Board of Directors

Current Board Members:
President, Tim Wood | Vice-President,  Tim Wagoner | Treasurer,  Richard Cain | Secretary, Roy Coleman | Communications Chair, Tim Wagoner  | Membership Chair, Blake Strasser | Merchandise Chair, Greg Mahusay | Chris Eisenberg | Mel Embree | Lee Hawn | Ritchard Engelhardt  |  Michael Cunningham  |  Jose Gomez  |  Charles Lougee | Hoa Su

Emeritus Board Members

 

Tim.Wood2Tim Wood
President
Los Angeles, CA

I am honored to be on the Board of Positive Pedalers, representing the greater Los Angeles area. I have been HIV+ for over 13 years. A close personal HIV+ friend invited me to ride with him on AIDS Lifecycle 5, and my adult cycling journey began. I was a bit reluctant to join the Positive Pedalers my first year…..I wasn’t sure sharing my status with others was “good thing”. But once I became a member, everything changed.  The group taught me the value of putting a face on the disease and that we as a positive community would never help overcome the stigma surrounding HIV/AIDS unless we unite together, share our stories & educate the folks in our respective communities.ALC and the Positive Pedalers are amazing people fighting a great cause & I’m proud to be part of their efforts to support the HIV+ community, eliminate stigma and teach others the power of love, grace & respect.  There is power in publicly acknowledging one’s HIV status and has helped me find the strength and courage I need to fight and live with this disease.
Joined Pos Peds:  January 2007
Joined Board:  October 2010
Positions held:
Membership-Outreach Co-Chair, Oct 2010-May 2011
Treasurer, June 2011-August 2013
Co-Chair, June 2012-present
Rides:
AIDS Lifecycle 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, & 12, 2006-2013
6 years as a Training Ride Leader for AIDS LifeCycle
Orange County Ride for AIDS, Oct 2012
SMART Ride 10 – Miami-Key West, FL, Nov 2013


IMG_4889-2Tim Wagoner
Vice-President & Communication Committee Chair
Miami, FL

In 2008, Tim Wagoner first met Bobby Purcell and was so moved by his story, it inspired him to get involved with the Positive Pedalers and HIV/AIDS rides. Since then, he has completed 6 ALC rides and the past 5 SMART Rides in Miami; most recently as the Team Captain of SoBe SAFE Riders (with over 45 team members). Tim is also one of 58 world-wide ambassadors to The STIGMA Project, an organization with a mission to neutralize the stigma of HIV/AIDS. He is looking forward to creating an active PosPeds chapter in South Florida, and being the “voice of” Positive Pedalers everywhere in his current position as Communications Chair. Tim brings a wealth of technical expertise as a web developer, and social-media integrator.  “Who I AM … is commitment to disappearing the stigma of HIV/AIDS, commitment to the well-being of others, and their full self-expression.” In his 2nd year on the board, Tim was elected to fill the vacated Vice-President’s office, and is now positioned to support the leadership of the organization into it’s 20th year anniversary year.



Richard CainA_Richard
Treasurer
San Francisco, CA

Richard is a CPA with PWC, LLP with more than 19 years of accounting experience, primarily focused on non-profit organizations. He has completed 6 ALC rides, two Seismic Challenge rides, served as a TRL for ALC twice, and volunteered for many local organizations including Shanti, Project Open Hand and Stop AIDS Project. Richard also serves on the Board of Directors of the Gay-Straight Alliance network, and is looking forward to devoting more of his energy and experience to non-profit organizations focused on HIV/AIDS related issues. He strongly believes in the Positive Pedalers’ mission of fighting stigma, and expanding public awareness of HIV and AIDS.  “We are still met with the same fear and ignorance that existed 27 years ago.  I would like to be part of an organization to change that mindset.”

IMG_4891Roy Coleman
Secretary
San Francisco, CA

Roy is the Executive Assistant to the Chief Medical Officer of Tri-City Health Center in Fremont, Ca. He also volunteers for Shanti and the Syringe Exchange Services program for the SF AIDS Foundation. He also has significant experience in budget management. “Working in an HIV clinic, sharing my personal story, talking about HIV/AIDS, and speaking to organizations about HIV/AIDS and Positive Pedalers will help to alleviate the stigma and embarrassment around HIV/AIDS.”  AIDS/LifeCycle 12 was his first major cycling event since becoming positive, and a very empowering experience.  Riding as a Positive Pedaler allowed him to be open about his status in a supportive environment, and show that being positive did not mean having to give up all the things he loved to do.  Now, he lives his  life as an out and openly positive person.


