El Grupo is run by a growing group of passionate, engaged individuals who care about youth, being active and healthy, and the community.
Daniela Diamente | Executive Director & Co-Founder
I have always loved to be active and outdoors, everywhere! – which mostly consisted of playing soccer at a high level and camping and traveling with my family throughout adolescence. Traveling took over when I left playing Division 1 soccer at Butler University to study in Spain and Costa Rica. Graduate school and choosing to live somewhere I could commute by bike or walking brought me to Tucson. I have a MA in Cultural Anthropology from the University of Arizona with a focus on youth development, democracy and education reform. After extensive work with youth and communities in Central America, I served as the Education and Administrative Director for five years at BICAS, a nonprofit education and recycling center for bicycles. I was the Event Coordinator for the first two years of Cyclovia Tucson, a community-wide event that closed 5 miles of roadways to cars and opened them to people to be active – over 10,000 people attended each event. I am the co-founder of El Grupo with my husband (also the Head Coach) Ignacio – who re-introduced me to the bicycle and the worlds that it opens. We like to ride bikes every way you can, but especially with our son Damiano.
Ignacio Rivera de Rosales | Head Coach/Program Director & Co-Founder
I am an educator, a coach and a papa. I have an MA in Bilingual Education from the University of Arizona with a focus on using excitement for bicycles for second language acquisition. My “day job” is as Pima County’s Bicycle & Pedestrian Educator. I teach Safe Routes to School to over four thousand elementary and middle school students annually. I served many roles – as Administrative Director and then Lead Instructor / Education Co-coordinator – at BICAS for over 8 years. I have taught thousands of kids and adults the joy of recycling bicycles. I am a nationally certified bike safety instructor through the League of American Bicyclists and a USA Cycling Level 2 Coach. I enjoy helping kids realize and achieve goals that they thought impossible. I was recognized as a Local Hero by Tucson Weekly in 2011, and as Champion for Children by Child & Family Resources in 2012. I have more dreams for making children’s lives better (through bikes!) than a lifetime can handle, but that is not about to slow me down. My favorite axiom is by the esteemed Yoda: Do or do not. There is no try.
Carmen Elena L’Annunziata Monge | Associate Program Director
I am a firm believer in the value of community engagement, especially building supportive networks and programs for youth. Some of the most important and transformative work that we do occurs on the “ground floor” –the foundational stuff that directly engages youth, families and community members as collaborative partners and change agents in their worlds. I have over ten years professional experience working within a diversity of community-based programs and non-profits as well as with youth based initiatives. I have an MA in Environment and Community from Humboldt State University and an MA in Gender and Women’s Studies from the University of Arizona. Both degrees have nurtured and deepened my understanding of social justice and equity issues. I have held numerous teaching positions over the past four years, and have loved the opportunities these have afforded me to engage students on their learning paths. For as long as I can remember I have also loved to experience the world physically and intensely. Every trail I encounter invites me to run it, and every hill I see begs to be ascended. I ran competitively in high school and college, transitioning to cycling later in life. I am constantly in the process of further developing my passion and knowledge for all aspects of health and well-being. As an educator I have come to learn that there are multiple kinds of intelligences, and that our holistic maturity depends on nurturing not only our intellects, but also our spiritual, physical and emotional selves. The simultaneous development of these interconnected parts results in the evolution of our best selves. I am committed to this whole “person approach,” to being part of team that works on the “ground floor,” empowering youth to excel and reach their highest potentials encouraging and pushing them to be their very best selves.
Morgan Adams | Grupito Coordinator & Head Coach
I’m an Arizona native, dad, and bike rider/advocate. My bike racing days go all the way back to the early ‘70’s where my first race was at PXA (Phoenix) BMX on my big wheel! I’ve pretty much been obsessed with bikes and racing since that day. My academic education consists of a microbiology degree from NAU, but I only really remember all those Sedona-Flagstaff trails. In 2003 my family moved away from Tucson, then moved back in 2011 – learned about El Grupo and wanted to get involved, but timing was wrong. Now the timing is right between my family and the start of El Grupito. I love coaching the El Grupito riders! I’m always so impressed with their natural abilities and enthusiasm. I hope to help kids learn to love all things about cycling and believe El Grupo is providing a valuable framework for that goal.
