El Grupo is run by a growing group of passionate, engaged individuals who care about youth, being active and healthy, and the community.
Kate HillerExecutive Director
Kate started her love for El Grupo when her son, Cole Lanning, attended Summer Bike Camp at age 12. It just deepened from there as he rode with Team El Grupo for six years. During that time, Kate was a dedicated volunteer parent on all things El Grupo. Kate Hiller has more than 25 years in the non-profit field in the areas of fundraising, grassroots marketing and organizational development, including working with El Grupo as a fundraising consultant. With a strong dedication to empowering impoverished people, Kate has worked at the Primavera Foundation, Mobile Meals, and the Emerge Center Against Domestic Abuse. As a consultant and as senior leader in community-based organizations, she has worked with staff teams and board of directors to strengthen their organizations and missions to increase their impact. Kate is a long-time resident of Tucson, has her BS in Organizational Development from Prescott College, and is married to local architect Bob Lanning. Kate has always been a bike commuter, but caught cycling fever being around El Grupo.
Sean PantellereProgram and Operations Manager
Bio coming soon.
Gord FraserHead Coach
Bio coming soon.
Morgan AdamsGrupito Coordinator
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. I learned about El Grupo and wanted to get involved, but the 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.
Max CronynTeam El Grupo Lead Coach & Program Co-coordinator
My name’s Max. I’ve been in and out of El Grupo since I was 11 years old. Before joining Grupo, I lived in Francophone West Africa. Moving to Tucson, Grupo gave me a community and space to call home, as well as a platform to express my budding competitive nature. At the time, I was the first Grupo rider to get my Cat 3 upgrade, and the only one to go to junior road nationals. Great as Grupo was, the experience was short lived. I moved away from Tucson when I was 14, going back to Niger (West Africa). From there I moved to Washington DC, then Madison, WI. Throughout high school I swam competitively, then began rowing when I lived in DC. I was recruited to row D1 at UW Madison, but after a year of rowing and freezing I moved back to Tucson to finish my BA and escape the polar vortex. Upon returning to Tucson, I started volunteering with Grupito and racing for the Grupo U23/Alumni program. I raced through the amateur ranks until mid 2017 when I realized the prerequisite of pro racing is pro training. I started working for El Grupo in the fall of 2017 with my longtime teammate and friend, Ben. I’m excited to be a part of the program as a coach, helping others achieve their goals. My favorite color is green, my favorite Tucson ride is the epic Birthday Ride. Valentina, not Tapatillo. Estrella tortillas are king.
Ben DuncanTeam El Grupo Lead Coach & Program Co-Coordinator
I was born Halloween of ’96 in Tucson. I began my involvement with El Grupo after meeting Daniela and Ignacio at BICAS, where they both taught the “build-a-bike” class. Shortly after taking the class, my brother and I joined El Grupo at age 13. I was on the team for 7 years and raced competitively with Team El Grupo and team El Grupo U23. A very short stint in the pro-ranks made me realize I enjoyed riding and racing my bike, but not the training commitment necessary to be successful. It was during these years that I volunteered as a coach for El Grupito, and in fall of 2017 I joined my friend and teammate Max as coaching staff for El Grupo. As a coach, I bring a knowledge of the team due to my experiences with the program, race experience at a high level, and a rich passion for the program and its effects on youth. El Grupo shaped who I am, and I now get to enjoy my part in helping Tucson youth with their own goals and self-betterment. I enjoy high speed/technical mountain biking, hard days in the saddle with friends, welding, eating quesadillas, and bandit camping in the middle of nowhere. I dislike shrimp, the cold, and moving slowly.
Colin HolmesGrupo Coach & Gruppetto Coordinator
I have worked as a bicycle advocate in Tucson since 2007. My work includes coordinating the Gruppetto bike packing program, coaching El Grupo, working as a Collective member and the IT coordinator at BICAS, and for 8 years I worked for Pima County teaching bicycle safety and bicycle repair. My side jobs and other interests are software engineering and welding/fabrication. 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 I love promoting the bicycle as a form of transportation!
Lynn HudsonGrupito Coach
I am a Grupito Coach, physical educator, graduated form the University of Arizona, 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 MurrayGrupito 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 theater, rock climbing, and an all encompassing love for the bike, Luke is one of our lead El Grupito coaches.
