Amanda has been involved with NICA since 2015 when she started her local Teton Valley Composite Team as part of the Idaho League. In 2017 Amanda joined the NICA National Team bringing with her a deep passion and commitment to making mountain biking accessible to riders of all ages and abilities. Amanda has served as a Coach Licensing Manager and GRiT Program Manager, and has served as Vice President of Programs since 2019. She has been an Idaho League Coach Supporter, and a Level 3 Coach for 7 years, 5 of which she served as the Team Director and Head Coach of Teton Valley Composite. Amanda has a strong focus on NICA’s core mission, vision and values and on servicing NICA’s Leagues to get even #MoreKidsOnBikes.
Amanda has a B.A. in Political Science from Colorado College and a M.S. in Sports Psychology from Capella University. Prior to her time at NICA, Amanda held multiple positions in non-profit organizations including time as both a development director and executive director with different cycling and trail advocacy organizations. Amanda also brings with her many years as a professional mountain bike and cyclocross racer having won the Breck Epic, Trans-Sylvania Epic and Iceman Cometh races multiple times. Amanda lives with her husband, Nate, in Victor, Idaho where they love to mountain bike, ski, and adventure out in the mountains.
As a long-time runner and roadie, mountain biking was not on Kristine's bucket list- until her children decided it was on theirs! In years past when her then small children would ride mountain bikes, she would trail run behind them. In 2015 her husband and three children decided to give her a mountain bike for Mother’s Day. Kristine found both a new freedom and community that came along with mountain biking. In 2016 she took her new passion to the next level and joined the Management Team of NICA's emergent North Carolina Interscholastic Cycling League.
Kristine has nearly 20 years of leadership experience in global, community and foundation development with a particular interest in social entrepreneurship. She profoundly believes that issues of the environment are inextricably linked with matters of social justice. Joining the NICA team gives her the opportunity to merge her passions for biking and getting youth outside and into nature. At the heart of all Kristine’s efforts is a relentless drive to lead, seek, design, or create ways for people to collaborate with purpose. Kristine has a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Political Science from Bowling Green State University and is a Certified Teacher Naturalist.
Lauren began her passion for the outdoors as a young person, through a combination of influencing factors - backpacking trips with her father and volunteering with a political activist mother. The result of those early years led to a love of the outdoors and an ongoing urge to advocate for the care and access to open space.
Lauren was instrumental in launching NICA in 2009, implementing and scaling the growth of the financial, human resource & operational systems of the organization into what it is today. She’s active in local & state advocacy - currently serving as the VP of the Bicycle Trails Council East Bay (BTCEB) and the California Mountain Bike Coalition (CAMTB) and up until 2020, the East Bay Bike Coalition (BEB). She continues to Coach with the NorCal League’s Oakland Composite Youth MTB Team – of which both her kids participated on; volunteers as an election-worker for Alameda County, and is an active participant and volunteer in local park and city initiatives. She spends her free time mountain biking, trail running, hiking with her golden retrievers, and road-tripping with her husband to explore new places to mountain bike.
Lauren currently lives in Oakland, California along with her husband Morgan and has two college aged kids. She holds Bachelors degrees in Russian History and Accounting in addition to a Masters of Public Accounting.
Chris Mileski joined NICA National after founding the Missouri Interscholastic Cycling League in 2018. A veteran of the United States Marine Corps, Chris graduated from the University of Arizona in 1997 and went on to a diverse career in the health, wellness, and sports performance industry. He’s spent much of his career working with a myriad of professional and Olympic athletes, spent time with IMG on the Women’s Tennis Association Tour, worked with USA Track & Field, and finally owned and operated an elite training center of his own to continue his focus on sports performance, physical therapy and endurance coaching.
