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It’s official: Poyourow is leaving the BTA

Posted by on February 5th, 2010 at 2:57 pm

Tweed Ride Portland 2010-96

Michelle Poyourow at the Tweed Ride.
(Photo © J. Maus)

Confirming a rumor first published by the Portland Mecury on Wednesday, the Bicycle Transportation Alliance has announced that Advocacy Manager Michelle Poyourow is leaving the organization.

In a blog post published today, the BTA wrote:

“BTA Advocacy Manager Michelle Poyourow confirmed she is leaving her position with the organization in mid-February. Since 2006 Michelle has worked in several positions at the BTA, and has led the advocacy department for the past two years. She has made a major contribution to bicycle advocacy and to the BTA with a long list of accomplishments, and we will certainly miss her commitment, insight, and ability to analyze and articulate difficult issues.

We welcome Gerik Kransky as our new lead advocate and Build It campaign manager. Gerik comes to the BTA with over ten years campaign experience in environmental, health and transportation Michelle and Gerik will work in partnership until mid-February to ensure a smooth transition and continued momentum of BTA advocacy efforts.”

In a comment below, Poyourow writes, “I am indeed resigning on my own terms, for my own reasons, at my own pace.”

I’ll have more thoughts/analysis/coverage/reactions on Monday.

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

  • Henefer Morgan February 5, 2010 at 3:01 pm

    Still the same question: is Michelle leaving on her own terms, or has the BTA alienated yet another excellent (and publicly lauded) staffer?

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  • Hoover Pendleton February 5, 2010 at 3:04 pm

    Right. Gosh, you hope its the former, as this won’t look so good otherwise. Interesting to note that “Both comments and pings are currently closed” on the BTA blog entry.

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  • Elliot February 5, 2010 at 3:05 pm

    Jonathan, in your first article on this story you had a quote from Matt Davis saying the Kransky hire/Poyourow resignation were not related. The BTA blog post seems to infer the opposite. Do you have any clarification on this?

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  • jim February 5, 2010 at 3:38 pm

    A big thanks Michelle for the high quality work you’ve done. I’m hoping you follow up with a bright and fulfilling position…both in Oregon & bicycling as you have been a great advocate.

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  • Bill February 5, 2010 at 3:46 pm

    BTA rumblings sound like a classic case of dictatorial Board of Directors gone wild. Poyourow is just being smart. Seen it before. Doesn’t end well.

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  • Marcus Griffith February 5, 2010 at 3:47 pm

    If bike move can move someones apartment stuff from downtown to sell wood, surely we can set up a ceremonious bike move to move her desk stuff to where ever it needs to go

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  • Steve Hoyt-McBeth February 5, 2010 at 4:03 pm

    Michelle will be missed. Hopefully she will continue to help the region through another organization.

    Best wishes to Gerik in succeeding her.

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  • Michelle (BTA) February 5, 2010 at 4:07 pm

    To clarify, I am indeed resigning on my own terms, for my own reasons, at my own pace.

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  • Henefer Morgan February 5, 2010 at 4:09 pm

    Michelle – that’s great. So, uh: what’s next?

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  • AaronF February 5, 2010 at 4:19 pm

    Good to hear!

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  • Andrew Plambeck February 5, 2010 at 4:40 pm

    Transition ride with both Michelle and Gerik? This weekend? Celebrate Michelle’s accomplishments and welcome Gerik to the organization?

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  • Heather McCary February 5, 2010 at 4:46 pm

    Michelle has always been an amazing resource to the Lloyd TMA. We wish her the best of luck in her future endeavors.

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  • Matt Picio February 5, 2010 at 4:47 pm

    Michelle, thanks for your contributions to the community while working for the BTA, and good luck on all your future endeavors. I’m looking forward to seeing what you choose to do next!

    Gerik, welcome aboard! Portland’s got a wild & crazy bike community, and I’m sure you’ll find your new position both rewarding and challenging.