Lynn Hudson | Clubhouse Manager & El Grupito Coach
I am a bike lover, physical educator for the past 10 years, graduated form the University of Arizona with a BS and K-12 teaching certificate, and long time bike mechanic! I love anything with wheels and enjoy sharing my passion for bike riding with others, especially youth. Arrived in Tucson in 1999 and fell in love with the desert through cycling. Cycling has taking me many places over the years and made many friends along the way. I now get to share these experiences with my two children through el Grupito and work along side el Grupo! Mountain biking, road biking, BMX, commuting, and anything else bike related is a great way to instill positive life long habits in the youth and el Grupo/Grupito is the way!
Luke Murray | El Grupito Coach
Lucas Murray has been part of the El Grupo team since the end of 2010 and had drifted away for a year only to realize something huge was missing in his life. With a background in Shakespearean and children’s theatre, rock climbing and an all encompassing love for the bike, Luke is one of our head coaches on El Grupito.
Ian Ure | Team Mechanic
Back in high school, I took a cycling elective that Ignacio taught, so I got into bike riding. I eventually started riding more and worked on my own bikes. I ended up riding and racing with El Grupo from 2006-2008. I would also go to BICAS and learn more about bikes and the tools. Through Ignacio, I got my first job at FairWheel Bikes. Ever since then, I’ve been working at bike shops around town. Being back with El Grupo is nice to get back to my roots and work with the kids. It’s also a joy to work with a variety of bikes and parts that aren’t necessarily brand new. Working on bikes with the parts you have is more fun- it’s like a puzzle.
Shawn Gregore | Volunteer Coach
I fell in love with bicycles early in my life and raced BMX as a kid and CAT 1/2 in my teens and 20’s. Though my racing days are mostly gone, I enjoy all aspects of the sport and still compete from time to time. As a Tucson native, I’d seen El Grupo riders at various events and decided in 2013 to get involved. I wanted to give back to a sport that had been so crucial to my development as a youth. In 2014, I joined El Grupo’s staff as team mechanic and B team coach. I work at Fairwheel Bikes, enjoy music, riding with friends and sharing the El Grupo experience with my wife, Veronique.
Veronique Pardee | Volunteer Coach
Until my late twenties, when I finally broke down and bought a car, my bicycle got me everywhere. At first it was solely a means of transportation and then a means of escape and recreation. In between college and law school, I set out to cycle self-supported from Philadelphia to all the State Parks within striking distance in New Jersey, Maryland and New York. I also worked that summer as a bicycle messenger. A full-on life-long love affair began. After moving to Tucson, I was introduced to mountain biking and the love deepened. After my first ride with El Grupo, I was hooked on the fun. I joined the staff in 2014 as C team coach. During the day, I work as a lawyer. I also enjoy painting, skateboarding and living the good life with my husband Shawn and our three dogs.
Colin Holmes | Academic Tutor / Volunteer Coach
I am a Bicycle Advocate, working as the IT coordinator and a bicycle repair instructor at BICAS. I also work for Pima County DOT as an LCI (safety instructor) and mechanic. My side job and other interest is software engineering. I studied Computer Science, and Mathematics with a focus on Computer Science, at the University of Arizona. I have been riding with/coaching El Grupo since 2007 and have been car free since 2008. I love promoting the bicycle as a form of transportation!
CURRENT BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Don Hubman | President
I moved to Tucson in 2009 and immediately fell in love with the weather and outdoor lifestyle. Endurance sports such as cycling and running have always been a part of my life and through the cycling community in Tucson I discovered the awesomeness of the El Grupo mission. Sports and outdoor activity have been fundamental in forming my character and I believe have played a major role in the successes I have had. I therefore support groups who use physical activity to help youth find their way in life.
My career started in Manufacturing Engineering in Pennsylvania, and I have progressed through various stages of technical consulting, sales and business management over the years. As such I bring what skills and experience I can to the El Grupo board.
Paul Durham | Vice President
Within 48 hours of finishing my first bar exam, I was on a plane from Seattle to London to begin a two-month solo bike touring trip from London to Athens. I really didn’t know what I was doing, but I had read some books on the subject! I’ve loved cycling all my life and bike touring since that first long trip. I’m now a retired business transactions and securities lawyer, living in Tucson since 2004. After a much more recent bike touring trip in 2012 from Vancouver, BC to Tucson via the Pacific coast, I resolved to make a greater contribution to cycling in my home town and support the next generation of Tucson cyclists by joining the El Grupo Board. I am one of many adults who regret that there was no organization like El Grupo in my community when I was a kid.
Steve Wilson | Treasurer
I came to Tucson in 1980 right out of college to work for IBM. I have a BS in electrical engineering and a MS in engineering management and spent the next 31 years working on high end storage development projects, retiring in 2011. I starting cycling as an adult in 1990 and started bike commuting in the mid 90’s. 150,000 miles later I still love riding my bike everywhere. I love unsupported bike touring and have ridden many places around the globe on 4 continents and counting.
