Meet the MORCmtb Board

Anne Clark – President

I have been riding mountain bikes since 2007. I was wrangled into the whole deal by Graydon Betts (above, right). He mentioned to me that I might want to give “this mountain biking thing a try”. So, I went out and bought a Specialized Myka Base right off the rack and we tackled the Mammoth trail one evening mid-summer and I’ve been hooked ever since. Graydon is also responsible for my role as MORC President (a position held since 2016). I’ve been involved with the Board since late 2014. The reason I volunteer is that I LOVE TO RIDE! I’m passionate about mountain biking and trails, and I love the great outdoors. I’ve enjoyed biking in several states over the years, and the only MORC trail that I haven’t been to is Cottage Grove (sorry guys!).

My favorite trail has changed over the years, but currently, I really enjoy Bertram. Since I live in Minneapolis, it’s a bit hard to get up there but I do love the setting, length, and flow. I also really enjoyed the Manitou trail that was there before the re-do.

I guess my home trail would be Theo, but I really don’t have a “home” since I go all over!

I live in NE Minneapolis with my husband and our cat, Shadow. In addition to mountain biking, I am very active in my yoga practice and I am a certified teacher for Vinyasa and Sculpt styles. I also enjoy gardening, and both cooking & baking. I work for Hennepin County and enjoy giving back to the community through my full-time job and various volunteer/giving opportunities throughout the year.

Graydon Betts  – Treasurer

Graydon grew up on bikes in a rural area riding fatter tire junky bikes on farmland, deer paths in the woods, etc. He began riding singletrack in the mid-90s after purchasing his first nice MTB, a 1994 Giant ATX.

Graydon began getting involved with trail advocacy when Wright County was taking over management of the former YMCA Day Camp Manitou in Monticello to become the Wright County Bertram Chain of Lakes Park in 2012, and has been involved with the trail development there since. He served as interim treasurer in the 4th quarter of 2014, and has been the MORC treasurer since 2015. Graydon has also been involved with Hillside City Park since becoming a MORC trail in 2016. Graydon also serves on the Trails & Parks Committee.

Graydon works for a small public accounting firm that specializes in audit & accounting for 501(c) non-profit organizations, as well as corporate and small business support. He keeps himself very busy with business, individual, and non-profit tax for the first part of the year.

Graydon is very happy riding just about any sort of singletrack trail but really likes creative trail features. He is always excited to ride with people at Bertram and show them around the trails, and especially the features which aren’t that bad at all when you ride them, so you can totally make it, you’ve got it.

Sam Pond – Vice President

Sam joined the MORC Board of Directors in January 2016 and has since served on the Executive Committee in the roles of Secretary and Vice President, as well as participating on the Finance, Fundraising, and Governance Committees. Sam holds advanced degrees in Civil Engineering and Business Administration and by day works as a licensed structural engineer at a firm specializing in high-rise and large-scale commercial construction projects. Sam seeks to blend his passion for mountain biking, project management, and organizational leadership by contributing to MORC’s success and sustainability at an executive level. Among Sam’s, most exciting work has been change management, strategic planning, and organizational leadership surrounding MORC’s separation from IMBA’s chapter program, transition from paid staff to a 100% volunteer non-profit organization, and planning for sustainability with the anticipated future trail projects.

Sam lives in the southeast metro and regularly enjoys biking at Lebanon Hills, Murphy- Hanrahan, and Terrace Oaks. On weekends, he enjoys traveling around to the other trails in the MORC portfolio appreciating the variety, character, and high-quality riding each of the trails offer. In addition to mountain biking, Sam also enjoys road cycling, ice hockey, motorcycling, sports cars, art, traveling, and coffee.

CJ Lindor – Director

CJ has been riding off-road since before suspension was a thing and is thrilled to watch
the evolution and growth of mountain biking. He is convinced that the only thing better
than a challenging adventure ride through a beautiful natural landscape, is sharing the
experience with friends. His favorite MORC trail is Battle Creek and he recently moved
back to Saint Paul (not a coincidence!).
CJ believes in the transformative power of the bicycle to improve quality of life for
people and communities. He currently works for the statewide bike advocacy
organization BikeMN as the Education Coordinator, where he is fortunate to work
everyday to make MN a place where bicycling is easy, safe, and fun for everyone. His
background also includes years of bike shop retail and repair experience, and he is a
founding coach for one of the MN High School Cycling League teams. CJ joined the
board of directors for MORC to become a more effective advocate for trails, and to
ensure that as many people as possible will have access to the opportunity to enjoy
mountain biking.

