Presenters and Panelists

Aaron Hautala,


President emeritus of the Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Crew (CREW)—a chapter of the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA). Over the last nine years, Hautala has helped guide Cuyuna in becoming an international destination and a purpose-built community, anchored in quality-of-life investments aimed at recruiting and retaining both a 21st-century workforce and business entrepreneurs. Recently, Hautala and the CREW/IMBA have successfully advocated and fundraised more than $6 million dollars for trail expansion and infrastructure development in Cuyuna. When not volunteering, Hautala owns an advertising agency and last year released the destination brand for Cuyuna. – Cuyuna Adventure Town USA®.

Just because your mountain bike trails are constructed and open doesn’t equal long-term success for your destination. Learn firsthand the process and steps Cuyuna (MN) took to ensure their destination was first supported, and then grew. This growth involved ongoing maintenance, revenue generation, stakeholder development, volunteer empowerment, and building the destination Cuyuna brand. See how Cuyuna (as volunteers) took the future of their trails and destination out of the hands of chance, and instead put in place a powerful plan to provide their region the best chance at long-term quality of life and financial success.

Dave Wiens, IMBA


 Dave has been mountain biking since the mid-1980s and has ridden and raced his bike on trails all over the world. He is a 2x US National Champion; a 2x World Cup race winner; and a 6x winner of the Leadville Trail 100. He has been involved in trail advocacy from the beginning, was the founder and executive director of Gunnison Trails and created the Original Growler mountain bike race as a funding mechanism for the organization. Dave also created the Mountain Sports program at Western State Colorado University and is a member of the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame. He joined the IMBA board of directors in 2016 and was named IMBA’s executive director in 2017. Dave lives in Gunnison, Colorado with his wife, Susan DeMattei, also a Mountain Bike Hall of Fame member and the bronze medalist in mountain biking from the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, Georgia.

Gary Sjoquist, Advocate


       MTB Hall of Famer Gary Sjoquist tells the insider story of the obstacles to get Cuyuna (built with federal highway funds) from an idea in 1995 to its opening in 2011.  

Bike advocacy isn’t glamorous. But done well, it dramatically improves the bicycling experience for all of us.

Consider the 20 years of work that Gary has devoted to mountain biking, getting kids on bikes, and engaging the full power of the bike industry to increase government support for bicycling. What you’ll see is two decades of impressive (and often unsung) accomplishments.

If you have ever enjoyed a great bike ride in Minnesota–or just about anywhere in the upper Midwest–Gary most likely played a role in shaping that experience. His influence continues to stretch nationwide.

Pete Piccolo


Executive Director, Bicycle Colorado

Colorado Tourism Office Board member and Chair of the Destination Development Committee


Elizabeth Fogarty, Visit Grand Junction


 Elizabeth Fogarty arrived in Grand Junction two years ago, having spent the last 30 years in the hospitality industry primarily on the Front Range in Colorado as well as East and West Coast destinations. Throughout her career, Elizabeth has focused on igniting sales and designing unique marketing programs that produce significant results through non-traditional partnerships and data-based strategies. In 2016, receiving the Best Marketing Campaign in the state at the Colorado Governor’s Tourism Conference was a significant honor. Elizabeth was attracted to Grand Junction’s quality lifestyle, the destination’s potential to grow tourism sustainably, and primarily its residents and culture. Elizabeth loves adventuring outdoors including hiking with her Black Labrador, skiing, water sports and dirt biking.

Director of Visit Grand Junction, the City of Grand Junction's Destination Marketing Organization, will discuss expanding the Grand Junction area brand and how data, digital and resident & guest sentiment guide the process. 

Peter Solly, bikeSA


Former CE0 Bike SA and Managing Director Collective Impact Asia Pacific. Peter has been around the trails and travel sectors for well over a decade, during which time he has been the CEO of Bicycle SA, managed and marketed two of the largest backpacker travel companies in Australia, and owned and run a medium sized active travel company which operated internationally.

He was the visionary behind Adelaide's Eagle Mountain Bike Park and saw the opportunity behind the now famous mountain biking in Melrose in the Southern Flinders Ranges. Peter founded the Centre for Excellence in Cycle Tourism and was instrumental in the establishment and driving force behind the first state mountain bike plan in Australia funded by the Office of Recreation and Sport in South Australia.

Peter's latest venture Peter Solly.communications + Travel Architects, specialising in travel architecture, particularly active travel.

Mike Bennett, Fruita City Manager


  Mike Bennett became the Fruita, Colorado City Manager in October 2014, and is still overwhelmed by how awesome it is to live like a Fruita local. Mike received his Master of Public Administration degree from BYU in Provo, UT; Bachelor of Journalism and Public Relations from Utah State University in Logan, UT; and previously worked in a variety of positions for the City of Hickory North Carolina for many years prior to arriving in Fruita. Mike is an International City/County Management Association Credentialed Manager and graduate of the Senior Executive Institute at the University of Virginia. Mike and his wife have three children and love spending time together in the outdoors. Mike is passionate about family, purpose, fly-fishing, mountain biking, hiking, meetings on bikes and community. As City Manager, Mike spends the majority of time working with the Fruita City Council, staff and community to align resources to positively impact Fruita’s Quality of Place, Economic Health and Lifestyle..  

Tony Boone, Dirt Farmer


 Tony is a pioneer in the evolution and art of creating sustainable, machine-built trails for mountain bikers. His accomplishments include: establishing the first mountain bike patrol in Colorado in 1989, training eight IMBA/Subaru Trail Care Crews (1997-2011), inspiring the IMBA Trail Solutions Program (2001), and assisting with both IMBA books (Trail Solutions: IMBA’s Guide to Building Sweet Singletrack and Managing Mountain Bikes: IMBA’s Guide to Providing Great Riding). Learn more about Tony here. 

Troy Rarick, Over the Edge


       Founder of Fruita Colorado's destination Mountain Bike Trails, Bike Shop and the Fruita Fat Tire Festival. Since 1995 Over the Edge Sports has grown to be one   of the core business' in the Mountain Bike Sport.    

We Lead by example


More Presenters/Panelists will be added soon!

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