Board of Directors

Joanne Neukirchen, President

Board Member since: 2014
Current Term: 2019-2021

Read Joanne's Biography

Joanne Neukirchen is a long-time DC resident and avid cyclist who is committed to improving cycling infrastructure and education opportunities throughout the Washington Metro Area, for all cyclists. Ms. Neukirchen loves cycling in all its forms — she has taught WABA’s Adult Education Classes, competed in amateur road races and local triathlons, and organized rides for a local cycling meetup group, VeloDCity. Ms. Neukirchen began working closely with WABA in 2013 as a member of a pro-bono consulting team focused on board governance and the strategic alignment of WABA’s mission and programs. Today she serves as the President of the Board. Ms. Neukirchen recently transitioned from a career in management consulting to a career in public service at the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Ms. Neukirchen holds a Masters Degree in Public Administration from Syracuse University and two Bachelors degrees from the University of Maryland in Government & Politics and Cell Biology & Molecular Genetics.

Jessica Hough, Treasurer

Board Member since: 2017
Current Term: 2019-2021

Read Jessica's Biography

Jessica is a long-time resident of Bethesda, MD and commutes to work in downtown DC several times a week.  On weekday mornings and evenings she can often be found puttering along MacArthur Blvd and the Capital Crescent Trail on her way to and from the office. Jessica is committed to making bicycling more accessible and viable for all residents in the DC area and continuing the work WABA has done towards making bicycling in the area safer. Jessica and her partner enjoy biking together recreationally with their two kids. During the day, Jessica is a tax attorney and leads her law firm’s DC tax practice.

Shelley Vinyard, Secretary

Board Member since: 2020
Current Term: 2022-2024

Read Shelley's Biography

Shelley dove headlong into the world of riding bikes when she was in college and decided to join a team that rode 4,600 miles from Austin, Texas, to Anchorage, Alaska, to raise money for cancer research. After that  incredible two-and-a-half month trek, her love of cycling never ceased. Now, she lives in the Eckington neighborhood of Northeast DC with her husband and their two-year old daughter, and bikes to work year-round and recreationally as often as possible. By day, Shelley leads a campaign to protect Canada’s climate-critical boreal forest for the Natural Resources Defense Council. By night, she advocates for safer streets for all, affordable housing, and a city that protects its residents from climate change and advances policies that make it a leader in addressing the climate emergency. As one of WABA’s newest board members, she looks forward to using her experience raising money for organizations and campaigns to help WABA increase the resources it needs to be an excellent and effective advocate for bicyclists across the DC region. Shelley graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with degrees in psychology and sociology.

John Days

Board Member Since: 2021
Current Term: 2021-2023

Read John's Biography

After graduating from Morehouse College, John came to the DC area from his home town, Atlanta, Georgia, over 50 years ago to attend Howard University School of Law.

Over the course of his long career, John has worked as a lawyer in government and private practice; he has been engaged in several business ventures and is now retired from full time employment. In retirement, John keeps busy as a DC tour guide. He is an active member of the Guild or Professional Tour Guides of Washington, DC, and is also an elected member of the Board of Directors of that organization.

An active cyclist and bicycle collector all of his life, John lives with his wife in Sandy Spring, Maryland.

Llewelyn Engel

Board Member since: 2020
Current Term: 2022-2024

Read Llewelyn's Biography

Joining the WABA Board in 2020, Llewelyn is newer to city bicycling and excited to help more people incorporate bicycling into their lifestyles. Llewelyn grew up in Northern Virginia, and moved to DC in 2011. She began commuting by bicycle when she moved to a new neighborhood in 2017 and has learned to love her commute and the time spent bicycling each day. Bicycling quickly became her go-to mode of transportation, no matter the weather, and she looked for ways to become more involved in DC’s bicycling community. After doing WABA’s 50 states ride, Llewelyn was inspired to become more involved and advocate for safe and accessible bicycling opportunities for all the DMV’s residents. In her day job, Llewelyn is a lawyer at the firm of McDermott, Will & Emery where she is a member of the firm’s Government Strategies group.

Allison Foster

Board Member since: 2020
Current Term: 2022-2024

Read Allison's Biography

Allison Foster is a committed bicyclist who commutes each day from Pentagon City to Dupont Circle via the Mt. Vernon Trail. Ms. Foster is active in the non-profit community in Washington DC area. She is an item-writing for the CAE certification exam, has served as treasurer of a board of directors for an organization helping people with disabilities find employment opportunities and is current Vice-Chair of Synetic Theater. She is also active with her church, participates in a program which offers financial counseling to low-income residents, volunteers at the Arlington Food Assistance Center, and is assistant-chief of an Arlington community garden. She is the Chief Finance and Operating Officer of the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health, a national membership for public health education. She oversees membership, operational and financial functions of the Association. She is also the President of the National Board of Public Health Examiners which administers the Certified in Public Health (CPH) credential. Allison earned her MBA from James Madison University and is a Certified in Association Executive.

Nick Johnson

Board Member since: 2021
Current Term: 2021 – 2023

Read Nick's Biography

Nick Johnson grew up cycling the country roads of Western Massachusetts. Today, he’s a MetBranch bike commuter from his home in Silver Spring to his office in DC’s NOMA neighborhood. He is a senior vice president at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a research and policy institute and social justice advocacy organization. He directs the Center’s State Fiscal Policy division, which works to advance equity and economic opportunity through better state budget and tax policies, and supports small nonprofit policy and advocacy organizations across the country. A former journalist and Capitol Hill staffer, Johnson holds a graduate degree from Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy and an undergraduate degree in American Studies from Yale University. In addition to exploring the DMV’s roads and trails by bike, he enjoys running, hiking, kayaking and sailing.