A_Blake

Blake Strasser
Membership & Outreach Chair
New York City, NY

For Blake Strasser, 2014 will mark her 18th consecutive year of riding to fight HIV/AIDS, and 11 years of serving on the production end of the BRAKING AIDS™ Ride – the Boston to New York AIDS Ride. Having helped coordinate Positive Pedalers activities on the East Coast for the last decade, Blake is thrilled to take her commitment up a notch and serve on the Board.In 1986, Blake moved from Colorado to San Francisco. Living in the Castro at that time, she was losing friends to AIDS almost as quickly as she could make them – it was a terrifying time, and Blake knew she needed to do something and get involved. When she moved to NYC, she discovered the East Cost AIDS Rides and knew she had found a way to fight back, make a difference and honor her friends. “I felt so empowered. Getting smoked up a hill on my very first ride by a Positive Pedalers was such a great moment – seeing someone not only living with HIV, but thriving with it. I promised right then to keep riding until we don’t have to anymore. I still stand by that promise.” Outside of the ride, Blake is an Ironman triathlete, kayaker and can-opener for Bailey the world’s greatest bullmastiff.


A_GregGreg Mahusay
Merchandise Chair
San Francisco, CA

Diagnosed with AIDS in 1992 and given only months to live, Greg has outlived his initial diagnosis, and the death sentence it so often implied back then. Greg not only survived, he rebuilt his strength and endurance and defied all expectations by completing the California AIDS Ride 4. He has dedicated his life and career to fighting the ignorance and stigma he encountered so often, turning his experiences into training and sensitivity programs to create a more supportive environment for those who will follow. Greg now brings years of experience as a public speaker, HIV/AIDS activist, advocate and peer support volunteer, using his personal testimony of living with HIV and AIDS. The experience of representing Positive Pedalers as a flag bearer during ALC 12 Opening Ceremonies inspired him to get more involved. “I am excited about the sense of purpose AND the sense of community provided by ALC and Positive Pedalers.”


Mel Embree
Los Angeles, CA

Mel Embree became actively involved in the fight against HIV and AIDS in 2001 when he rode in California Aids Ride 8 (CAR8) in memory of a friend who had died from the disease. Two years later, Mel became a Training Ride Leader (TRL) and rode in AIDS LifeCycle 2 (ALC2). He has been a TRL and rider for every ALC since then to support all of the people he knows, and doesn’t know, who are living with HIV and AIDS. ALC 12 will be his 12th ride and 10th year as a TRL. To support the Positive Pedalers’ mission of eliminating the ignorance and fear that lead to stigmatization, Mel brings his experience as counsel to other non-profit entities and as the first Board Chair and long time board member of Youth Employment Systems, a Youth Build affiliate, providing educational and vocational opportunities to at-risk youth in the greater Los Angeles area.


Chris Eisenberg
Los Angeles, CA

In 2005, Chris signed up for AIDS/LifeCycle as a challenge and to support a good cause, but was convinced that she didn’t know anyone who was HIV positive. She met Paul Serchia and soon learned just how wrong she had been – and how much of a stigma there still is to living with HIV/AIDS. Throughout her first ride, watching the Positive Pedalers inspired her to conquer even the steepest hills and the longest days, and she was determined to return that favour by getting more involved. Since then, she has been training new riders (especially beginners), teaching workshops and packing clinics, organizing rides and special events, and training/mentoring new ride leaders every year. A long-time bike commuter, she loves cycling for the joy and fun and freedom it brings, the opportunity to share and teach – and to offset her other favourite hobby of baking and cooking! She is excited to join the board and the communications committee, and put her photography and media skills to good use (and bring the cookies).


