Each year, the Coalition distributes eight awards to deserving bicycle and pedestrian advocates around the state who are working hard to improve their communities. Through their efforts, these individuals are helping to make Maine better for biking and walking, while bringing the joy of bicycling and walking to those around the state.
After a public nomination process, Coalition staff undertook the very difficult task of selecting the following nine winners from dozens of amazing choices. There was not a lack of incredibly qualified candidates!
We are proud to present our 2015 awards to the following people and organizations:
The Harry Faust Leadership Award is named after one of Coalition’s most dedicated and effective Board Chairs, and is presented to a Mainer who has been a true leader in her community to promote more biking. This year’s winner is Julie Daigle of Fort Kent.
In 2013, Julie demonstrated her dedication to the mission when she traveled over 300 miles to become a Community Spoke when she joined us in Portland for our training, coming all the way from her home near Fort Kent. Julie is both a professional public health advocate – she works as the Project Director at Power of Prevention, a public health organization serving Northern Aroostook County – and a devoted resident who champions active lifestyles in her community. Julie is one of the most positive, energetic, and committed bicycle and pedestrian advocates in our network and we are incredibly grateful for all of her work in northern Aroostook County.
The Jeff Miller Spirit of Cycling Award is named after the first executive director of the Coalition and is presented to a Mainer who demonstrates Jeff’s joy from all aspects of biking. This year’s winner is Dave McCarthy, of York.
Dave serves as a Bicycle Coalition of Maine Community Spokes (local advocate), Chair of York Bicycle and Pedestrian Committee, is on the Executive Committee of the Maine Chapter of the Appalachian Mountain Club and is a member of CycleYork, working to create a town bike/ped committee. Dave also supports local bicycle and pedestrian education through his work in the York and Kennebunk Elementary School systems as a BPSE instructor as well as helping to organize youth bike rodeos in York. Last, but not least Dave is also a trail steward at Mount Agamenticus, is a trail adopter in AMC Maine Woods, and conducts regular trail maintenance on the Appalachian Trail.
The Just Do It Award is presented to Mainers who exhibit leadership in public service focusing on the biking and walking community. This year’s winners are Sagadahoc County Sheriff Joel Merry and Bath Police Chief Mike Field.
Joel Merry is president of the Maine Sheriff’s Association. In addition to helping to implement enforcement of the 3-foot passing law throughout the County, we’re recognizing Sheriff Mery for his assistance in the community of Woolwich, collecting data on speeding that helped advocates improve a dangerous stretch of Route 1.
In addition to being a long term friend of bicycle and pedestrian initiatives, Chief Field is the president of the Maine Chiefs of Police Association and was instrumental in setting up the initial 3-foot-passing enforcement program at the request of Community Spoke Robert McChesney.
The Muddy Wheel Award is presented to a leader advancing the area of mountain biking in Maine. This year’s award winner is Rob Lavoie of Gorham.
Rob is an Aroostook County native now living in Gorham with his wife Amanda, their daughter Alex and two dogs Otis and Amelia. He is a practicing chiropractor of 13 years and his clinic is located in Gorham. He loves being outdoors with his family, riding with friends, and building trails for everyone to enjoy. Dr. Rob sits as chair of Gorham’s Conservation Commission. The Commission has been very active in trying to create a connected multi-use trail network. He also serves on the board of the Greater Portland Chapter of New England Mountain Bike Association.
The Sally Jacobs Community Advocacy Award is named after the legendary bicycle advocate from Orono and presented to local advocates who have made a significant difference to biking and walking in their community. This year’s winner is Walk-N-Roll Bangor.
This community safety advisory committee is devoted to safer walking and cycling in Bangor, Maine and its goal is to link community needs and Bangor’s resources to current and future infrastructure. Their work focuses around, physical activity, public safety, and increasing quality connections between home and schools, work and village centers. The group also serves as an ongoing liaison and advisory committee for city staff, elected officials, vested organizations, and businesses for issues relating to non-motorized transit.
The Volunteer of the Year Award is presented to a volunteer that has contributed extraordinary time, effort and energy to the Coalition and our mission. This year’s winner is Leonard Howard of Portland.
Since the spring of 2013, when Leonard contacted staff about setting up a weekly volunteer gig, he has proven himself as a invaluable member of the Coalition team. Since then, he has spent hundreds of hours volunteering for the Bicycle Coalition. Always with a smile, Leonard is happy to take on any task, large or small. From getting safety education materials out to schools, to packing BikeMaine supplies onto trucks, to assembling monthly membership mailings, Leonard brings an eye for detail and a great sense of humor to the office.
The Businesses for Better Bicycling Award is presented to a Maine business that encourages and supports bicycling within their business and community. This year’s winner is Maine Beer Company of Freeport.
Owned and operated by brothers David and Daniel Kleban in Freeport, Maine Beer Company has the motto “Do What’s Right,” and they make no exception when it comes to making Maine better for biking and walking. The Klebans encourage their brewery and tasting room staff to ride to work by providing showers, bike racks, and three communal bikes for running errands or borrowing on weekends. They have ample bike parking at their brewery and tasting room for cyclists to stop in for a quick beer. As a 1% for the Planet member, Maine Beer Company became a strong supporter of the Coalition’s advocacy and encouragement initiatives in 2015.
The Next Generation Award is presented to a person or program who instills a love, interest and appreciation of bikes and walking in the next generation. This year’s winner is the Norway Walking School Bus Program.
The Norway Walking School Bus Program at the Guy E. Rowe Elementary School is a perfect example of how an entire community can come together to support active transportation like a walking school bus program. In addition to numerous parents and community volunteers, program coordinator Rebecca Powell has pulled together one of the most successful walking school bus programs in the state. Around 40 students walk to school each day and many of those make the return walk home in the afternoon. We applaud the spirit of collaboration and community that make this program possible for the children of Norway.