Pam PattersonGrupito Coach & Volunteer Coordinator
Hi, my name is Pam and I was born and raised in West Texas. When I was 20, I decided to become a ski bum and moved to Durango, Colorado. I lived in Durango from 1980 to 1994. While in Durango I obtained my Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Human Services at Fort Lewis College and later a Master of Arts in Counseling from Alamosa State College. While in Durango I began road cycling and quickly figured out how to ride mountain passes . . . slowly, and my knees can attest to the climbs. I also watched the first UCI Mountain Bike World Championships held at Purgatory Ski Area in 1990. Pretty cool. I accepted a position as a Federal Probation Officer in San Francisco, California where I lived for seven years until I transferred to Tucson in 2001. I retired in July 2016 and immediately traded in my professional clothing attire for spandex and mountain bike shorts. Life is good. As a retiree I wanted to dedicate my time to meaningful work and found it in the form of El Grupo Youth Cycling where I work as the volunteer coordinator and an El Grupito coach. I love the culture of expectation, encouragement, fun, and respect found within El Grupo. I especially love interacting with all of the youth in Grupo programs. They are our future and I like to think I have a small part in their development.
Colter ThomasManzo Bike Club Coach
Bio and photo coming soon.
Chloe WelchManzo Bike Club Coordinator
I started on Team El Grupo when she was 11 years old. She is now a sophomore at the University of Arizona, has won National Titles in various disciplines, and loves mentoring kids at Manzo Elementary School as the Bike Club Coordinator.
Ian UreTeam 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.
Karen ChildressAdministrative Assistant/Bookkeeper
Karen moved to Tucson in 2018 with plans to retire. It turned out she wasn’t tired enough to retire, but didn’t want to do a 9-5 gig or start another business. Instead, she decided part-time work in an organization with a strong mission would offer the right balance of work and leisure life. Karen happily landed a position at El Grupo in late 2019. More yogi and hiker than big-time cyclist, she can still occasionally be found on The Loop riding a purple beach cruiser.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Lisa Anne Trudinger-Smith, Board ChairManaging 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 ChairCEO, 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 SecretaryAttorney at Law
Bio and photo coming soon.
Don Hubman, Board TreasurerPresident and COO, BroadPath Healthcare Solutions
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.
Nathanial Cross, Youth RepresentativeEl Grupo Team Member and Student
I am a bike lover and rider on Team El Grupo and have been with the team since 2016, when my 11-year-old self showed up to Summer Bike Camp on a bike that was way too small. Since that day, I have grown so much both on and off the bike from all of the amazing coaches and teammates who have helped keep on riding after every time I’ve fallen off. El Grupo has taught me how to persevere, communicate, and balance my life. I’ll use these lessons (and more!) throughout my life – from high school to college to the workplace and beyond. In addition, I’ve made many lifelong friends, learned to suffer and push myself, realized how much I can achieve and how to set and reach goals for myself. When I’m not at Grupo practice riding with my friends, I’m usually riding with my dad. One of my favorite places to ride is in the Sierra Nevadas, up Mt. Whitney, because…… . Cycling is one of my favorite things to do and I’m glad I do it with El Grupo.
Katie Bates, DO, Member at LargeCardiologist, Carondelet Medical Group
Bio and photo coming soon.
Paul Durham, Member at LargeRetired 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 LargePresident, 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.
Willie Joffroy, Member at LargeFounder, Willie's World Cycling
I am a native of Nogales, Arizona and lived there until 2003 when Margarita, our three children and I moved to Tucson. My college education consisted of 2 years at Menlo College and one year at the University of Arizona. Starting in 1973 I spent 30 years working in the cross border logistics industry in a business founded by my father in 1950, William F. Joffroy, Inc. Sports have been a huge part of my life – 4 years of high school football, 4 years of high school track and field and 2 years track and field in college. I ran distance races from 1975 to 1985 and triathlon from 1985 to 1997. I have been cycling since 1985 and started Willie’s World Cycling in 2009, operating cycling tours in Italy and Spain. El Grupo’s focus on youth development and leadership through cycling has proven to be an excellent method for our local youth to embark on life’s adventures through teamwork, competition, leadership and handling victory and defeat with grace. My involvement with El Grupo started in 2012 as a small sponsor and has continued to date. Having served on several boards over the years, I can sincerely say serving on the El Grupo board is a true honor. It is one of the best boards I have served on.
Brenda Kazen, Member at LargeCounselor, 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.
Kim Watkinson, Member at LargePremier Banker, Walls Fargo
Bio and photo coming soon.