We say fare-well to our Kate Armstrong, who will be heading back to school to pursue a degree in nursing. She will be replaced by Rachel Levy,  a new Bend transplant, by way of Helena, Montana. She is an avid bike and walk commuter who looks forward to sharing her passion and knowledge with the community. She has worked with public schools for ten years and is no stranger to creating programs within schools and rallying a school community around a goal or cause.Rachel enjoys camping, hiking, and nordic skiing, usually with her dog in tow.

We also welcome Ashley Hooper, a new Board of Directors member.

Ashley Hooper has lived in Bend since 2018, moving west from Raleigh, North Carolina. The UNC graduate currently works as the Community Outreach Specialist for the Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council (COIC), where she spends her days planning and facilitating public meetings and open houses to preach the gospel of Cascades East Transit improvements for our growing region.

Prior to joining the staff at COIC, Ashley worked for a regional transit agency in Durham, NC, where she was responsible for community engagement on behalf of a $2.3 billion transit plan in one of the fastest-growing counties in the nation. In addition to maintaining her Commute Options Board status, Ashley is a program committee member with the Bend City Club and research volunteer at ReachAnother Foundation.

Ashley is a self-described European politics nerd and completed a Masters Degree focused on transatlantic policy while studying in Germany and the Czech Republic (now Czechia). In her spare time, she loves to hike with her partner and boxer-mix pup Zeke and ski at Mount Bachelor.
We also say goodbye and thank you to James Cook, former Board of Directors member. James came to web development and illustration the long way around; via a degree in Architecture, a detour as a professional hot-air balloon pilot and a stint as the author of a weekly newspaper column. Highlights of his career include award-winning infographics for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, a children’s book, the annual “St. Lou is… 4 Kids!” activity and coloring book, and an amazing variety of projects for over one hundred other clients. For over two decades, Jim has specialized in producing websites graphics, logos and illustrations optimized for online readability and performance in addition to print work. After a lifetime in the Midwest, he came to Central Oregon in 2010 to be near grandchildren and now considers the High Desert his home. We wish James the best in his work on the Homeless Leadership Coalition.
In other news, current team members Kersey Marion and David Hopper have new titles!

Kersey is transitioning from being the Walking School Bus and Volunteer Coordinator to the new Commute Options Administrator. She will be working on multiple contracts while providing services not specifically outlined in current contracts and being a connector with the staff to create office culture and professional development. She will assist with marketing and fundraising goals, complete reports, provide education opportunities for the staff around equity work in transportation and fill the role as HR representative for the staff.

David Hopper Coordinates the Walking School Bus Program, working closely with schools in the Bend-La Pine School District and around Central Oregon to create walking routes and employ Leaders who guide students to and from school. David is committed to supporting community wellness on and off the clock, and can often be found zooming around town on their bike, playing Dungeons & Dragons, and cooking big meals with friends.