El Grupo is run by a growing group of passionate, engaged individuals who care about youth, being active and healthy, and the community.
Deidra BustosBikepacking Coordinator
Deidra Bustos grew up commuting the streets of Tucson by bike. She was a volunteer coach at El Grupo from 2014 until 2018. Deidra became a Pima Bicycle Ambassador in 2015 and has taught traffic safety skills in multiple schools across Tucson. She has been a mountain biker for eight years and started bikepacking in 2016. Deidra’s favorite trail is the AZT (Arizona Trail) because it’s rugged and spans the length of the state.
Ignacio Rivera de RosalesCo-Founder and Head Team Coach
Bio and Photo coming soon.
Juliana CullenBike Club Coordinator
The daughter of Brazilian immigrants, Juliana has lived in seven different states in the US and in Germany. She got into cycling after one move during high school when she enjoyed finding her way around her new town in New England. After moving to Colorado for college Juliana did some mountain biking and distance riding in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, but has always been more of a casual “commuter” rider. She has been an environmental educator and outdoor adventure mentor with youth for the last five years, including backpacking, snowshoeing, biking, hiking, farming, food foraging, and canoeing. When she’s not riding bikes with El Grupo, you might find her at home with her three chickens.
pNutel Grupito and Facilities Coordinator
Bio and Photo coming soon.
Sam AlexanderGrupito Coach
Sam has been involved with El Grupo for nearly a decade. Starting as a rider in 2013, Sam stayed with the program all the way through high school, racing and even placing 4th overall in the NICA high school MTB league. After high school, Sam shifted from racer to full-time commuter, graduated from the University of Arizona with a Bachelors in Photography, Video, and Imagery, and now is starting a photo-based festival for Southern Arizona. Sam has returned to coach with Grupito and help push the next generation of riders to be safe on the street and to ‘Be Your Own Rider’!
David CrossGrupo Coach
David’s love of cycling has taken him on some pretty amazing bike rides. He
completed the Lands End To John A Groats ride in the UK, an epic 1000 mile
ride taking in Great Britain from its furthest two points. He has ridden
some of the legendary climbs of the Pyrenees, traversing from the Atlantic to
the Mediterranean. Annually riding Mt. Baldy and some of the iconic climbs
of the Sierra Nevadas. And every year (pandemic permitting), he competes in
the Mallorca 312, a 200-mile mountainous lap around the Spanish island.
David’s involvement with El Grupo began as a dedicated volunteer when his
oldest son joined the club, and now, with both sons in the Grupo family,
David is excited to step into a more committed coaching role. He is a firm
believer in the value of positive role-modeling and looks forward to working
with all of the team members to help them achieve their goals and grow their
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Doug Friman, JD, Board ChairAttorney at Law
I joined the Board of El Grupo because I wanted to be involved with an organization that is devoted to helping Tucson youth learn lifelong skills as well as experience the joy that comes from riding bikes. My personal bike history began when I was tearing around Edinburgh, Scotland (where I grew up) on my Blue Schwinn Sting-Ray (with a banana seat and backpedal brakes) bike. I upgraded to a 10-speed bike when I turned 10 years old and crashed heavily on its inaugural ride when I couldn’t figure out how to use the hand brakes. I kept riding (and crashing) for about 23 more years. I’ve been in Tucson since 1999 and rode a bunch of Saturday Shootouts (thanks Ralph Phillips) and loved seeing the El Grupo kids and coaches out on the local hammer fests. I don’t ride my bike much anymore, but I have a law degree from the University of Arizona, and I am happy to add my skillset to this impressive Board.
John Sarikas, Board TreasurerBeachFleischman
Bio and photo coming soon.
Joe Delgado, SecretarySales Executive, Microsoft
Joe Delgado has been working as a sales/consulting executive in the IT Industry for the past 30 years for various companies including IBM, SAP, and Microsoft. Joe is a Tucson native and grew up in the Tucson Mountains trail running/cycling and eventually running cross country and track in college. Having spent most of his life as an endurance athlete Joe made the connection of using the same skills to perform well in endurance events for work and life. Joe is excited to be a Board Member of El Grupo so he can help support an organization where kids can learn these same lifelong skills while being a part of the Tucson cycling community. Outside of work Joe is a certified professional coach with a passion for performance and helping people reach their personal and professional goals. Over the years Joe has been a volunteer coach for various Tucson youth organizations. Joe met his wife at the University of Arizona where they both earned their accounting degrees. They have two children ages 20 and 18. His daughter is a distance runner at the University of San Diego while his son is a senior in high school hoping to run at the college level.