In 2009, Chris began a six-year tenure as Program Director and Head Coach of the nationally ranked, division I, cycling team at Lindenwood University. After winning 7 national championships at the school, Chris was elected to the Lindenwood Sports Hall of Fame in 2020. Chris continues to coach athletes worldwide, including SoCal NICA alum and 5-time collegiate national champion Hannah Rae Finchamp.
Chris is a USA Cycling Level 1 Coach, USA Track & Field Sprints/Hurdles Coach, NSCA Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist, BICP Level I Instructor and a NICA Level 2 Coach.
Chris currently resides in the St. Louis metropolitan area. In his spare time, he loves riding bikes with his wife Kerri and son Kolce, and spending time with their two doods, Ben and Nash.
Abby grew up in the mountains of Colorado and discovered mountain biking in the woods of Vermont in college. When her first child discovered wheels on a beefy gravel trike, biking moved up a notch on the family outdoor activity list.
Abby brings a rich experience of outdoor education and nonprofit leadership to NICA from three decades of working at NOLS (The National Outdoor Leadership School). Abby is inspired by the influential power of time in nature combined with experiential education for opening possibilities and encouraging people to grow into their best selves. She has forged a deep sense of place wherever she has lived and is passionate about connecting people to the natural world wherever they call home. Watching NICA student-athletes develop confidence, problem-solving, empathy and grit while exuding “things are right in my world” energy when they get off their bikes hooked her on NICA. Joining NICA National is an opportunity to contribute her energy, skills and leadership experience to the organization during the next phase of sustainable and strategic growth.
A NICA parent and volunteer, Abby lives in Victor, Idaho, where keeping two teenagers in sight on bikes and skis requires Olympic level mom-training.
Chris is a national change-maker with past national positions of Director of Risk Management and Training & Risk Management and Safety. He credits his ability to implement complex partnerships and other initiatives across national, league and team-levels to his formative years coaching and training leadership of new leagues in over 25 states. Chris has supervised over 590+ program days in the field for NICA. He is a data-driven, affiliative leader who will never stop working to maximize local leadership autonomy with consideration for nation-wide knowledge.
Chris is also a proud NorCal League Alumni. As a high school freshman in San Francisco, he was a shop mechanic first and then progressed into racing. Throughout Chris's junior racing career he achieved many national podiums including 3rd at U18 National Finals and Championships. As an alumni, opportunities to volunteer kept him involved whether helping with a fundraising event, coaching and turning a wrench among other ways to give back to the mountain bike community. Even though Chris has been involved in NorCal and then NICA for over two decades, he will never stop learning and always welcomes thoughtful advice.
Mike McGarry of Madison Wisconsin is our new Coach Licensing Manager. Many of you already know Mike as his unending positivity and well-known “power clap” has been inspiring other NICA coaches and Coach Supporters for many years. Mike has a post-bacc in Exceptional Education and has been a Coach Supporter and head coach of a 90+ member team in the Wisconsin League since 2013. Mike is also a talented and experienced educator, having been the special education department chair at Madison West High School since 2012. Mike adds to the national staff an existing wealth of NICA coaching and leadership experience as well as years of curriculum development experience. Mike will play a key role in ensuring NICA national continues to serve the needs of our volunteer coaches with the curriculum and tools needed to positively impact their student-athletes, teams and communities.
Melissa is a strong believer in adventure education and it’s power of positive transformation. Her journey began as a director of an outdoor experiential program taking eighth grade students from her hometown Marshall, MI camping, hiking, and exploring in Alaska. She went on to get her B.S. in Biology and Outdoor Education with a Secondary Education Teaching Certificate from Central Michigan University. Combining all her interests, she found work as a high school biology teacher and adventure educator in Seattle WA, where she was also a successful cross country and track coach. During her time in Seattle she worked throughout the summer months as an outdoor instructor for a women run non-profit dedicated to the positive development of girls.
In addition to her role with NICA, Melissa is also the Assistant Director of the PA League. Where she works to get #morekidsonbikes.
