Candidate Bio’s – 2020

Tim Louis

I was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona, and am married to Amy Hagan Louis; we have four awesome children. I graduated from Northwestern University with a BA and MS in 1986 and 1987. My wife and I lived in Houston, Texas, from 1987 to 1996 where I owned and operated a diagnostic audiology private practice. In 1996, we moved to Phoenix and I went back to school at ASU and earned my MBA in finance and financial markets in 1998. I am the President of Desert Capital Investments, LLC; a private equity investment firm focused on early stage businesses in the Southwest. One of our portfolio companies is PIVOT Cycles based in Tempe, Arizona. I currently sit on the board of directors of PIVOT Cycles (aka CLV, Inc.). I have served on several non-profit boards including A.T. Still University, The Phoenix Art Museum, and The Phoenix Thunderbirds. I currently serve as a trustee at Phoenix Country Day School, The Phoenix Swim Club, The Arizona Interscholastic Cycling League, The Sandra Day O’Connor Institute, and Desert Voices (an LSL school for deaf children). I am a current board member of CAMBA.

I’m a passionate mountain biker, road cyclist, triathlete and swimmer. I enjoy playing golf, fishing, reading and wine tasting. We have a home on Lake Owen and I have been coming to the Chequamegon area all my life. The Northwoods is a special place for me and my entire family going all the way back to the early 1900s. Even though I have never lived in the area full time, I do feel like I “grew up” here having spent every summer of my life in the Chequamegon area. My passion for riding bikes has grown over the past 20 years and I spend many hours every summer on the CAMBA trails. I have been an active supporter of CAMBA over the years through participating in events, driving event sponsorship, and financial donations. I have enjoyed my first term as a member of the CAMBA board and I’m proud of what the board has accomplished. I would like to serve a second term because this is an important time for CAMBA. The strategic plan that the board has adopted will take the organization to a new level and I’m excited to do what I can to help CAMBA get there. My contribution to the organization as a board member has come from my passion for the trails and cycling, my experience with non-profit organizations, my connection to the mountain bike industry (PIVOT Cycles), and my love of the Chequamegon area.

 

Ryan Sportel

I want to invest in the best possible future for local trails and continue to make Hayward and northern Wisconsin one of the premier riding destinations. I have been riding my mountain bike in this region as a visitor for 25 years, but now consider myself lucky to call these trails home over the last year.  As a mountain biker, I’ve been a racer and volunteer and I want to bring my passion and love for this region to serve on the CAMBA board. My experience with giving back to CAMBA has included promoting the region and through sweat equity by volunteering with trail maintenance.  A position with the board would provide me with the opportunity to give back to the area that has done so much to improve my quality of life.

Growing up in the corn fields of southern Minnesota, the closest thing I knew to singletrack was what one saw when looking down a row of corn.  However, a day in 1987 at Sibley State Park sealed my deal as a life-long mountain biker.  Riding that 3 foot wide section of crushed gravel was a gateway to an addiction of riding singletrack.  This experience at a young age lead to a recognition of the transformative effect that a good bike ride in the woods can do for a person’s happiness.  I’ve spent my last 30 years fueling that happiness by living in places such as Duluth, Minn., Missoula, Mont., Eugene, Oregon and now living on the trails in Hayward.  Prior to any move, the only appropriate question to ask is, “yeah, but how are the trails?”

My passion has now passed onto my young family.  The mountain bike destinations I used to frequent with a group of friends are now ridden by groups of families.  Places that my family have visited in the last couple of years include: Vermont, Maine, Michigan, Oregon, Wyoming,

Colorado, Arkansas, Arizona and North/South Dakota.  We’ve sought these areas out for the great trails and experiences they offer.  It’s apparent that other families have discovered the joy of mountain biking together and how the experience enriches family life.  I believe this is an important lens to bring in maintaining and developing CAMBA trails.  Many of the recent changes to our trail network have represented the new group of bikers and it’s important to continue to offer the experiences that we all keep coming back for.

In addition to getting in some “dad miles” on the mountain bike, I am a nurse anesthetist at Hayward Area Memorial Hospital.  Over the last 12 years in my profession, I have served on various boards and committees.  Understanding how to effectively function on a board and maintain the mission statement is vital to this position. In this current time in all of our lives, it’s more important than ever to effectively listen to other viewpoints.  I feel my background will bring that added value to the CAMBA board.

 

Ben Welnak

I am originally from southeastern Wisconsin. After 10 years living away in Colorado and North Dakota, my wife Amy, our two children and I moved to Hayward in 2017.

After graduating from UW-La Crosse in 2003, I worked in the public accounting world for six years, working with several large corporate clients. From there, I switched gears and began a new path. Since leaving the accounting world, I’ve taken on many roles in the mountain biking world, as well as the cycling world in general. My experience/work in the outdoor world includes Mountain Bike Radio – mountainbikeradio.com, created in May 2012, a popular voice in the mountain biking world and Riding Gravel – ridinggravel.com, created in 2013.

As a board member for the last three years, I’ve experienced some very positive changes. Our trails are in the best shape they’ve ever been because of good maintenance, new improvements, and a mix of new, modern trails with some of the older style. Our members have become more engaged and donations and funding have helped to contribute to a strong foundation going forward. As we transition to a new executive director, I would like to be included in the process to help shape a great future for CAMBA. I have the experience, relationships, and vision to be a valuable asset to the organization and community.

I want CAMBA-Land to continue to attract good people looking to experience what this area has to offer. I believe that, now more than ever, CAMBA is an important cog in making our area a valuable and meaningful place to live and recreate, while attracting outside sustainable tourism. I know that I can be a valuable part of helping CAMBA take advantage of the possibilities and tackle the challenges that it faces in the short and long term and look forward to the opportunity.