Meet the Board

TOM BRIGHAM, President

LAURIE STALLING, President of Women Bike Missoula

Laurie remembers getting her first bike when she was five and it was love at first sight.  She even met the love of her Laurie Stalling smllife road biking.  37 years later, their two kids laugh at their garage full of road, cross, commuter and mt. bikes.

Graduating from Colorado State University in Environmental studies, jobs took her to Alaska, Virginia, Minnesota and Missoula.  In Alaska and Virginia, she developed recreation programs for the community.  In  Minnesota, she taught English as a Second Language to children and adults from around the world.  Retired from teaching, she moved to Missoula and ski instructs at Snowbowl and is a personal trainer.  Caring for her two-year-old granddaughter has been the most rewarding.

In 2014, BWAM asked her to help develop a program to get more women biking for recreation and transportation.  Women Bike Missoula (MizzBs) is off to a strong start and growing.  Women have a strong influence in their communities and are strong advocates.  Look for us touring the town and learning the trail systems in Missoula.

KENT WATSON, Vice President

As a native Montanan Kent is delighted to have come “home,” as it were, to Missoula, a town that has historically Kent Watsonadvocated for pedestrians and bicyclists. He brought his family back to Montana from San Francisco in 1994, largely as result of having proposed on updating the Missoula Non-motorized Plan in 1991. Though his company did not get the project, this process turned him onto Missoula as a good place to work and raise their daughter.

Kent is Owner and Principal of Kent Watson & Associates, Landscape Architecture, in Missoula. As a practicing Landscape Architect he specializes in the planning and design of bicycle/pedestrian systems and facilities, as well as parks and recreation facilities, and other large landscapes all over the Rocky Mountain west. Working with local engineering firms, he has designed most of the bike/ped pathways around Missoula – namely the Bitterroot Branch and Milwaukee Road systems. With this background and expertise, he looks forward to working with the BWAM board to continue improving all of our pedestrian and bicycle facilities.

Having “grown up” in Yellowstone Park, he brings a strong environmental ethic and sensibility to all of his endeavors, which includes his activity with a variety of environmental and non-profit organizations for over 40 years. He holds a BLA degree from N. C. State University and Master’s degree from the University of California at Berkeley.

DREW LARSON, Treasurer

Drew Larson has been a City of Missoula Land Use Planner since fall of 2013 and before that worked for Missoula in Drew LarsonMotion as a Program Manager and ran Sunday Streets Missoula, Commuter Challenge, and the Sustainable Best Practice Awards. Drew also spent time serving on the University of Montana’s Transportation and Housing boards before graduating with a B.S. Resource Conservation.

Drew frequently supports sustainable transportation efforts by engaging with multiple communities including friends, family, and the Missoula area. He enjoys biking 9 months a year and can be found riding the bus during the winter months.

Drew joined the BWAM board to continue his efforts with sustainable transportation and would like to see more regional bike trails connected as well as City infrastructure grow to create a safe and encouraging network.

EMMA WIMMER, Secretary_MG_5463b

Emma joined the BWAM Board in February 2016. After falling in love with bike commuting in Washington, DC, she started leading women’s social rides and did a bike overnight with a friend. Upon moving to Missoula, her passion for cycling sparked her interest in advocacy for safer bicycling and walking. It’s truly a way of life for her, as she does not own a car.

TOM GIGNOUX

Tom, Tom G 2103-150ha Missoula cyclist for 40 years, appreciates the work BWAM, the Missoula City and County government, other bicycle advocacy groups, Missoula drivers, and the Missoula Police have done in the last dozen years to make Missoula the great cycling city we are now. Missoula continues to lead the nation for safe and pleasant cycling.

He advocates for bike/pedestrian paths separate from motor traffic, a simple way for the city to fulfill its responsibility to proved safe passage on public right-of-ways for all modes of travel. For this Missoula is fortunate to have much infrastructure in place for a path network from Turah to Frenchtown on the Milwaulkee Trail – connecting to the Bitterroot Branch Trail which will soon connect to the Lolo to Hamilton trail.

Uniquely, this network connects to a trail along Rattlesnake Creek to the National Rattlesnake Wilderness Area. Connections to a bike path over Evaro Hill and to the abandoned RR spur along the Blackfoot River from Bonner to Clearwater Junction may also be possible.

Tom advocates for pedestrian overpasses at busy intersections (and an aerial tram from downtown to the U) noting that avoidablecar/pedestrian accidents cost Missoula on the order of $10,000,000 a year in medical, legal and insurance costs. These improvements will be even more important with 700 parking spaces planned with the new College of Technology, large housing and banking projects starting downtown, the possible VA facility in the Federal Building, and with the threefold increase in train traffic projected through town.

Tom is an exploration geologist who is working to bring back Montana’s vast mountain groundwater reservoirs by reestablishing beaver and beaver ponds on public lands. He received a Purple Heart in the Marine Corps and is a strong peace advocate.

MICAH NIELSEN

As the Program Director for Montana Women Vote, Micah spends much of her time advocating for changes that Micahmake it easier for all of us to achieve independence and security. She joined the BWAM board in 2015 out of a desire to use some of her advocacy energy on equitable access to safe biking and walking infrastructure, because access to varied and safe transportation options is an economic justice issue for many in our community. Micah has had the privilege of working on a wide variety of issues throughout her career, including Medicaid expansion, fair tax policy, pre-k education, voting access, senior services, and non-discrimination. Micah has managed the organizing arm of Montana Women Vote’s field work for the past two cycles, including a ballot initiative, voter registration campaigns, GOTV work, and legislative organizing, and plans the annual Women’s Policy Leadership Institute in Helena. Micah serves on the board for the Bike-Walk Alliance of Missoula (BWAM), the Missoula City Board of Adjustment, Social Justice Fund-Northwest, and on the Advocacy and Education committee for the Missoula Food Bank. When Micah isn’t hanging out with her partner and pooch, you’ll find her wading through rivers or powder, watching football, helping her friends garden in tiny spaces, and working on home improvement projects.

ELIZABETH PADDOCK

Elizabeth is a family physician working for the Family Medicine Residency of Western Montana and seeing patients IMG_1666at Partnership Health Center.  She came to Missoula in the fall of 2012 and can’t believe how amazing it has been!  The mountains, the rivers, the running and hiking and biking!

Elizabeth is an advocate of people moving their bodies.  Being sedentary is a determent to both physical and emotional health.  Creating cities that promote biking and walking for transportation and exercise is very important to her.