To fuel her soul Melissa enjoys mountain biking, trail running, triathlons, adventure racing, hiking, rock climbing, and road riding...as her husband says, “she’s a fun hawg”. She currently rolls with her husband Josh in Cenn Penn, and spends as much time as possible adventuring with her two children Miles and Althea.
Phil Waidner's mountain bike love started early growing up in Indiana but blossomed into an obsession during his college years in Asheville, NC. Considering his mountain bike roots to always be Pisgah, Phil has traveled the world seeking out adventures on the bike. Combining his experience as a BICP Instructor Trainer, AMGA climbing instructor and PSIA ski instructor, Phil has developed a wide variety of co-ed youth programs blending traditional outdoor education philosophies with action sports.
Merging his interests in outdoor education and mountain biking, Phil developed MTB programs for a variety of summer camps and outdoor education programs across the country. He then spent time guiding and instructing in China, Bolivia and Colorado before landing in WV. Here he developed mountain bike, BMX, skateboard, and ATV programs at the Summit Bechtel Reserve, a large national facility for the Boy Scouts of America.
When he's not mountain biking, he can often be found exploring on his dirt bike, rock climbing, hiking, or just relaxing in the nearest swimming hole.
Emily has a lifelong passion for cycling and outdoor adventure, and loves nothing more than to help others challenge themselves and get outside on their own adventures.
She started her professional journey in outdoor environmental education in Maryland. She later moved to the Midwest and spent almost two decades in nonprofit program development, management and volunteer leader training.
After having two boys of her own (and having to find new ways to stay healthy and fit as a mom), Emily co-founded Fit Moms for Life and cultivated 105 community groups of moms nationwide, who supported each other in their health and fitness journeys. She coached women locally and online, and saw the transformative power of getting people outside their comfort zone. She carried this into her personal life, starting a triathlon group for women new to the sport and recruiting other moms to join her in getting kids #outside365.
She and her family live in Madison, WI, and spend their free time mountain biking, road cycling, paddling, skiing, hiking and exploring. She’s an avid triathlete, competitive sailor, and loves getting kids (including her son) hooked on mountain biking as a Level 2 coach for her local NICA team. She’s beyond excited to help more female athletes and coaches experience the transformative power of mountain biking!
Em was born and raised in a state that is more famous for cheese curds than singletrack: Wisconsin.
Em is a lifelong educator, non-profit nerd, and outdoor enthusiast. A college job at a local family-owned camping store resulted in her collecting gear, stories, and guidebooks, as well as a determination to make outdoor adventure a part of her career. So far, she has been successful: Em has worked as a wilderness ranger in the North Cascades of Washington, a field instructor and administrator at the Teton Science Schools in Wyoming, and a communications director for a regional conservation organization in Wisconsin. She's also passionate about teaching and learning, and holds a degree in secondary education from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She has worked as a middle school educator and mentor, a nonprofit professional for a national network of rural schools, and an instructor and program director for a place-based science enrichment program for adolescents.
When Em bought her first mountain bike and signed up as a volunteer NICA coach in 2020, she quickly realized that she had discovered something special; she had finally found a place where she could blend her experiences in outdoor recreation, program management, and education to contribute to an inclusive, character-building youth development community.
As NICA's coach licensing manager, Em is excited to play a role in creating thoughtful, quality education experiences so NICA coaches can continue to positively influence youth across the country through the joy of riding bikes!
...And she wants everyone to know that while Wisconsin certainly deserves its reputation for awesome, squeaky cheese curds, it's also a great place to ride bikes on dirt.
Growing up Bonnie used her bike for transportation and enjoyment. While in college she rode two months through Europe with friends. It wasn’t until her daughter joined the newly formed SRV MTB Club at her high school that she was introduced to mountain biking. Bonnie started as team sweep and over ten years later is still an active coach. She joined NICA as the Program Coordinator and enjoys being able to help with NICA’s mission. Knowing the positive impact mountain biking had on her daughter, Bonnie continually wants other families to have that same experience.