A_Lee Lee Hawn
San Francisco, CA

Born and raised in Tennessee,  the Volunteer State, Lee comes from a culture where volunteerism comes naturally. He has been continuing that tradition in the Bay Area for nearly thirty years with many volunteer organizations, including work for Shanti, during the earliest  years of the AIDS pandemic.  This led him to a career in non-profits where he currently supports and advocates on behalf of people with developmental disabilities, including tireless lobbying efforts in Sacramento.
After his husband of 22 years died in 2010, Lee decided to continue Randy’s history of community advocacy and found a new passion in cycling and bicycle advocacy. He completed AIDS/LifeCycle in 2012 and signed up as a Training Ride Leader immediately afterwards, volunteering his time to welcome new riders into the ALC community and the world of long distance cycling.  “The weekly PosPed training rides are the perfect connection for me to use my teaching and mentoring skills. My heart remembers and honors my husband at the same time that I look to the future of Positive Pedalers and the elimination of AIDS/HIV stigma that plagues our community.”


RitchardEngelhardtT-ShirtRitchard Engelhardt
New York City, NY

Ritchie Engelhardt completed his first AIDS/Lifecycle ride in 2012 to mark his 10thyear living with HIV, and to give back to the community that had provided so much support in that time.  He used his first ALC as an opportunity to share his status with everyone he knows, personally and professionally, to do his small part to reduce the stigma of living with HIV.  As a result of that empowering and humbling experience, he embraced the cycling community, completing another ALC and branching out into regional centuries and East Coast AIDS rides.  When he isn’t riding his bike, Ritchie is a professional advocate for the life sciences industry (the folks who research and develop new treatments, cures, and diagnostics) before public policy makers at the federal, state and local levels.  He has been active in LGBT politics, including HIV issues, for more than 15 years.  In addition to the PosPeds Board of Directors, he sits on the Victory Fund’s national campaign board, which is dedicated to training LGBT candidates and raising money to ensure their campaigns are successful, as well as the California steering committee for the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Action Network.  Ritchie grew up in Northern Ohio, and considers the world his oyster and the road his home (but most of his things are currently in New York City.)


MichaelCunninghamMichael Cunningham
San Francisco, CA

Michael currently lives in San Francisco, CA and works for the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.  Diagnosed with HIV in 1995, Michael has been living with the disease for almost 20 years.  He was introduced to the Positive Pedalers in 2002 during ALC 1, “It gave me a sense of comfort knowing that the Positive Pedalers existed and supported people such as myself.  This being my first ride and not knowing too many people, I didn’t feel so alone.”  Michael has since been impressed with the organization and its’ mission.  Having just completed ALC12 he has vowed to continue to ride until there is a cure for HIV.  Michael came out publicly with his status this past year and wants to do what he can to eliminate the stigma surrounding HIV, which is another reason he wanted to be more involved with the Positive Pedalers.  Michael brings a lot of experience that he has gained working many other non-profit organizations, such as PAWS, SPCA, HRC, Glaad and San Francisco AIDS Foundation.


JoseGomezPosPedsJerseyJose Gomez
Los Angeles, CA

I first learned of my status in 2004. As a Hispanic gay male I thought it was the worst thing that could happen to me. A few years later I found myself in a hospital bed when I came across a quote, “Do something – either lead, follow, or get out of the way.” – Ted Turner. It took me some time to decide which I was going to do… until I joined my first ALC ride. I remember that first opening ceremony, the bike without its rider, and the Poz Ped team with their heads held high. I wanted to be one of them, proud. It has taken me seven completed ALC rides to realize that I am not willing to move out the way, or follow. I want to lead in the fight against stigma – even if at times it is your own. I look forward to extending the love and support to those that are still finding their own way.



CharlesLougee
Charles Lougee
San Francisco, CA

Charles is a financial analyst with a software design and consulting firm.  Previous volunteer experience includes:  Under One Roof, SF AIDS Foundation, MCC San Francisco, Metropolitan Community Foundation, and Western Roundup Living Sober.  He has completed three ALC rides (2009, 2010, and 2011) as a rider .  After being diagnosed HIV-positive in January, returning to ALC 2014 as a Roadie was an incredible experience.

“When I first starting training in 2009, I rode the Sunday series with the Pos Peds.  It was such a welcoming and affirming group of people, I instantly became a supporter! ”  Dealing with the stigma of the different communities Charles is involved in, has fueled his desire to join the Positive Pedalers’ Board of Directors.


HoaSuHoa Su
San Francisco, CA

In 2013, Hoa participated in the AIDS Lifecycle (ALC) as a positive pedaler for the first time.  It was a transformative experience to ride with other positive pedalers to help eliminate HIV stigma.  Since then, he has shared his personal HIV story with family, friends, coworkers and anyone who is willing to listen.  His story helped to recruit his two nieces and four friends to join him in riding in the 2014 ALC.