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  • Michelle (BTA) February 5, 2010 at 4:51 pm

    Huh, a Transition Ride, that’s a neat idea, but maybe next weekend…we’re a little tired right now!

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  • John McLaren February 5, 2010 at 4:53 pm

    Michelle will be a tough act to follow. She is a gifted writer and speaker, and it’s for me at least to imagine a more persuasive advocate for the BTA.

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  • Andrew February 5, 2010 at 5:20 pm

    The BTA is a huge disappointment. It is supported by proceeds from the sale of license plates statewide and should be more accountable. It is time to support shifting this public funding to another organization. At least in Portland you have an active bicycling community and local government support. In southern Oregon the situation is much different and we desperately need a statewide advocacy organization.

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  • Joe Metal Cowboy Kurmaskie February 5, 2010 at 5:37 pm

    Here’s hoping Michelle stays in Portland active in the bike/transportation scene. Thanks for all your hard work and for riding your talk.

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  • Elliot February 5, 2010 at 5:40 pm

    Best wishes, Michelle! We look forward to finding out what lucky organization you’ll lend your talents next.

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  • Ted Buehler February 5, 2010 at 6:33 pm

    Noooo! Say it isn’t so!

    Michelle has done great work, and her relationships and knowledge of bicycle issues were key if the BTA intends to become more effective, rather than less!

    Anyone not familiar with her abilities as a leader and BTA figurehead should take a look at today’s Oregonian video footage of her leading the “Built it” rally.

    Ted Buehler

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  • JT February 5, 2010 at 6:34 pm

    Two down, one to go.

    Good luck in your next endeavor, I just hope its nothing I care about.

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  • gabriel amadeus February 5, 2010 at 6:48 pm

    Thanks Michelle! You were one of the few folks keeping the BTA relevant in my eyes. I’m going to have to echo everyone else and say that the organization had better become transparent and make some big leaps soon.

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  • Ted Buehler February 5, 2010 at 6:55 pm

    The BTA board has made some huge changes to the organization in the last couple months. Bricker and many others out, now Poyourow out.

    Folks can complain here on bikeportland, in bars, to friends, on rides.

    Or, you can contact the Board of Directors and give them some feedback.

    They’re a nice enough bunch, they give a ton of time, all donated to the BTA, but they also owe it to the members to be in touch.

    Are you a member of the BTA? Former member? Prospective member? Do you have opinions about how the BTA could be more effective in representing your interests as a bicyclist?

    Let them know. Show them you care enough to tell them what you think.

    They’re listed on the BTA web page, search for “BTA Board” (direct link to follow).

    Ted Buehler

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  • Ted Buehler February 5, 2010 at 6:56 pm

    BTA Board info —

    Paul Adkins
    John Beaston
    Tommy Brooks
    Hugh Bynum
    Mary Fetsch
    Stephen Gomez
    Jeff Knapp
    Jim Middaugh
    Susan Otcenas
    Doug Parrow
    Nancy Pautsch
    Austin Ramsland
    Mary Roberts

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  • EmGee February 5, 2010 at 7:57 pm

    Thanks, Michelle, for work well done.

    I know that wherever you go from here, you will bring good and effective energy to that organization. I am selfish enough to hope that you remain in the Portland area.

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  • Jim Middaugh February 5, 2010 at 8:22 pm

    As a BTA board member and a cyclist I want to publicly say thanks for all you’ve done Michelle. As I told you earlier you will be missed but I’m glad you’ll still be around Portland to help make this a great place. It’s been an honor to work with you. I look forward to more in the future. I’m proud of you for making a great choice for you.

    My best to you!

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  • Aaron February 5, 2010 at 9:15 pm

    I want to second Joe’s comments. I deeply appreciate the seriously hard work that Michelle has done. Michelle I hope that you do stay in Portland and remain active in the bike community. We would very much be the lesser without your efforts. I’m sure that all the bike organizations would welcome you

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  • Steph Routh February 5, 2010 at 10:28 pm

    Thank you, Michelle, for your inspiring work and verve. Looking forward to seeing you around town soon!

