MICAH NIELSEN, Board President
As the Program Director for Montana Women Vote, Micah spends much of her time advocating for changes that make 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 also serves on the board for 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 tinkering around in her garage.
LAURIE STALLING, VP of BWAM and President of Women Bike Missoula
Bikes take over Laurie’s garage – commuter, road, cross and mt. bikes along with a bike trailer for her two granddaughters. Her love of biking and walking around town brought her to the BWAM board. She helped Women Bike Missoula, an affiliate to BWAM, get off the ground in order to get more women biking for recreation and commuting. Retired from teaching, she cares for her grandkids and escapes into the mountains all year round. Laurie and her family feel so fortunate to live in Missoula and love being a part of the community.
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.
JULIA SCHECHTER, Secretary
If Julia could love an inanimate object, it would be bicycles. She believes they are the solution to many issues related to mental and physical health, the environment, and economics. Julia rode her bicycle from Columbus, Ohio to Astoria, Oregon in the summer of 2015. On this life-changing trip she met her partner Maxton and discovered the joy of bicycle travel and the beauty of this landscape and its people. Together they moved to Missoula on a whim and now go on adventures with their 1-year old son. Julia worked for the City of Missoula as a Bicycle Ambassador, promoting bicycles as transportation as well as safe, legal, and courteous riding. She now works for Mountain Line as a Bus Ambassador and enjoys exploring the town by bike with her son Onyx in tow.
REBECCA CALABRESE, Treasurer
Rebecca thinks communities that promote biking and walking are more inclusive, since many Missoulians like Rebecca walk, bike, or bus to work. Furthermore, public trails and accessible city streets help all people access outdoor recreation. Rebecca joined the board in 2016 to help continue BWAM’s work on these issues.
Rebecca received her BA in History and Master’s of Social Work from the University of Montana. Since 2014, Rebecca has interned and worked for Missoula City-County Relationship Violence Services, helping to amplify the voices of survivors. In 2016 and 2017, Rebecca worked for Montana Women Vote, registering people to vote and discussing the issues that matter most to people in our community.
EMMA WIMMER, “Doer of All the Things”
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.
Drew Larson has been a City of Missoula Land Use Planner since fall of 2013 and before that worked for Missoula in Motion 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.
Elizabeth is a family physician working for the Family Medicine Residency of Western Montana and seeing patients at 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!