Matt Donaldson, Parent RepresentativePrincipal of Empire High School
Matt Donaldson grew up in Rochester, NY, and made the transition to Tucson, AZ in 2001. Since then he has been an educator in the Vail School District, where he currently serves as principal of Empire High School. Matt’s passion for cycling began when he moved to Tucson and has continued ever since. Matt is married and has two children who started their involvement with El Grupo through the summer bike camp program and are now both members of El Grupito. Matt is an advocate for all things cycling and all things involving supporting the positive development of our youth
Max Blowers, Youth RepresentativeEl Grupo Team Member and Student
Bio and photo coming soon.
Alexis Favis, Marketing Committee ChairDirector, The Agency by SANDOW
Alexis comes to the El Grupo board with a deep passion for community involvement, serving on multiple boards whose mission is to support Tucson youth. She has been involved with the Tucson advertising community since 2009 where she has supported pro-bono marketing campaigns for several Tucson nonprofits. She is a NextGen Award recipient recognizing advertising professionals age 40 and younger who are making a significant impact on the industry through their leadership, career achievements, and personal qualities, which also inspire others to excel. Professionally, she is the Director of The Agency by SANDOW, a leading force in the architecture and design space, where operational excellence and digital marketing are her areas of expertise. She loves to cycle, hike and travel, all hobbies that pair well with her affinity for photography
Keith Kolomichuk, Member at Large
Bio and photo coming soon.
Neil McLeod, Member at LargeDirector of Programs, Miraval Arizona
Neil McLeod is originally from Tucson although spent several years as a kid completely off the grid in northern British Columbia after his family moved there when he was 12. That time in the wilderness strongly influenced the rest of his life, creating a passion for any kind of activity in the wild. After graduating from the University of Arizona, Neil landed in New Mexico as a whitewater guide, eventually owning a rafting company in Santa Fe for several years. He spent six years or so as an Outward Bound instructor/course director for wilderness experiential education expeditions in Utah for teens and adults. He has been road cycling and mountain biking for many years and loves riding with his wife, Eileen, and their daughter and son, both of whom ride with El Grupito. Bicycles represent freedom and he is excited to share his passion for all things bikes as an El Grupito volunteer and El Grupo board member.
Natalie O’Farrell, Member at LargeAssociate Director, University of Arizona Campus Recreation
Natalie O’Farrell grew up in Lafayette, Indiana, where basketball was the sport most kids dreamed of playing. After a successful high school and college career playing basketball, Natalie was diagnosed with Bone Cancer and was told that she would never run again, Natalie took up cycling.
Cycling has been a very important component in her life whether that be while she was living in Northern Virginia, Raleigh, NC, or Tucson, AZ.
Natalie has been a volunteer coach with El Grupo previously and is now looking to share her passion for cycling and youth development as an El Grupo Board Member.
When not on the bike, Natalie is spending time with her partner Chuck and their Basset Hound, Hank.
Eric Thomas, Member at LargeEnglish Teacher, Tucson High School
Some of my earliest memories involve trikes and bikes. I still remember the day I received the silver Schwinn Scrambler! I launched from every curb, driveway, and kid-built jump within my boundaries. I have been enamored with bikes since. As my boundaries expanded, I explored much of Tucson, delivered countless newspapers, rode to school, work, and the UA on two wheels. I still ride for enjoyment and commute nearly every day to work on a bike.
I try to subtly pass on the same reverence to the students I teach at Tucson High, and I’ve tried a less subtle approach with our two children. Our son, a former El Grupo rider and employee is working to get kids on bikes that might not otherwise have the opportunity. My son’s experiences and my own as a parent volunteer have made me aware of El Grupo’s impact and its nearly boundless potential.
I believe that bikes can solve some of our biggest problems. It’s important to teach and model this to all in our community and especially to our youth.
I’m proud to be part of an organization that empowers youth (and future adults) through bicycles and the spirit and guidance that is El Grupo.