Finally, we see white smoke rising above the Downtown headquarters of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition.
Three months after long-time Executive Director Jen Klausner announced she’d be leaving at the end of the year, the LACBC has hired lawyer and non-profit executive Tamika Butler to lead the organization into its next phase of growth.
The hire comes at the end of an exhaustive, nationwide search that brought in resumes from nearly 100 qualified applicants, which was slowly whittled down to a final three before Butler was offered the job.
I’m told it was a very difficult decision. But at every phase, Butler stood out for her experience in leading a non-profit advocacy organization, as well as her focus on building membership and reaching out to the many diverse, and too often undeserved, communities that make up the City of Angels.
She has big bike shoes to fill.
Klausner has been the face of the LACBC for seven years, taking the bike coalition from adolescence to an award-winning organization with a national reputation and influence far beyond its size. And the only leader of the coalition most of us have ever known.
The thought of replacing her was, as the movie says, inconceivable.
Which is why Butler steps into the same role, not as her replacement, but as someone dedicated to building on the organization’s success, and leading it into even greater growth and influence.
She brings a new face, new ideas and fresh enthusiasm for building a better, safer and more enjoyable community for everyone who travels on two wheels. As well as all those who have been reluctant to give it a try, or thought bicycling just wasn’t for someone like them.
She is not the new Jen Klausner.
She is Tamika Butler, the next leader of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition.
And by all accounts, the coalition is very lucky to have her.
You can read the LACBC’s full press release announcing her hire below.
Introducing the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition’s new Executive Director!
After an extensive national search, the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition is pleased to announce that our Board of Directors has selected Tamika Butler to lead LACBC into the next phase of continued growth as we further our mission to make the Los Angeles region a healthy, safe and fun place to ride a bike.
“I’m really proud of the process and results of the search and couldn’t be more excited about Tamika as our next Executive Director,” says LACBC Board President Steve Boyd.
Tamika Butler brings to LACBC a proven track record of sustainably expanding and running programs and organizations, as well as a policy and advocacy background. She spent three years as an employment lawyer at the Legal Aid Society-Employment Law Center and most recently comes from Liberty Hill Foundation, where she was the Director of Social Change Strategies. She first made her mark in Los Angeles as the California Director at the startup policy and advocacy organization Young Invincibles, where she managed the west coast regional staff, was the media and policy spokesperson, organized and led coalitions, developed curriculum and trainings, and fundraised to expand the organization’s presence on the west coast. She also developed relationships with community leaders and state and local lawmakers to advance the organization’s policy goals.
“I am thrilled to have the privilege to become the next Executive Director of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition and look forward to continuing the success, growth, and cutting edge work of the organization. Biking in Los Angeles County has personally changed my life and deepens my love of the region every time I go for a ride. We’re lucky to live and bike in a county full of diverse communities that motivate this talented staff and me to push towards building a healthier, more vibrant Los Angeles County. I am excited to start pedaling, dig deep, and get to work with our members and partners, within and across sectors, as we race to the front lines of the nationwide movement to create bikeable, safe, and sustainable neighborhoods.” One of Tamika’s top priorities is to grow the diversity of LACBC staff and coalition membership.
When Jen Klausner started as LACBC’s Executive Director in 2007, there was only one other employee at headquarters, and it was a real struggle to keep doors open. Jen and the organization faced an uphill battle at City Hall to pass the Los Angeles Bike Plan and get pavement striped with room for bikes. Seven years later, under her leadership, there are now twelve employees working on your behalf with a LOT of successes! We continue to expand across the county with twelve local chapters. We are poised to extend that reach even further as we strive to more fully represent the diversity of those who bicycle and want to bicycle in all neighborhoods across Los Angeles County. Tamika brings deep experience in social justice work and looks forward to working with the full range of communities across the county. We couldn’t be more excited.
Jen says, “Our new Executive Director Tamika Butler brings a fresh perspective to the leadership of LACBC, and one that is so relevant to the growth of the bike-ped movement and to important dialogues happening here and in cities across the nation. I am confident in Tamika’s ability to take LACBC to the next level, and I, for one, will be staying tuned and keeping my membership current, because this organization is poised to do great things in the coming years. Please join me in extending a very warm welcome to Tamika!”
Jen Mishory, Executive Director of Young Invincibles, agrees that Tamika will make a great Executive Director: “Tamika is a dynamic, innovative leader who will be a huge asset to the LACBC team. She brought Young Invincibles to new heights and I know that she’ll do the same in her new role!”
We look forward to introducing Tamika to our members, partners and supporters at the first available opportunity in January. Look for announcements of those opportunities in our weekly newsletter, on the website, and through Facebook and Twitter. And don’t forget—as part of our end of year campaign, any donation at the $250 level and above will get you an invitation to our January 22nd Donor Thank You Party—an intimate gathering with our brand new Executive Director, Tamika Butler, in attendance. Hope to see you there!