, I lead a 40-mile group ride every Saturday. Unlike some other group rides, the one I lead is focused on safety and creating good will with motorists. I’ve been doing that for years now.

How will bicycles save the world?

Bicycles can be used for a much larger percentage of our trips than most Americans take advantage of. This will save money for those riding, increase the health of our population, reducing health care costs, and increase engagement between the citizens since they won’t be hiding behind a windshield.

Sum up your transportation philosophy.

We should always be looking at trends nationally and regionally. And it’s clear that people want more choice in places where they live and how they get around. I think people accept the idea that they’re going to have to drive to work, but when they get home they want to be able to walk and ride to shops and restaurants and other things. We need to find ways to accommodate that.

If you could change one road in Orlando to better accommodate walkers and bikers, which would it be?

My personal choice would be Robinson Street which divides the neighborhoods and Lake Eola from one another. Using a road diet to reduce the width by one lane and adding on-street parking would reduce the speeds on Robinson, and increase opportunities for retail to be successful on Robinson in downtown. The reduced speeds would benefit walking conditions and cycling.


Richard Geller, Esq., Vice Chairman

GellerRick Geller received his B.A. from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio and his J.D., cum laude, from Temple University.  He is a partner at Fishback Dominick, practicing in the areas of business and commercial litigation and land use.  Mr. Geller was an adjunct professor at Rollins College teaching Land Use Law in the Masters of Planning in Civic Urbanism program and also served as the Planning and Zoning Commissioner for Orange County, District 1.

If you could change one road in Orlando to better accommodate walkers and bikers, which would it be? 

Central Florida has numerous roads warranting safer configurations for walkers and bicyclists.  In the City of Orlando, Corrine Drive is a prime example of a dreary, overly-built road calling for wider sidewalks and bicycle lanes or, better yet, a linear park with a multi-use trail down the middle, inspired by Boston’s Commonwealth Avenue.

What is the most notable achievement thus far towards safer streets in Central Florida?

Winter Park is building Metro Orlando’s first cycle track, a project I proposed three years ago to sharply reduce the number of conflict points between motorists and bicyclists.  The half-mile cycle track will begin at Cady Way Trail, giving many in Central Florida their first opportunity to experience riding in one.


Frank Gilbert, Ph.D, Treasurer/Secretary

GilbertFrank Gilbert is Director of Test Development for Orange County Public Schools in Orlando Florida, the 9th largest school district in the US. As Director, Frank leads the process of creating local assessments for the district. Recognized as a leader in the field, Frank is sought after as a speaker on ways to creating high-quality assessments that support good instruction and sound decisions. Frank is past president of the Florida Educational Research Association and consults with schools and assessment companies.  As a bicycle commuter, Frank includes bicycling at the core of an integrated transportation network.

Why are you devoting your time to this cause?

Bicycling addresses so many of the problems we are facing. It improves the rider and it improves the community they ride through.

Earliest memory of walking or biking?

I walked to school starting in first grade. I started riding my bike to school when I was 7 or 8.  When I was 13 I had a paper route on my bike. I think that is where I developed the view of bicycling as more than entertainment. It could provide transportation and was part of work.

How many times did you ride a bicycle in the past year?

I commute to works most days and bicycle recreationally on the weekend so probably around 300+.


Eliza Harris Juliano, AICP

JulianoEliza Juliano is the Director of Urbanism at Canin Associates in downtown Orlando where she leads the Urban Design and Planning studio. Canin Associates’ multidisciplinary team tackles projects including master-planned communities, infill, form-based coding, transportation design, and public sector planning.  She also led the development of an innovative approach to MetroPlan Orlando’s Long Range Transportation Plan that addressed how land use and urban design impact multimodal transportation outcomes. She completed a Masters of Urban Planning Degree at the Harvard School of Design and is currently on the national board of the Congress for the New Urbanism. Eliza also served on the sustainability committees for Orlando and Orange County.

Why are you devoting your time to this cause?

