Eight local organizations and individuals were honored for their contributions to bicycling at The Blinkie Awards, our annual members award party, Friday February 13 at the Trees Atlanta Kendeda Center.
The Annual Blinkie Awards is a celebration of the people, projects, and organizations making Atlanta better by bike. The event had food and drinks provided by New Belgium Brewing Company and The Pickle, hand-made awards by local artist Ruth Stanford; a photo booth by local fashion photographer Cameron Adams, and a fashion show presented by local clothing retailer The Spindle featuring Atlanta-made bikes by Snyder Cycles. More than 300 members and special guests packed the house.
“The Blinkie Awards are our way of recognizing the shining lights making Atlanta better by bike,” says Atlanta Bicycle Coalition Executive Director Rebecca Serna. “It’s easy to get caught up in the great progress Atlanta is making when it comes to biking -- we think it’s important to stop and say ‘Thank you’ on a job well done.”
Congrats to the following individuals who received awards (pictured with awards left to right above)
Citizen Advocate of the Year: Brent Brewer, People for a Livable Lee Street. Brent's tireless advocacy for a walkable, bikeable, livable Lee Street in Southwest Atlanta is bringing together neighborhood residents, businesses, and parents to work for change.
- Cadence Volunteer: Mark Schmitt. Mark is the epitome of the Cadence Volunteer, setting the pace by participating in every event he possibly can. Over the years he's become our go-to event volunteer. "Count on Mark,"as we say around the office.
Elected Official of the Year: Andre Dickens, Atlanta City Council Member-at-Large. Councilmember Dickens was elected only last year but is already having an impact through his thoughtful approach to governing. Dickens was a spokesperson for our annual Bike To Work Day activities last year.
City Leader of the Year: Amy Phuong, City of Atlanta Department of Parks and Recreation Commissioner. Commissioner Phuong has long been an adviser to the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition, and has played a key role in the success of Atlanta Streets Alive and getting biking on the city's priorities.
New Bike Project of the Year: PATH400 Greenway Trail (Denise Starling, Jim Durrett and Ed McBrayer not pictured). This project is making waves in Buckhead and beyond, and will eventually help connect North Atlanta with the Atlanta BeltLine.
Bike Program/Plan: Georgia State University Sustainability Office and Bike Committee (not pictured). The Sustainability Office and Bike Committee launched an ambitious bike planning process last year, with support from the Atlanta Regional Commission, and held a first of its kind university bike summit that was both well intended and impactful.
ABC Partner of the Year: Atlanta BeltLine Partnership (Chuck Meadows) has been a key partner of ABC's since its inception, and last year marked an even closer relationship, with collaborations on the biweekly Atlanta BeltLine Bike Tours, the annual tour, and the Southern Charm Trail Etiquette campaign.
Agency Staff of the Year: Michael Smith, Public Works Director for the City of Dunwoody. As Dunwoody makes strides towards become a bike-friendly place to live, Michael Smith has taken a measured, balanced approach to paving the way.
Here's what some of winners had to say:
“Bike lanes, bike paths, bike share--there’s so many opportunities to get around Atlanta without stepping foot in your car,” said Andre Dickens, City Councilmember-at-Large. “It’s exciting to see the progress being made.”
"We were thrilled to be recognized by the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition. We have great ambitions for the future and we feel like we have the ability to make these happen thanks to the ABC's support," said Michael Black of Georgia State University, winner of Bike Program of the Year.
Mark Schmitt, a longtime volunteer with ABC, received “Cadence Volunteer.” “It’s wonderful to be a small part of the huge change that’s happening in Atlanta thanks to the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition,” Schmitt said.
The Atlanta Bicycle Coalition also approved its governing board slate, which included two new board members: Brian McGowan and Michael Green.
Brian McGowan is the Executive Vice President and COO for the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce. McGowan served for three years as the President & CEO of Invest Atlanta, and prior to that, was appointed by President Obama as U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce.
Michael Green is a real estate investment professional with the Atlanta-based private equity real estate firm Pansophy Capital Partners. Prior to Pansophy Capital Partners, Green was a founder and managing partner at G Prime Real Estate Group, an Atlanta-based real estate brokerage firm.
Stay tuned for information about our big 25th Anniversary Celebration in 2016.
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