Board of Directors
John Juras, Vice-Chair| Great Falls, Email John
John Juras is a Professional Civil Engineer and cycling enthusiast. John combines his passion for cycling with his engineering position to be an effective advocate for non-motorized transportation issues in the Great Falls area. John is a Board member of Recreational Trails (River’s Edge Trail), and a long time organizer of the Great Falls Bicycle Club. Immediate family members include his wife, Kristen, a Law Professor at UM, and 3 sons (2 engineers and a teacher). John enjoys all types of bicycle exploration including trail riding, touring, competing, commuting, and sight seeing.
Thomas Bassett, Treasurer| Missoula, Email Thomas
Thomas Bassett is the owner of Bassett Bookkeeping Services. He commutes by bicycle regularly and is an avid advocate for dutch style cycling infrastructure in the United States. When he’s not working on spreadsheets or coding you can find him baking cake rolls or collecting true bugs and grasshoppers in the hills around Missoula.
Darlene Tussing, Secretary | Sheridan, 406-860-6121, Email Darlene
Darlene Tussing has been a long time advocate of trails and bicycling. Prior to moving to Montana in 1998, she served in many roles on state and local trail advocacy groups as well as helping to advance the cause as a Lancaster County Commissioner in Nebraska. Since moving, Darlene has served as the part time Alternate Modes Coordinator for the City of Billings/Yellowstone County Planning Department for the past 13 years as a city employee and for the past 3 years as a contractor through her business, Active Transportation Alternatives. Working in this capacity, Darlene has done whatever it takes to make trails and bicyclist/pedestrian infrastructure happen whether it be planning events, writing grants, raising funds or developing a map or plan. Darlene also served as a delegate on the Montana State Trails Advisory Committee and instigated the State Trails Symposium in Billings in April 2001. She has also been involved with the Healthy By Design Committee through RiverStone Health that helped pass a Complete Streets Resolution.
Kathy Aragon, Member | Billings, 406-698-2992, Email Kathy
Kathy Aragon is a physical therapist and community health advocate with a commitment to making her community a healthier more sustainable place to live, work, play and be educated. Most recently, Kathy and the MT State Network acted in an advisory position with the National Policy and Legal Analysis Network (NPLAN) to Prevent Childhood Obesity as NPLAN developed a model school siting policy in cooperation with local and state organizations including the MT School Boards Association (MTSBA). Kathy also worked with community partners to develop the application for EPA Implementation Assistance (awarded April, 2012) that will provide the city/school and other community decision makers with two tools: a policy analysis/scorecard/checklist and a cost calculator. These tools will improve the ability to collaboratively plan between schools, city, housing transportation and health in order to improve outcomes and allow more fiscally responsible practices.
Hillary Hanson, Member | Kalispell, Email Hillary
Hillary Hanson is the Deputy Health Officer the Flathead City-County Health Department in Kalispell, MT. She oversees maternal and child health, immunizations, WIC, and communicable disease. In addition, she plays a leadership role in the health promotion and environmental health programs. Ms. Hanson received her M.S. in applied statistics from Purdue University and an M.P.H. in public health leadership from the University of North Carolina. Ms. Hanson has served on the National Physical Activity Board of Directors since 2013, has conducted health impact assessments, and participated in the development of local policies related to active transportation.
Jason Karp, Member | Belgrade, Email Jason
Jason Karp is the Planning Director for the City of Belgrade, has worked for the City for over 22 years, and is a lifelong resident of the Gallatin Valley. He is a regular commuter by bike or on foot, an avid road cyclist, and an active member of the Gallatin Valley Bicycle Club. He volunteers to help out on numerous club rides, including the annual Three Rivers Century. He is also the Regional Brevet Administrator, for Randonneurs USA, leading long distance randonneuring rides all over Montana. Jason organizes a qualifying series of rides in Montana, called brevets, for the Paris-Brest-Paris 1200 kilometer grand randonee in France, and he has finished that event two times. Jason currently serves as the Gallatin County representative on the Bozeman Area Bicycle Advisory Board.