After coaching and managing her children’s sports teams over many years, Kelly saw the power of sports, exercise, and being part of a team on the overall well being and psyche of a child. With her BA in Child Development and 30 years of management experience, Kelly values the opportunity to combine her two passions. Growing up in the East Bay, and eventually moving to the Sacramento area, has afforded Kelly the ability to hike and run (slowly) in some of the most beautiful terrain anywhere. She understands that the benefits of sports, exercise, and being part of a team (be it sports, family, friends, or work) is a vital part of health and personal growth.
Kim is lucky to call Colorado home and feels fortunate to live in a state that offers so many recreational choices. Whether it is hiking, skiing or mountain biking, Kim and her family take advantage of Colorado’s great outdoors almost everyday. Kim was first introduced to NICA when her son joined his local NICA Colorado team and experienced first hand the impact that a bicycle can make in a child's life. Although her son has moved on to collegiate cycling, her involvement and passion for high school mountain biking continues. After many years of working in the corporate world for startups, Kim is excited to be a part of NICA’s accounting team and to share her extensive Quickbooks knowledge and experience with the team. She has a BS from the University of Colorado School of Business.
As the youngest of 11 children, Julia spent many summers camping in the Sierra Nevada mountains where she developed a passion for the outdoors and a tolerance for freezing alpine water. An avid hiker, runner, sailor, and mother of four, Julia discovered the sport of mountain biking in her 30s and came to love the physical, mental, and social benefits it had to offer. Her relationship with the sport continued to grow when her daughters joined their club team at San Ramon Valley High School. Julia spent many years as an Assistant Coach at SRV and this eventually led her to employment at the National Interscholastic Cycling Association in 2012. Her favorite part of her job is the interaction with the coaches, parents and students around the country. She is continually reminded what a positive impact mountain biking has had on her own children, as well as the students in her community and beyond.
Sara spent much of her childhood riding bikes, was a member of the Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Wheelman, and one of her favorite activities is exploring the hills, either on foot or by bike. She played college soccer and in the W-League and WPSL semi-pro soccer leagues for the San Diego SeaLions and Albuquerque Crush. Sara received a B.S. in Business Administration (Accounting Concentration) from Cal Poly SLO. She was a stay-at-home mom for 15 years and during that time she volunteered with several non-profit organizations, coached youth soccer teams, and was heavily involved in local schools. She co-instructs “Endangered Australia: Wildlife and Culture”, a Saint Mary’s College of California Jan Term class that spends a month in Australia every year. Sara, her husband, and their two children lived in Australia for two years and consider Australia their second home. Her husband and son are members of the San Ramon Valley MTB Club and she is grateful to be a member of the NICA Finance Team.
Kim has always liked riding bikes but about 8 years ago a chronic running injury got her back on the bike full time. She started riding with a local group to improve on her riding and within a year she started racing in the Northern California/Nevada Cycling Association. Now after 7 years of racing she is still going strong. She is the reigning California State TT Masters 45-49 Champion for the last 5 yrs and has competed in Masters Nationals the last 4 yrs. Kim has found her dream job at NICA. When she isn’t working or riding she likes to spend time baking for the NICA staff (keeping them happy is important) and spending time with family/friends. Life is good and she is enjoying her ride to the fullest!
Sarah is an avid cyclist, who now tries to keep up with her two daughters, both who race in the Montana Interscholastic Cycling League. She is a founding member of the league, and spends most of her free time coaching the local interscholastic team or out riding the many trails that are right outside their back door in Missoula. She and her husband also started their own local business, The Dram Shop. Sarah comes to NICA with experience in education, non-profit management and business accounting, and also has a passion for providing opportunities for more kids to get outside and grow the sport of mountain biking.
