Board Candidate: Charles Ruthford
My first experience with the Club, riding the 2004 Chilly Hilly with my son who convinced me to ride with him, was eye-opening. I had a fabulous experience and found the ride’s organization and the volunteers’ enthusiasm impressive. I was hooked. The hook sunk even deeper when we participated in the 2005 Ride Around Washington. The club seamlessly and flawlessly managed the 6 day logistics of getting 200 riders, 20 support personnel, all their camping gear and clothing, food, and that wonderful shower truck from Bellingham to Ilwaco. I started volunteering and got more involved with this community-minded organization.
I have been a key member of the Ride Around Washington organizing committee since 2006, and the ride is now a family affair for us. This last August we had six family members involved both as riders and volunteers. We have also participated in Chilly Hilly, STP, and the High Pass Challenge. I have volunteered to support the Bike Expo a number of times. Prior to my retirement from Boeing, I was a regular commuter, 44 mile round trip, from Maple Valley to Boeing field.
As the proud owner of one metal knee and one creaky knee, cycling is very important to me as it remains the one exercise that gets me outdoors and keeps me fit and healthy. I believe it's my key to a longer and healthy life. I try to repay the multiple benefits I’ve gotten from the club by being involved and volunteering to help continue and increase the club’s successes.
I’m running for a board seat to continue the process of helping and strengthening the club. I bring to the board 15 years of management, financial and consulting experience that has included helping for-profit and not-for-profit organizations establish meaningful goals and strategies and solve hard and pressing problems. I understand how non-profits function. I have the connections and respect to be an ambassador, bringing the club's message to the community and business leaders while seeking their commitment and financial support for club programs. I have the financial acumen to verify that the club’s spending is in line with its strategic goals. I want the club’s advocacy to create a world where bicycling is supported by residents, cyclist, drivers, transportation planners and public officials as a valuable element of a healthy community.
But most importantly, as someone who has benefited from Cascade’s rides, I will do my best as a board member to increase your opportunities to participate in organized rides, whether in the daily rides program or larger, more structured rides. I also appreciate the desires of riders who may not live in Seattle to have easier access to daily rides. I will work to increase the number of daily rides throughout the Western Washington region. As an active cyclist and event volunteer, I will bring the riders' perspective and the operational aspects of the club to board discussions and planning.
I'm asking for your vote. If you joined the club because of STP or some other ride and believe the value of the club is in the rides it provides, then you want me representing your interests on the board. I have the knowledge, skills, expertise and most of all the long-term commitment to serve the club in the interest of all the members, but my priority will be you, the riders.