Ross Luhmann – Secretary

Ross started mountain biking after a friend brought him to Carver in 2013. Since he hadn’t owned a bike since he was 15, he borrowed his friend’s extra – a cheap 26″ Schwinn. He had so much fun he bought that bike for $20 plus lunch and started riding at his local trail, Elm Creek.

For over a year Ross rode his faithful 26″ Schwinn, before eventually biting the bullet and joining the trail crew at Elm Creek too. He bought his first big boy bike in 2014 – a Trek Cobia 29er.

Since Ross had so much fun swinging a Rogue Hoe for CJ Smith, he decided to become a Dirt Boss, eventually helping out both at Bertram and Hillside (after it became a MORC trail). In 2017 Graydon Betts convinced him to join the MORC Board and he has served as Secretary since. Ross works as a software engineer for a healthcare company and when he’s not biking or involved with MORC, he goes to the gym, plays d&d, reads, hikes, kayaks, and naps.

 Brandon Gallagher Watson -Marketing Chair

After being a bike commuter for several years, I bought myself a mountain bike just as a fun toy to ride around with my daughters. Remembering that there were singletrack trails at Theodore Wirth, I rode the trail there several times…before learning that I was riding the trail backward! That was in 2011 and I have been hooked on mountain biking since. I joined MORC as a way to meet more active people who are interested in growing the sport and making it more accessible to everyone. With MORC, I am particularly interested in the branding of the organization. promoting a positive image of the sport within our membership, the public, and in the eyes of land managers.

In my day job, I am the Creative Director of Rainbow Tree Company, a tree care company here in the Twin Cities and, nationally, one of the largest tree healthcare research organizations. I am a Certified Arborist with a specialty in forest pathology. I started with my company as a research intern while still in college. Prior to this, I am a graphic designer who was in their 3rd year of art school before switching majors, so I quite enjoy getting to work every in both art and science.

I am also a busy freelance graphic designer with clients that include Gold Nugget Tavern & Grille, Royal Comedy Theater, the Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Trails, the Minneapolis Bike Tour, Victoria Burrow, hundreds of homebrewers around the world, and, of course, MORC.

Sheila Roering – East Regional Trail Coordinator

Sheila started mountain biking in 2006 when she got her first mountain bike, a Trek hand me down from her much taller brother. Her first trail was the River Bottoms, which still hold a special place in her heart. She finally bought a bike her size, a 2008 Trek 4500, which is still her favorite to ride and believes she will always love 26” tires!

To help fund bike parts and upgrades, Sheila works as the IT Retail Logistics Coordinator at Caribou Coffee responsible for process mapping and coordinating projects at the store level including opening new locations.

In 2016, she joined the trail crew at Salem Hills and worked to earn her Dirt Boss qualification in 2017. She joined the MORC board in 2018 as the East Region Trails Coordinator and is a member of the Trails and Parks Committee. Her goals are to help implement a trail training program and local trails she rides the most are Salem Hills and Elm Creek but takes any opportunity to check out all of our other local trails and occasionally a couple in UT.

Aron M Braggans – Director of Technology

I have been hooked on bikes since I jumped my first garbage
can in the 6th grade on my Huffy Racing Stu Thomsen BMX
bike. I moved to Eagan in early 2000’s for work, less than a
mile from Lebanon Hills. A coworker at the time loaned me a
bike and took me around Leb, the next day I was bike shop
buying my first Stump Jumper.
I started digging in the dirt with the leb & caver crews in 2014 ,
until a few years later when Porter asked me to help with the
MORCmtb website. I attended some of the board meetings and
helped out until I joined the board in 2016.
Home trail is Theo, Favorite Trails are Leb & Carver

Gunnar Carlson – Director

Gunnar Carlson is a Minnesota native who grew up in Hopkins. After attending St. John’s Prep School and University in Collegeville he returned to the Minneapolis area to attend the University of MN Twin Cities to finish his degree in Psychology. After college Gunnar worked with at-risk youth for several years before returning to the pharmacy he worked in during his time at the U of M. While still working as the GM for Center Drug in Hopkins, Gunnar is currently enrolled in the Humphrey School of Public Affairs and is hoping to complete his MPA in 2020.