I encountered the New Urbanism while pursuing a Biochemical Sciences degree at Harvard.  It immediately resonated with my contrasting experiences growing up in Manhattan and in suburban South Carolina, and I vowed that no teen should be trapped in sprawl again.

In 15 years, what does the region look like?

In fifteen years, Orlando will be a paradise for bikers and walkers with towns and city centers are that are very walkable and bikeable. And the gaps in our trail system with connect those central places to far and wide recreational opportunities throughout the region. An important key to making walking and biking a part of everyday life is having enough places within a reasonable distance to walk and bike to. That means higher density development in the right places with the right walking and biking connections.

Earliest memory of walking or biking?

I got a tricycle with red accents and streamers when I was three. Best Christmas gift ever.

Street, sidewalk, or trail rider?

Street; except when I am thwarted by one-way streets.

If you could change one road in Orlando to better accommodate walkers and bikers, which would it be?

Corrine Drive is such an amazing opportunity because there is already a thriving community there and many people are walking and biking even though the conditions are pretty miserable. Imagine how many people would if it was actually pleasant. Behind that I would say Mills Ave but that’s going to be a lot more difficult because it carries more traffic.


Jamie Krzeminski, P.E.

Jamie Krzeminski is a senior transportation engineer at HDR Engineering, Inc. in Orlando, Florida. Jamie’s passion is working to promote the concept of “complete streets”, or streets that accommodate the needs of all roadway users, no matter their age or ability, into planning and engineering projects. He has successfully worked with both public and private clients across the country on projects ranging from intersection and corridor-level multimodal improvement projects to region-wide bicycle and pedestrian master plans.

As a regular bicycle commuter and recreational cyclist, he brings a true cyclist’s perspective to his work, which adds to his credibility with clients and advocates.  Jamie is a charter member of the Bike/Walk Central Florida Board of Directors; a past Chairman of the City of Winter Park, Florida’s Pedestrian and Bicycle Advisory Board; an active member of the Institute of Transportation Engineers Pedestrian and Bicycle Council; and is certified to teach bicycle safety and education courses as a League Cycling Instructor (LCI) for the League of American Bicyclists.  Jamie is a graduate of the University of Florida (where he raced on and was President of Team Florida, the University of Florida cycling team), and is a registered Professional Engineer and certified Professional Traffic Operations Engineer.

Why are you devoting yourself to this cause?

I am a big believer in making our streets safe for users of all ages and abilities.  If our streets are safe, accommodating and inviting for children, seniors, and those with disabilities, they will work for everyone.  With me having parents in their 70s and an 8-year old son, accommodating people on both ends of the age spectrum are always in my mindset.  Unfortunately in Central Florida, we have a ways to go – it seems like there’s hardly a day that goes by when you don’t hear of a crash or fatality involving a non-motorized user on one of our roadways, and it’s heartbreaking to hear about these incidents.  However, by addressing this issue from many angles – from engineering roads that encourage slower speeds, to educating motorists, pedestrians, and bicyclists, to working with many community partners such as law enforcement – I believe we can make Central Florida a much safer place for people walking and riding bikes.

How many times did you ride a bicycle in the past year?

Nearly 250 times – that total includes recreational/group road rides, biking to work, and rides with my family.  I ride to work as often as I can, typically about 3 to 4 days a week.  It’s a relatively short trip of just over 3 miles that only takes a handful of minutes longer than driving.  Also, my son and I try to ride to his school (a 2-mile ride) at least one morning a week.

What city do you look to as a model for safe streets and courteous road users?

I took a trip to Victoria, British Columbia about 10 years ago and was very impressed with how courteous the drivers were there.  Drivers would slow down and yield even before my wife and I would get to a crossing, sometimes stopping when we were near a crosswalk but not even intending to cross the street!    Victoria is very active with people walking and riding bikes everywhere, it was easy and safe to get around without a motor vehicle, and is a great model for Central Florida to aspire to.  In particularly, if we could even get close to their level of driver courtesy towards people walking and riding bikes, it would make such a huge difference here.


