Debra Kagan, Executive Director
Debra is an experienced leader and advocate in areas of active transportation, bicycle and pedestrian safety, access to natural spaces, and social and environmental justice issues. She comes to the Executive Director position after serving as Director of Programs for NJBWC, including producing the 2020 NJ Bike & Walk Summit.
As Director of Policy and Programs for BlueWaveNJ, she organized state and local election campaigns and led outreach programs on issues of economic and social equity. She also has worked for the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference as Trail Manager for the Lenape Trail, leading the effort to revitalize and publicize a unique resource that affords access to natural spaces. Previously, she worked for over 20 years in the education field in both the nonprofit and corporate sectors. As Director of Partnerships and Programs for the Pearson Foundation, she led strategic planning and managed a large portfolio of partners and grants, helping nonprofits develop programs to provide communities with much needed educational resources. As Director of Business Development for the Learning Network, she oversaw the development of public-private partnerships and content development for the expansive online educational portal. She has an extensive background in digital and video production, having produced numerous websites and videos for programs she led throughout her career. Until recently, she served as President of Bike&Walk Montclair, where she expanded the board and volunteer base and led a renewed focus on advocacy for the Montclair Streets are For Everyone (SAFE) Plan, as well as collaborating with business owners and community organizations to produce local based projects, including the iconic Tour De Montclair, and the parklet project, “The Porch on Walnut”. She currently serves as a member of the Bike&Walk Montclair Board and the September 11th National Memorial Trail Board.
Paul Mickiewicz, Bike Education Program Manager
A lifelong bike adventurer, year round bike commuter and around town rider, Paul believes it is important to lead by example. With a degree in exercise science he has enjoyed a long career with the YMCA focused on promoting healthy lifestyles, chronic illness prevention and community building. With the relentless climbing rates of obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease, he has come to the conclusion that building a culture that walks and bikes as the preferred choice of getting around town is critical to building a healthy community.
Paul’s bike advocacy life started when he joined Bike&Walk Montclair in 2007 after being asked to join a Tour de Montclair planning committee. He found an immediate symbiosis! He created the Bike Education program in 2008 starting with the “Learn to Ride” program and expanded to offer a variety of Smart Cycling programs after getting certified through the League of American Bicyclists in 2010, then adding the Cycling Savvy program through the American Bicycling Education Association in 2020. As a long time member of the Board of Directors of Bike&Walk Montclair he is a staunch Complete & Green Streets advocate and believes mobility equity and micro-mobility are key to a just society. Paul has enjoyed sharing the joy and confidence of safe cycling to individuals, groups, schools, municipalities and at the NJBWC Summit. Paul is honored to lead bike education initiatives for NJBWC.
Liz Brady, Let’s Walk Program Coordinator
Liz is the organizer of The “Let’s Walk” Program in New Jersey, focusing on exercise and safety. Prior to that, Liz collaborated with the Partners for Health Foundation and Bike&Walk Montclair, focusing on promoting good health, exercise and positive social engagement in our neighborhoods.
Liz’s goal is to keep you safe while getting you up and moving. She believes walking groups offer you instant support that helps you achieve your fitness goals. Walking with a group encourages you to be social, provides motivation, accountability, and safety. As a member of the Montclair Pedestrian Safety Committee, she is very aware of the issues associated with pedestrian safety and is passionate about improving conditions that make it safe to walk.
Liz’s academic and professional training are in the areas of nutrition, health and policy. She holds a BS in Nutrition & Dietetics and an MA in Public Health; but her real gift and the one she shares freely is in connecting with people and helping them achieve happiness through health. Liz passionately shares her knowledge about walking and how the health benefits lead to happier and healthier lives.
The engagement is what inspires Liz and she feels blessed to have met so many wonderful people and looks forward to meeting and walking with many more. She is never too busy to listen for suggestions on where and when to walk.
She continues to build on her knowledge of health by attending seminars and continuing education so that she is always giving you the very best and most updated information about the benefits of walking. Liz is always looking for new partners and opportunities to better serve her clients and the community.
Liz is a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the American Public Health Association, and the honors society of PHI KAPPA PHI.
She has lived in Essex County for over 25 years and currently resides in West Orange with her husband Ken, son Matthew and two dogs Montana and Charlie. Liz has two daughters who are married and living in the New York area.
To see where she is currently walking go to http://www.meetup.com/Lets-WalkProgram/
Cyndi Steiner, Bike Depot Program Manager
Cyndi, a Lifetime Member of NJBWC, served as the executive director from July 2012 to June 2019, leading numerous advocacy initiatives. Her achievements include the pursuit of the Essex-Hudson Greenway from 2014-2020, successful negotiation with Open Space Institute, and spearheading safety improvements for bike riders during the George Washington Bridge restoration project. Cyndi played a pivotal role in policy implementation, such as Complete Streets in Monmouth County and the passage of A4165/S2894 in 2018, integrating bike rider and pedestrian safety into the state’s driver’s education curriculum.
Beyond her directorial role, Cyndi contributed significantly to local advocacy organizations and served as Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of Bike New York. With a background in corporate project and information systems management, Cyndi holds an MS degree from Stevens Institute of Technology and a BS degree from Cornell University. Her dedication extends to being a certified League Cycling Instructor with the League of American Bicyclists.