Hoa participated in his first AIDS ride in 2000 with the California AIDS ride and volunteered for the Paradise AIDS ride in 2001 and 2002 in Hawaii.  He continues to volunteer at the Project Open Hand every weekend.  As a public health professional, Hoa has a passion to educate, advocate and empower individuals to achieve positive physical and psychological well-being.  He looks forward to serving on the Positive Pedalers Board to extend the reach of the organization’s mission to eliminate HIV stigma especially among the minority communities.

 



Emeritus Members

David Duncan
Emeritus Member + ALC Training Ride Leader
Portland, OR

David Duncan has been on the Board since 2002, and served his first stint as Co-Chair with Wilfredo Ortiz from 2003-06. David, along with fellow Board member Scott Campbell, was a San Francisco “spokesmodel” for HIV Stops With Me, a nationwide campaign to promote the active participation of positives in preventing HIV. David worked at UC Berkeley on the design and development of campus facilities for fourteen years; in 2005 he was diagnosed with an HIV related brain disorder and went on long-term disability. David was elected to a second stint as Co-Chair along with Shirley Jaglowski at last summer’s retreat.


Bob Katz
Emeritus Member + ALC Training Ride Leader
San Francisco, CA

“I have been HIV-positive since 1981 and have known my status since 1985. I’ve been a member of Positive Pedalers since my first California AIDS Ride in 1999, and was on the Board of Pos Peds from January 2001 through December 2003. As a “Board Member Emeritus;” I stay involved by maintaining our membership roster, trying to stay in touch with our members, particularly the newer ones, by email and leading AIDS/LifeCycle training rides as a Positive Pedaler.”

 


 

Beau Thomson
Emeritus Member + ALC Training Ride Leader
San Francisco, CA

“I was motivated to to get involved with ALC 5 when I lost my partner Robert Hale. Now I consider this the best gift Robert ever gave me. Because of him, I’m a part of an organization that has changed my life. I am a Training Ride Leader and thrilled to be participating in AIDS/LifeCycle until there is a cure. I’m honored to be a part of such a dedicated and hardworking group of people: the Board of Positive Pedalers. For me, this is a gift that keeps on giving.”

 


Dale Freeman
Emeritus Member
San Francisco, CA

“I tested positive in 1987. I took up cycling in 1993 shortly after my wife died of HIV-related causes. I rode my first AIDS Ride in 1998, and joined the Positive Pedalers Board the following year. Positive Pedalers, like the disease that brings us together, has gone through many changes over the years, but has always remained central to my personal struggle with HIV. I’ll soon be leaving the Board, but expect to remain involved with this very valuable organization.”

 


Paul Serchia
Emeritus Member (1958 – 2010)
Los Angeles, CA

Paul Serchia (excerpt from Paul’s obituary) A bright, beautiful flame flickered out on March 6, 2010. Paul Serchia died this morning at a convalescent facility in Los Angeles. He was 52 and had been battling cancer since being diagnosed in January 2009. At his side were his father, Paul Serchia, Sr. and his sister-in-law Lisa. HIV positive since 1999, Paul faced his HIV and cancer diagnoses without anger or self-pity. In his blog, Thinking Positive: a Blog About Cancer and AIDS he honestly and clearly chronicled his treatment and his thoughts about his life. “If you didn’t know Paul you might think he’s putting on a brave face,” said close friend and former co-worker Dean Micheli, “but that’s really him.”Despite illness that left him without the ability to speak, Paul never lost his quick wit and mastery of words. A stickler for good grammar, he never used abbreviations or short cuts in the notes he needed to write to communicate.Before his diagnosis with cancer, Paul had been living with HIV, and he was active in organizations and causes relating to AIDS. Along with his position at APLA, Paul was an active member of the Positive Pedalers, a group of HIV positive cyclists who raise awareness and funds for AIDS/LifeCycle, a 545 mile bike ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles, and other bicycle rides around the country and the world.Paul is survived by his father, Paul Sr., his brother Michael, a sister-in-law Lisa, and two nephews, Philip and Stephen. And Paul leaves his two best friends, Dean and Ed, who have been stalwart in their support.