I joined the Board of Directors at GABA in the early 2000’s and that is where I came to know Daniela and Ignacio and learn about the new youth cycling group El Grupo. I liked what I saw and stayed in contact through the years, joining the Board 4 years ago. I really enjoy being a part of the organization and watching the young people develop and grow in their capabilities and self confidence. Organizations like El Grupo are a big part of what makes Tucson a great cycling community.
Lisa Anne Trudinger-Smith | Secretary
I still remember the great 10 speed bike I got when I was about 10 years old. I remember how much I loved that bike and the freedom that it gave me to ride all over the place and spend long summer days exploring the creeks and candy stores of my hometown. Riding a bike years later in Boston as I commuted to and from work made me feel like some kind of an urban warrior, fighting for my life among the crazy cars out there on the road. Then I found myself living in Tucson without a car for a couple of years and getting everywhere on my bike. Around the time I turned forty, I learned to swim and became a mediocre triathlete. I’m no longer a kid, a car-free student, or a triathlete; I’m a mother of three and a lawyer and I get most of my exercise in my garage-gym. But I still feel freedom when I get on my bike and ride. I’m happy to be a part of El Grupo to make that same joy available to the young people of Tucson!
Marc Fleischman | Member at Large
Riding bicycles, living healthy and supporting our youth are aspects of life that are very important to me, and any organization with a mission that combines all three has my support. Our goal with El Grupo is to empower underprivileged youth to become the next generation of active and community-minded cycling enthusiasts and leaders in Tucson. When I’m not cycling, I’m working in my role as CEO of BeachFleischman PC, where I lead a team of community-minded professionals who collaborate with businesses, individuals and organizations to save taxes, preserve wealth, improve accountability, achieve compliance and enhance profitability. Working in public accounting since 1976, I have extensive experience helping small to medium-sized businesses throughout the various stages of their development. I also specialize in litigation support services, including mediation, business valuations, damage calculations, financial consulting and taxation issues in domestic relations matters. I’m a University of Arizona graduate and a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and Arizona Society of Certified Public Accountants. I am also actively involved with the Tucson Jewish Community Center and a board member of Sun Corridor Inc.
Linda Fahey | Member at Large (Strategic Positioning, Marketing Strategy, Communications)
Linda’s extensive experience prior to establishing Dark Horse Media encompasses many areas of the advertising agency business, working for agencies and media outlets in Las Vegas, Phoenix and Tucson. Additionally, Linda has held corporate marketing positions with Helen of Troy, Castle Park Entertainment and Chuck E. Cheese, complimenting Linda’s well-rounded portfolio of event marketing, strategic planning, advertising campaign planning and community relations abilities. Linda acquired her BBA in Marketing from the University of Texas at El Paso in 1981. Linda has been cycling for 15 years, participating in – and even winning a few races in Arizona. Prior to cycling Linda was involved in numerous sports, most notably she attended university on a tennis scholarship, was a teaching pro and even played in a few pro tennis tournaments
Christian Timmerman | Member at Large
I am an un-employed college dropout and father of two (dog and cat). I enjoy road trips, candle-lit dinners and long walks on the beach.
I have hiked from Mexico to Canada and biked from Canada to Mexico. I like road biking and love mountain biking.
I began coaching with El Grupo in 2007 after falling under Ignacio’s spell. I started El Grupo’s weblog and built their first website. I am a founding board member. I continue to volunteer with El Grupo mainly for the free draft in El Tour de Tucson.
John Markley | Member at Large
John Markley, 50 something, resides in Tucson, AZ where he enjoys cooking, cycling and woodworking while attempting to figure out other interesting things to do with his time. He is co-founder and co-owner of Iron John’s Brewing Company, an artisan brewery and bottle shop. In previous lives John has worked as an investment manager, software engineer and ranch hand. John began his association with El Grupo in the Fall of 2012, looking for a way to channel his cycling energy into something rewarding, productive and community based.
Reg Dowdall | Member at Large
Gillian Paine-Murrieta | Parent Representative
I feel that it is very important to give back to organizations and causes that are important to you. Three of my four children have either been or currently are on El Grupo. El Grupo has changed our lives for the better and given all members of my family so many important life skills, memories, friendships, and experiences. I have always enjoyed riding my bicycle, but I now have a renewed interest in the sport especially mountain biking. I feel that my life and work skills can help me facilitate the mission of El Grupo and be a strong parent representative.
Cole Lanning | Youth Representative
Junior at Tucson High Magnet School