Kelly Morphy

Kelly helps neighborhoods and towns become healthier, better connected, more accessible and more sustainable through meaningful civic engagement and better built environments. She has been working toward this goal for nearly two decades. She is currently the sole proprietor of Strongfoot Group, an organization that collaborates with non-profits, government agencies and private firms. She currently is working with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to help make streets and public places safer for bikers and walkers in Guam.

Before that, Kelly served as the Executive Director for the Walkable and Livable Communities Institute—a nationwide organization dedicated to creating connected communities that support active and healthy living through advocating for better built environments.

Kelly earned a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from the University of Guam.

Why are you devoting your time to this cause?

Through creating walkable, bikeable and livable communities, we can address a lot of our common issues across neighborhoods and counties. I see walkable communities as a way to ensure not only transportation equity and improved local economies, but also as a way to connect people across generations and across different parts of the community. We can do more when we aren’t only getting around in our cars by ourselves, going from garage to parking lot.

In Central Florida, we have great opportunities to improve lives through a better built environment; a walkable and bikeable environment is one element we can really focus on.

What city do you look to as a model for safe streets and courteous road users?

In my work, my experience has been that many cities have pockets where really safe, comfortable, welcoming streets exist. Where streets are designed this way, the drivers are more courteous, because the design of the street encourages that behavior.

In the greater Orlando area, you can find many examples of bikeable, walkable areas, including parts of Winter Park, where Bike Walk Central Florida is headquartered, and Winter Garden, where I am based. In every city in the U.S., I believe you can find examples of good street design, along with examples of opportunities for investment and change.

In 15 years, what does walking and biking look like in the region?

First, it’s comfortable and safe by design—through intentional design that comes from great policy and progressive approaches to transportation. Choosing active transportation should be an easy decision to make.

That’s really ambitious for 15 years, but it’s what I’d like to see. If we put our hearts and heads into it, we could make a lot of progress toward streets that are safe and comfortable for all users, regardless of their mode of travel.


David OverfieldOverfield

David Overfield has been employed by the Florida Department of Health – Orange since 1999 and currently serves as the Director of Environmental Health. He has served on the Board of BWCF since its inception, rides his bike monthly, and walks daily.

Why are you devoting yourself to this cause?

I am a part of this effort as I believe that people need to walk or bike for their health but they need to feel safe in order to do so.

If you could change one road in Orlando to better accommodate walkers and bikers, which would it be? 

If I could fix any road in Orlando for bicyclists and pedestrians it would be Colonial.


Lisa Portelli, M.P.A

PortelliLisa Portelli has been a Program Director at the Winter Park Health Foundation for 13 years where she oversees the Foundation’s Community Health funding focus area and has led WPHF’s entry into policy work. In Spring of 2014, Lisa became an adjunct instructor at the University of Central Florida and teaches courses in the Masters of Urban and Regional Planning and Masters in Non-Profit Management Programs.

Lisa is co-founder of Health News Florida and assisted in the start-up of numerous non-profit organizations including Bike/Walk Central Florida.

Lisa currently serves on the board of the Walkable and Livable Communities Institute (WALC), Bike/Walk Central Florida, the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce, and the United Way Financial Stability Cabinet. Lisa was appointed to serve on the region’s MPO (MetroPlan Orlando) Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee by the Eatonville Town Council and is a strong advocate for safer streets for cyclists and pedestrians.

Lisa Portelli has a degree in journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh and a Master’s in Public Administration from the University of Central Florida.

Lisa and her husband live in Winter Park where they raised two great children. Lisa is an avid cyclist and Ironman Triathlete.

In 15 years, what does the region look like?

In 15 years, an 8 or an 80-year-old will have numerous places that they feel safe to walk, run or ride their bikes in our community.


P.J. Smith, AICP

PJ Smith is the Senior GIS (Geographic Information Systems) Analyst and Urban Designer at the East Central Florida Regional Planning Council, at which he has been a team member since 2012. In his role with the Planning Council, PJ collaborates with the Council’s eight counties and 78 member communities on projects across a breadth of disciplines, including urban design, transportation and land-use analytics, health-impact analyses, coastal resiliency planning and low-impact development. PJ focuses on the link between land use and transportation mobility in much of his work, providing insight into areas of practice including bicycle and pedestrian safety, corridor enhancements and community health.