Debra Lane

Board Member since: 2022
Current Term: 2022-2024

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Dr. Debra Lane has been an educator for more than 30 years, as a teacher and administrator in the U.S. and abroad. She has led several schools as principal, including most recently at one of the world’s leading international schools, Shanghai American School. She taught grades from pre-K through middle school, as well as ESOL, Literacy, and Gifted and Talented classes in Fairfax County Public Schools and in the Dominican Republic. Recently she was Director of Talent Development at Alexandria City Public Schools. Currently she is a leadership coach/Office of School Quality officer for the Virginia Department of Education. She holds a BS from Baylor University, master’s degrees from Virginia Tech and George Mason University, and an Ed.D. from the University of Virginia. Her dissertation work on bullying prevention has led to her advising government agencies, associations, and school boards on effective bullying prevention strategies both locally and internationally. She has taught undergraduate and graduate classes at George Mason University and the University of Virginia. As part of her work with the National Staff Development Council she applied current research in adult learning to her work on staff development, focusing on professional learning communities. She presented at numerous international conferences, including Near East South Asia Association, Tri-State Educators, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, and through her work with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, at the National Science Foundation. Currently she is working on federal government grants focusing on transformative leadership and increasing teacher’s leadership and instructional roles across the U.S., Central and South America. Dr. Lane has also participated in accreditation teams in China and Hong Kong with the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. She was nominated as Virginia Principal of the Year and won the Chesapeake Bay Foundation Educator of the Year Award in 2009. She is currently an educational consultant at Lane Leadership Group,LLC. She serves as a board member with NOVA Outside, GrandInvolve, Virginia Environmental Education Association, Fall for the Book Literacy Festival at George Mason University, George Mason University Curriculum Advisory Council, and IDEA (Inclusive Development Education for Adolescences’).

Kira Marchenese

Board Member since: 2020
Current Term: 2022-2024

Read Kira's Biography

Kira Marchenese logs most of her bike miles riding tandem with her partner, Eric, from their home in Washington, DC. Bike touring is their favorite way to explore, both locally and when they travel. Kira appreciates the improvement in DC’s bike infrastructure over the past ten years, and looks forward to the day when she feels safe piloting her single bike on city streets during rush hour. Professionally, she is a veteran digital strategist. She has led Environmental Defense Fund’s digital team for 15 years, supporting the organization’s communications, marketing, advocacy and fundraising. Before that, she helped launch the original Washington Post web site and managed search and navigation products at AOL. She earned her undergraduate degree in public policy from Duke University, and her masters in public administration from Harvard’s Kennedy School. She served on the board of the youth development organizations Project Create and On-Ramps to Careers. She also enjoys drawing, including designing tandem-bike-themed holiday cards.

Mishal Thadani

Board Member since: 2022
Current Term: 2022-2024

Read Mishal's Biography

Mish began his biking adventures late in life when he learned how to bike (on a Capital Bikeshare) upon moving to Washington, DC in 2015. Mish has been bike commuting, brewery-exploring, and doing fundraiser rides ever since. For his day job, he leads the policy team at an artificial intelligence company helping to prevent incidents on critical infrastructure, and has previously worked with the DC Council to pass landmark clean energy legislation in the District. Mish believes that safe and resilient infrastructure, and the local policy that supports it, leads to a healthier, happier community. Mish also serves on the Advisory Board of DC’s Sustainable Energy Utility, a quasi-government entity that helps DC residents and businesses use less energy, and is an active volunteer with the Clean Energy Leadership Institute. He holds a BS in Civil & Environmental Engineering and a Minor in Energy and Water Sustainability from Rice University.

Marya Torrez

Board Member since: 2021
Current Term: 2021-2023

Read Marya's Biography

Marya Torrez (she/her) gave up her car when she moved to Washington, DC in 2003 and never looked back. She is a life-long bike rider, a committed year-round bike commuter, enjoys biking to all parts of the city, and is deeply committed to making the Washington, DC community liveable and bikeable for all people. Marya is also a big fan of bikeshare programs, including Capital Bikeshare, and enjoys checking out bikeshare programs in cities across the United States.

Marya is deeply invested in the DC community. She was the co-founder of an organization focused on improving the DC juvenile justice system, DC Lawyers for Youth, and served on the board of DCLY for many years. She also previously served as a Community Advisory Board member for the Teen Alliance for Prepared Parenting at Washington Hospital Center and has been long engaged and a committed fundraiser for the DC Abortion Fund (DCAF). Marya is the graduate of two Washington, DC law schools, Georgetown University Law Center and American University Washington College of Law (WCL).

Marya is the Senior Director for Policy Development & Strategy at Planned Parenthood Federation of America and an Adjunct Professor at WCL. Marya’s previous board service incudes a stint as Secretary of the Board and Chair of the Governance Committee of Women’s Voices for the Earth, headquartered in Missoula, MT. She grew up in Colorado and received a B.A. from the University of Colorado. She lives in the Pleasant Plains neighborhood of Washington, DC with her partner and their cat.