Gunnar began his relationship with MORC in the late 90’s with volunteer trail maintenance hours and group rides down at the river bottoms. After many years away from biking he returned to the trails a few years ago. This lead to a desire to serve the MORC community through the board. Gunnar has previously served on several boards for both civic and professional groups including the Hopkins Rotary (2 time president), HBCA, as well as helping to form the Southwest Metro Chamber of Commerce (past president).

Gunnar’s home trail is the Theodore Wirth system as he lives nearby in North Minneapolis and is a great spot for a quick ride after work. While he may put the most miles on at Theo, Gunnar does enjoy heading out to ride the entire MORC trail system and tries to get to every trail at least once a season.

When he’s not working, studying or riding Gunnar enjoys relaxing with a good cigar, traveling or just relaxing at home with his wife and dog.

John Kelley – Director

John is an ETL Data Warehousing Developer on
most days, which has also provided him the
opportunity to traverse the landscape by providing
thought leadership along the way.
John bought his first mountain bike (a fat bike) in
the spring of 2015, where he was quick to get
towed through Leb by some friends, managing to
only hit three trees along the way. Despite the
scratches, it was the most fun he’d had on a bike
in years, and a welcome break from thousands of
commuting miles between St Louis Park and
Eagan. The following year, John bought a fully
rigid SS 29’r that he hauled with him on many
adventures, including Kissing Booth in Duluth, and
eventually purchased a full suspension bike just
before experiencing Copper Harbor for the first
time in the fall of 2017.

Since discovering the joy of those dirty ribbons we’ve all grown to love, John has found
himself riding mostly at Theo, but Leb and Elm have been regular haunts, as well as the
occasional trip down to Murphy. He completed the Ride ‘em All challenge in 2017,
though admittedly the Battle Creek edition was very short lived due to wayfinding. John
actually moved to the east side of St Paul in the spring of 2018, and Battle Creek has
become one of his favorite trails due to the challenging elevation, old school trails, and
the excitement of what is in store for this trail (hoping we can do some of the same
types of features Monticello/Bertram has to offer!).
John became so enamored by the trails in our metro that he wanted to contribute to the
trails’ and organization’s success. He decided to volunteer his time to the Board
beginning in 2018, where he became the membership committee chair, and has worked
to help the organization, including helping to organize membership drives, and creating
the MORC Ridership Survey that was distributed last spring. Also beginning in early
2018, John, along with his (now) wife, joined an adventure team whose mission is to
create a welcoming and inclusive environment for people to get rad in any number of
disciplines.

Ryan Lieske – South Regional Trail Coordinator

The love of mountain biking started for Ryan in 1992 when he bought his first mountain bike while in college. The first trail he rode was the Minnesota River Bottoms. Ryan first rode the CAMBA trails in 1993 and continued to explore any Twin Cities trail that actually existed back in the 1990s. With the emergence of MORC and other advocacy organizations since 2000, Ryan has been able to explore many new trails throughout the Upper Midwest, Colorado, Utah, Arizona, and Arkansas. Ryan loves to mountain bike and road bike, especially when he gets to explore a new trail for the first time

Ryan has been active in mountain bike advocacy since a persistent MORC volunteer convinced him to volunteer at a new trail project in Lebanon Hills in 2001. Since then, Ryan has been a trail volunteer at most MORC trails at one time or another and a Dirt Boss at Lebanon Hills, Murphy-Hanrehan, Salem Hills, and Elm Creek. Ryan also was a Trail Steward at Murphy-Hanrehan and Elm Creek. Ryan was a MORC Board member from 2007-2012 acting as Vice President from 2007-2009 and President from 2009-2012. Ryan is a current MORC Board member since 2017. Ryan serves as a Trails Committee member on the current board.

Outside of MORC, Ryan is married to his wonderful wife Sherri and has two dogs, Baxter and Bailey, and two cats, Lizzie and Loki. Ryan lives in the Lake Nokomis area of Minneapolis. Ryan’s day job is in Quality and Regulatory Affairs at Memorial Blood Centers based in St. Paul.

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