PJ earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from University of Florida and a Master of Planning and Civic Urbanism from Rollins College.

Why are you devoting your time to this cause?

I am devoting my time to Bike/Walk Central Florida to assist in the development of a healthy dialogue among community planners, elected officials, transportation engineers and local residents about improving bicycle and pedestrian safety and mobility in the Orlando metro area. I will use this opportunity to advocate alongside fellow board members for infrastructure projects that prioritize bicycle and pedestrian safety enhancements while strategizing methods of communication and outreach to increase walking and biking rates in Central Florida. Over the intermediate to longer term, I hope to assist the group in the development of online mapping products that visualize current or future bicycle and pedestrian projects, bicycle lanes, trails, the Best Foot Forward yielding program, and other map resources that allow Central Floridians to engage with their city and the Bike/Walk Central Florida mission digitally.

What city do you look to as a model for safe streets and courteous road users?

I’m going to have to go old school and pick Rome, Italy. An important element about Rome is that it was laid out centuries before cars existed. Because of this, the vast majority of roadways in Rome are generally narrow, open up into public squares, have supportive ground level land uses and – most importantly – favor the scale of the pedestrian over the automobile. These design elements place motorists in a ‘discretionary’ position relative to pedestrians, improving driver awareness and overall network safety.

If you could change one road in Orlando to better accommodate walkers and bikers, which would it be?

Mills Avenue between Colonial Drive and Virginia Drive could be an excellent retrofit option for the City of Orlando. The corridor is flanked by some of Orlando’s most well-known food, retail and nightlife options and is supported by an east-west grid network featuring some of Orlando’s most historic bungalows. The only ingredient missing from the corridor is a livable street design. The roadway could potentially be narrowed down, allowing more room for bicycle lanes, wide sidewalks and much-needed tree coverage that would enhance bike/ped connectivity, comfort and utility north of downtown.


Brenda Young, P.E.

Brenda Young has worked for the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) since 2002. She is currently the Passenger Operations Manager, overseeing transit, bicycle and pedestrian, commuter assistance, and park-and-ride staff and programs. She is the District 5 champion for FDOT’s bicycle and pedestrian safety initiative, FDOT’s statewide champion to provide more transportation choices for people and goods, and serves on the Central Florida Transportation Planning Group Board. She stays involved in state and local initiatives and professional organizations to support the future sustainability of multimodal transportation.  Ms. Young received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Civil Engineering from the University of Central Florida and is a licensed engineer.

Why are you devoting your time to this cause?

I want to make Central Florida a place where you can live, work, play and have multimodal transportation choices. Having walking, biking and transit options are better for our health and the sustainability of our infrastructure, environment and economy.

Are you a walker or a biker?

Both, for utility and recreation! I would walk and bike everywhere if I could, but for now I settle for biking to and from work when I can, and daily walks with my dog.

What part of Orlando would you most like to see become more friendly for people walking and bicycling?

I would love to see more of Central Florida’s multi-lane highways become more walking and biking friendly, with more crossings and improved land use patterns to provide more accessible places for all people to safely travel on our roadways. People want and need to travel across large roads such as Colonial Drive, Semoran Boulevard, and Orange Blossom Trail, to access places such as jobs, housing, shopping, healthcare, and schools.  Our land uses and multimodal transportation infrastructure need to be coordinated as a cohesive system to meet the needs of all travelers.

In 15 years, what does walking and biking look like in the region?

In my perfect world, people make different life choices in how they work, shop, and recreate, ultimately affecting transportation demands and patterns. Land use development, workforces, social networks, and technology are already changing to meet the evolving market demands, focusing more on quality of life and making better use of space. Philosophies on sharing are changing too—we’re sharing cars, bikes, even homes. Ultimately I foresee the demand for single-occupancy vehicles significantly dropping, and we’ll need to repurpose all the pavement people have been using for driving and parking, creating more space for people using transit, walking, and biking.