Sarah is a Bay Area native, growing up in Menlo Park and attending UC Santa Cruz where she earned a degree in Marine Biology. She has been a competitive fencer for over 15 years and has worked with fencing clubs and and leagues for over 10 years. Sarah is excited to join NICA and bring her extensive experience with fencing tournaments and registration to her new role here. In her spare time she likes to read, in particular murder mysteries.
Lucas Euser has been a part of NICA since the start. In 2001, as a junior in high school, Euser participated in the newly formed NorCal League which shaped his trajectory for years to come. After high school, Euser went to Cal Poly SLO and became a professional cyclist for twelve years. He raced on the world tour and represented Team USA in two World Championships. He also received the US Olympic Committee's Jack Kelly Fair Play Award in 2014 for his sportsmanship after supporting a fallen competitor in the US National Road Cycling Championships. Lucas supported NICA throughout his cycling career and has been on the advisory board since 2014. For the last two decades Lucas built his career on the bike and in Sports Marketing and Brand Partnerships at companies like Clif Bar and Company and Every Man Jack, in his own words, “Joining the NICA team feels like a homecoming”. Lucas is excited to bring his experience into a role that both supports the growth of NICA and fosters positive relationships in all areas of the organization with a “pay it forward” approach.
After being introduced to cycling by my father the fun and games began and the rest is history. I raced mountain bikes and wrenched for several road and mountain bike teams. In 1998 we moved to the US from the UK to work for Specialized, while there I enjoyed being the “Face of Specialized” at multiple Tours De France as well as other cycling classics. I left Specialized after 23 years and moved on to Alpinestars to work in the motorsports industry; this let me get a behind-the-scenes view of motorsports including Formula 1, Moto GP and Supercross. In 2013 I returned to the cycling industry to work for SCOTT Sport. Throughout my life I have had the distinct pleasure of turning hobbies into jobs. I have worked with some great companies that I can say have all made a difference in their sports and now with NICA the trend continues.
Bicycles really are in Angela’s DNA. As a lifelong cyclist her journey started young, when at the age of four she wobbled down the road without training wheels for the first time as her family cheered her on. Who would have guessed that this would be the beginning of so many cycling adventures? Since that day, Angela’s riding has improved somewhat. Angela’s passion for bicycles would eventually lead her into a bicycle industry career that gave her the opportunity to race on Trek UK’s mountain bike team.
Focusing on endurance events she found a passion for 24- and 6-hour races and couldn’t stay off her bike. Angela’s experience also covers extensive road riding, commuting by bicycle and cycle touring both in Europe and Asia – she recently completed a cycle tour in Japan. Besides an extensive career in the bicycle industry and riding bicycles, Angela is also dedicated to cycling advocacy at the grassroots level.
She is a cycle instructor, as well as an assistant coach and mechanic for a local Special Olympics team and a board member for a local cycling non-profit. Angela’s core belief is that bicycles bring tangible economic benefits, they create stronger communities and healthier lifestyles, and have a positive impact on the environment. Most of all, as she can personally testify, they provide us freedom and a connection to each other and our environment. Besides bicycles Angela also loves music, art, cultural connections and creating and consuming the food delicacies of Asia.
Olivia Nicholls began riding mountain bikes in the Arizona desert at age eleven and instantly fell for the freedom, grit, and adventure of the sport.
After testing her skills at local, state, and national races for many years, the stars aligned when her freshman year coincided with the arrival of NICA in the state. Her parents founded the Cactus Shadows Mountain Bike Team, and Olivia went on to be a two-year captain and two-year coach of her alma mater. Outside of the high school seasons, Olivia raced for the U23 team Arizona Devo.
During her time as a student-athlete, Olivia was honored to represent NICA at both the 2014 IMBA World Summit and the 2016 Interbike Conference.
Olivia earned two bachelor’s degrees summa cum laude in Marketing and Business Law, as well as a minor in French Language, from Arizona State University. When she’s not working or riding, Olivia can be found reading, writing, or hosting game night.
