El Grupo is run by a growing group of passionate, engaged individuals who care about youth, being active and healthy, and the community.

OUR STAFF

Sean Pantellere

Sean Pantellere

Executive Director
sean@elgrupocycling.org
Sean grew up in New Jersey and found his way to Tucson in 2020. He has a background in organization management, event management, fundraising, and bicycle racing. During his non-profit career, Sean led teams in multiple markets to raise more than $30 million for various causes. Sean is excited to work with the El Grupo staff to empower youth across all programs. Sean once held the distinction of being the Massachusetts State Champion in Cyclocross, Road, and Time Trial State Champion in the same racing season.
Gord Fraser

Gord Fraser

Head Coach
gord@elgrupocycling.org

Gord brings a lifetime of experience in the world of cycling, first as a competitor, then as a coach, and most recently for the past decade directing pro-cycling teams as they competed across the globe. He raced with the Canadian Olympic team in 1996, 2000, and 2004, and raced in the Tour de France in 1997. Gord is no stranger to Tucson and El Grupo; both his sons were in the Grupito pilot program. “I want to teach the youth on Team El Grupo the passion for the bike that I’ve enjoyed in my 40 plus years dedicated to the sport,” said Gord. “Whether kids like to race, tour, bike pack, or mountain bike, there’s a place for them in the Team El Grupo Program.”

Deidra Bustos

Deidra Bustos

Bikepacking Coordinator
deidra@elgrupocycling.org

Deidra Bustos grew up commuting the streets of Tucson by bike. She was a volunteer coach at El Grupo from 2014 until 1018. 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.

Colter Thomas

Colter Thomas

Bike Club Coordinator
colter@elgrupocycling.org

Colter is an accomplished photojournalist, having worked on numerous political campaigns and embedded in Mexico during the migrant crisis. By the age of 19, his work had been featured in national publications. His first real taste of independence came from El Grupo, joining the team at age 12, he very quickly became obsessed with the freedom the bicycle provides. After deciding he needed a break from the stresses of photojournalism, Colter found himself back at El Grupo as a volunteer. Now he leads El Grupo’s Bike Club program and wishes to provide others with the same opportunities that made him who he is today. Passionate about the bicycle as both a tool of transportation and empowerment, he is super excited to be a part of El Grupo and help it grow!

Allison Arensman

Allison Arensman

Team El Grupo Coach
allison@elgrupocycling.org
Allison is professional rider for and founder/owner of the nation’s first ever professional  and elite-development women’s cyclocross team, J.A. King p/b BlueRidge’Cross. She was introduced to cycling through cyclocross, and though she has raced professionally on the road and collegiately in mountain bike, ‘Cross remains her passion in cycling. Allison has been a cycling-specialist coach with Studio7Mutlisport since August 2015, and has guided several clients to obtain multiple National podiums over the years. She graduated from Brevard College in 2016, having earned her Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science and a minor in Coaching Methods. During her time in college she raced with and was the women’s team captain for Brevard’s cycling team where she netted individual and team Collegiate National Championship titles in three different disciplines. Most of her six year of professional experience have been in American UCI races. Allison has also been on two Europe cyclocross trips and two Europe road trips with the national team. In 2016 she was one of six riders to be named to the inaugural women’s U23 World Championships team. When not training, racing, or coaching, the new to Arizona resident also enjoys training Brazilian jiu jitsu, exploring the surrounding mountains, cultivating her amateur coffee barista skills, west coast swing dancing, live music, and playing guitar.
 

Max Bevier

Grupito Coach
max.b@elgrupocycling.org

Max is a student at the University of Arizona studying Biosystems Engineering. He was also a part of El Grupo for 4 years racing and building connections in the cycling community. He is the 2021 XC(Mountain Bike) State Champion and has experience working with kids through his time at Grupo. Max is excited to be a coach because the coach facilitates the ride and makes it safe for everyone else to experience the bike to its fullest. Max has had some of the best experiences on the bike and thinks it is time to pass on what he has learned to the kids propelling them into their future.

Nikos Casto

Nikos Casto

Bike Club Coach
nikos@elgrupocycling.org
Nikos was born in Tucson but spent five years living in Pennsylvania before moving back to Tucson where he attended high school and now college. Coming from a family of six with three sets of twins, Nikos has always focused on family and his connections with others. He believes in El Grupo as a way to share the passion for cycling and connect with others. Nikos has been riding bikes since the age of three, and continues to enjoy it. He now rides competitively for the UA Cycling team where he is working towards his Bachelors in Spanish and Portuguese at the University of Arizona. When not riding bikes, you can find him playing guitar or causing mischief with his younger siblings.
Juliana Cullen

Juliana Cullen

Bike Club Coach
juliana@elgrupocycling.org

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.

David Cross

David Cross

Grupo Coach
david@elgrupocycling.org

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
self-confidence.

Cara O’Neill

Cara O’Neill

Team El Grupo Coach
cara@elgrupocycling.org

Cara was born in Tucson, grew up in Tucson, and is now at the University of Arizona working towards her Bachelor’s in Computer Science. Since 2012, Cara’s been riding bikes – racing, commuting, and as a way to unwind. More recently she’s enjoyed collegiate cycling as an active member of the UA Cycling Team. She saw success in 2019 as the Collegiate Road National Champion and has worked to lead weekly skill-building rides with the UA Cycling team. Cara says that balancing time on the bike and pursuing a career in software engineering is challenging but rewarding. She hopes to impart the same skills and passion developed through cycling to El Grupo youth members so they can pursue their own goals – education, cycling, or otherwise.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Lisa Anne Trudinger-Smith, Board Chair

Lisa Anne Trudinger-Smith, Board Chair

Managing Shareholder, DeConcini McDonald Yetwin & Lacy, P.C.

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, CPA, Board Vice Chair

Marc Fleischman, CPA, Board Vice Chair

CEO, BeachFleischman

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.

 

Doug Friman, JD, Board Secretary

Attorney at Law

Bio and photo coming soon.

 

Katie Bates, DO, Member at Large

Cardiologist, Carondelet Medical Group

Bio and photo coming soon.

 

Max Blowers, Youth Representative

El Grupo Team Member and Student

Bio and photo coming soon.

 

Joe Delgado, Member at Large

Photo and bio coming soon.

 

Matt Donaldson, Member at Large

Photo and bio coming soon.

Paul Durham, Member at Large

Paul Durham, Member at Large

Retired Attorney, Tucson City Council Member

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 a former 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.

Linda Fahey, Member at Large

Linda Fahey, Member at Large

President, Dark Horse Media

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.

Brenda Kazen, Member at Large

Brenda Kazen, Member at Large

Counselor, Rincon High School

Growing up on the far Northeast side of Tucson, riding a bike was the only way to go anywhere. I loved the freedom of riding “into town” and buying an ice cream or going to the mall. As an adult I rediscovered cycling by commuting to work. A friend convinced me to buy a road bike and spandex and . . . here I am. I learned of El Grupo and the wonderful work we do through my involvement with Ride On Cycling. As a high school counselor, I firmly support the mission of El Grupo and the values and work ethic our students gain by participating in the program. I often say the most important lesson students can learn in high school is perseverance. El Grupo teaches this every single day. I cannot think of a better organization for our youth than El Grupo.