Becky Nelson, Member | Great Falls, Email Becky
Becky Nelson grew up on a Hereford Ranch in North Dakota. She now resides in Great Falls, MT where she is raising just enough cattle to keep her happy. Raising cattle and promoting beef around the state has earned her multiple marathon sponsorship’s from Team Beef (MT Beef Council). After raising two children she found that having an empty nest has allowed her more time for bicycle tourism with her husband. Most recently she has completed trips from Great Falls to Boulder, Colorado, Great Falls to Vancouver, BC, and Great Falls to Portland, Oregon. She has great appreciation for roads with wide shoulders, bike friendly towns, and others who appreciate her type of vacation. In addition to her role on the Bike Walk Montana board, Becky is also a board member and volunteer for River’s Edge Trail Foundation, State FFA Foundation, Special Olympics, Red Cross, and the Russell Museum. She specializes in fundraising, promotions, and event planning.
Matthew Rohrbach, Member | Hamilton, Email Matthew
Matthew Rohrbach works as a community planner, assisting Montana communities on land use, transportation, and economic development planning. At his home in Hamilton, Matthew is on the advisory board of Bike Walk Bitterroot, a group working to advocate for and improve conditions for non-motorized transportation users in the Bitterroot Valley. Before moving to Montana, Matthew worked as a transportation planner in Washington and Oregon where he was involved with developing active transportation and transportation demand management plans for the Seattle and Portland metropolitan areas. As a longtime advocate for walking and biking, Matthew is interested in helping Montana communities become safe and functional biking and walking communities.
Lisa Schmidt, Treasurer| Helena, 319-325-3103, Email Lisa
Lisa Schmidt is the epidemiologist/evaluator for the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services Healthy Lifestyles Section. She works jointly for the Nutrition and Physical Activity Program (NAPA) and for the Tobacco Use Prevention Program (MTUPP). Lisa monitors and analyzes data from multiple surveillance systems, develops program goals and objectives, and monitors program evaluation. She also spent two years working for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and attending Emory University in Atlanta, GA, before moving to Montana during the fall of 2011. Prior to that, she served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Mozambique where she taught high school biology and coordinated a variety of health/HIV-related projects.
Larry Volkening, Member | Dillon Email Larry
Larry Volkening has advanced degrees in Biophysics & Biochemical Engineering. His academic interests led him to teach high school Physics, retiring after 31 years. He received numerous student, state and national awards including two NASA Space Shuttle Grants, Presidential Award, the Northwest Physics Teacher Resources Agent and the Washington Sigma Xi Award. He was also was an instructor on NASA VLSI Computer Chip Design Grant teaching teachers how to incorporate the technology into classrooms. Larry has 25 years in City and County Planning with 18 years as Board Chairman. Currently he is the chairman of the Beaverhead County Planning Board. His planning interests are in paths, trails, parks and open spaces. When He was 12, he rode 60 miles on a one day ride and has since explored many developed and undeveloped trails in the US. He is a former Juneau Ice Field Research Program Instructor, Field Leader and Grant Consultant offering high school students experiences in field glaciology research. The day after retiring, Larry bicycled with his son across the US from the Pacific Ocean to Chicago. They pulled BOB trailers and camped along the way. Now, in his free time he bikes, hikes and cross-country skis, sails and works on his Montana State Art Certification in stained glass. He is on the CDC’s Building Active Communities Initiative and a member of the Beaverhead Trails Coalition.
Melinda Barnes, Executive Director | Helena, 406-449-2787, Email Melinda
Melinda Barnes is an avid bike commuter and also loves to mountain bike, road bike, and run. She went from being an Accountant, to part-owner of a bicycle shop for several years. It was here that she discovered she loved getting people involved in biking and even more so in commuting. She began a month-long bike/walk commute to work challenge and became involved in local advocacy for non-motorized transportation. Taking it to a broader level, she helped to found Bike Walk Montana. Melinda became Bike Walk Montana’s first staff person in September 2012.