Two time Ironman finisher and long time triathlete, Nargis Solis started her athletic endeavors in high school as a runner and then continued into rowing. Never having considered herself as a swimmer, Nargis was encouraged by a friend (also not a swimmer) to register for her first olympic distance triathlon. She learned to swim and completed her first triathlon in 2001; the start of a longtime passion with the sport. Her last athletic achievement was The Tour of the California Alps (aka Death Ride). Having recently coached a small team of charity runners for the 2014 and 2015 Boston Marathons while simultaneously keeping up with her 3-year old daughter, Nargis is passionate about getting kids outside running and cycling. Nargis has a BA in Applied Mathematics from UC Berkeley.
Cynthia Kastner has been a marketing and communications strategist for socially conscious businesses for over 15 years. She helps NGOs and entrepreneurs effectively communicate their mission. Raised in Venezuela, she is passionate about intercultural communications. A graduate of the University of Vermont with a degree in business administration, her work experience has encompassed Latin America, Europe, and the US. Cynthia now uses her marketing superpowers to help the greater good and now, #getmorekidsonbikes. She lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina with her son, their dogs, and her partner.
For nearly 10-years, Nick has created content for on-air television, blogs, pressrooms, websites, and numerous social media users who have been the victims of the content he slings. Starting as a producer at the NBC affiliate in Huntsville, Alabama, Nick sharpened his talents with creating shows and writing scripts. His journalistic background afforded him several opportunities to grow in a broad strategic manner across various industries such as financial institutions and ad agencies.
Having worked with the Alabama League on the media team, Nick experienced how powerful NICA can be to students, families, and volunteers.
Nick lives in Tennessee with his family and loves to spend his time outdoors beekeeping, cycling, and hiking. Previously volunteering with the Tennessee State Parks, Nick and his family have built trails and other bike paths for local parks. The only thing he loves more than bikes and marketing – is a strong cup of coffee.
Tony discovered his passion for mountain biking after acquiring a used MTB to get around base while serving in the United States Marine Corps. Over the course of his involvement in cycling, he’s worked as a mechanic at numerous bike shops and events, managed Shimano’s Multi-Service MTB Program for North America, built and maintained trails, taught middle school and private MTB camps as a Level 1 PMBIA instructor, and worked as a Chapter Marketing Coordinator and Contract Graphic Designer with Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance in Washington state. Tony has also worked as a Ski and Bike Patroller, and spent 3 years supporting the Utah State Downhill Race Series as a course medic and race timer. From 2010 to 2015, Tony raced endurance and ultra MTB events on his single-speed, finishing just out of the top 10 in the ‘last of its kind’ 24-Hour Solo National Championships in 2014.
In his non-cycling pursuits, he’s worked in the Geospatial field with environmental design and civil engineering firms as a GIS Coordinator, designed and built websites under his own design firm, and spent the better part of 7 years with a New York-based creative agency, facilitating email campaign management for Fortune 500 companies such as BAE Systems, Motorola, and Avaya.
Tony lives and plays in Mt. Hood Village, Oregon with his wife, and their 2 dogs and 2 cats. He has a 15-year-old daughter attending high school in Canada, and a 22-year-old step-daughter working in mountain operations in Park City, UT. When he’s not online he takes advantage of any opportunity to get outdoors for hiking, telemark skiing, trail work, and mountain biking.
Helen studied Emergency Medicine in Asheville, North Carolina, but then switched tracks and is now working as a Social Media Coordinator. She has previously worked with Marquee Movement, developing content and graphics for NICA. Helen is now very excited about the opportunity to work directly with NICA. After racing with NICA in high school, Helen has seen how important NICA and its GRiT programs are for young cyclists.
Helen currently lives in Portland, Oregon, with her Great Pyrenees mix and two cats. Alongside her career in social media, Helen enjoys spending time mountain biking around the Pacific Northwest, reading science fiction books, and has recently picked up alpine skiing.