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  • Bill Stites February 5, 2010 at 10:34 pm

    Another jewel falls out of the BTA crown.

    Thanks to Michelle for a job well done.

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  • Stephen Gomez February 6, 2010 at 8:51 am

    @Ted 22

    As a BTA board member I want to clarify that in no way did the BTA force Michelle “out.” Her decision to leave is a loss for the BTA but as others have expressed we hope that Michelle will continue to be a leader in making Portland a better place.

    We are fortunate to have added Gerik Kransky to our advocacy staff to takeover Michelle’s work when she departs.

    As you’ve suggested we are very interested in what our members think which is why we’ve scheduled eight member forums this year as well inviting members to work with us on several committees. Board chair Mary Robert’s recent letter to members outlines these initiatives as well as our top priorities for 2010.


    Stephen Gomez

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  • Lazy Spinner February 6, 2010 at 9:34 am

    Sometimes there needs to be a change. This doesn’t mean that politics or conspiracy are afoot. Lives change, better offers come along, passsions and interests shift. Ms. Poyourow can share her reasons with us if she sees fit to do so.

    With the changes at BTA, this is our moment to challenge BTA to serve us better with constructive criticism and ideas. Take advantage of it.

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  • Andrew Holtz February 6, 2010 at 9:46 am

    Good luck, Michelle. Thanks for your work. Keep us posted on what’s next.

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  • beth h February 6, 2010 at 10:24 am

    Thanks Michelle and happy riding where you go next.

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  • Lenny Anderson February 6, 2010 at 6:06 pm

    Thanks for all your fine work for the BTA on behalf of all bicyclists, but especially for your powerful statement rejecting of the Columbia River Crossing fraud. Hope we can continue to partner in the battles that lie ahead.
    Lenny Anderson, Swan Island TMA “moving freight by creating and promoting transportation options”

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  • ray thomas
    ray thomas February 6, 2010 at 8:22 pm

    We are so grateful for your hard work and leadership. You were out there in so many ways for the BTA! What a whirlwind. And you have brought with you such a dynamic and classy presence on our behalf. I hope after you catch your breath we can work together some more on the tough bike issues in Oregon.

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  • Jeff Bernards February 7, 2010 at 9:19 am

    Your speeches were very articulate & clear on where you stood. You had one of the hardest jobs. You had to lobby the government to prioritize spending while safe routes received money from the same entity. Congratulations on walking that fine line and standing up for the values, that we all benefit from. Good Luck on the next chapter.
    Ride On

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  • Roger Averbeck February 7, 2010 at 1:42 pm


    Best of luck to you wherever the road leads! I do hope you will remain in the Portland area. Thanks again for all your hard work to make our city a great place to ride…

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  • K'Tesh February 7, 2010 at 4:28 pm

    Thanks for all the help over the years.

    All The Best!

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  • are February 7, 2010 at 8:21 pm

    comment 16, in its first year the “share the road” plate produced about $26k, which was split with cycle oregon. that year (2008) BTA pulled in over $1.3 million, of which a little over half a million came from government grants and contracts. most of this was fee for service stuff like safe routes to schools. half of $26k would be about a tenth of one pct. of BTA’s budget. just fyi.

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  • Spencer Boomhower February 7, 2010 at 11:38 pm

    Michelle, you’ve done great work at the BTA, giving that organization a strong and principled voice in the time you’ve been there. I hope your next step will allow you to keep working on behalf of bikes, transportation, and livability issues; or for that matter, any cause you’re most passionate about. Wherever you end up, the team that gets you on its side will have an unfair advantage.

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  • are February 7, 2010 at 11:45 pm

    one pct., sorry, decimal point floated on me.

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  • Matt Davis February 8, 2010 at 6:31 pm

    I’m a fucking brilliant reporter.

    That’s all.

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