Steve Hankel – For consideration for the Board of Directors, Champaign County Bikes
I was born and raised in Fort Wayne, in northeast Indiana and have a BA in Sociology from Purdue University. Over the past 32 years my wife and I have lived in Urbana, Champaign and now reside in Savoy. I retired from the Illinois State Police in 2011 after 27 years of service, serving first as a State Trooper but spending the majority, 25 years of my career, as a detective. I served 3 terms as Mid-States Chapter President, and National Board Member for the National Technical Investigators Association, which provides in-service, professional development training for law enforcement investigators, and as such, I was responsible for facilitating and hosting multi-day training conferences for our 10 state Midwest region. My wife is an attorney, currently serving as the head of the Civil Division of the Champaign County State’s Attorney. We have 2 children, our daughter Meg is a Master’s degree candidate at the University of Georgia, and our son Joe is an Undergrad in Materials Engineering and Physics at Iowa State University. Both are avid cyclists.
I have been an avid cyclist since a young age and was captivated by the independence afforded and the world that was opened on a bicycle. In middle school, my older brother and I lead numerous daylong tours of like- minded friends and neighborhood companions into the northeast Indiana countryside. The ability to travel long distances under my own power has long captivated me. Travel by bike is a passion that I have shared with my children on numerous rail-trail trips as well as 2 transcontinental adventures. Locally, I try to incorporate an active transportation lifestyle into my daily routine, whether it be cycling, walking or in the winter, cross- country skiing. I have seen CU grow into a very bike friendly community through the hard work and advocacy of Champaign County Bikes. Yet, as a resident of Savoy, I recognize obvious gaps in the “bike friendly” infrastructure that need to be addressed. As retired law enforcement, I see cycling safety as of the utmost importance to building a bike friendly community. From infrastructure, to education, to enforcement, all contribute to building a community where both bicycles as well as motorized vehicles can co-exists in harmony and with mutual respect. Education and enforcement have the potential for being creatively combined to afford our community a safe environment. An active partnership with the law enforcement community in this respect, is something that could benefit everyone in the community.
As a Board Member of CCB I envision being able to further its mission in a number of ways. I see growing CCB membership as the first step in fulfilling its goals. Currently I see, the CCB core members as one of its greatest assets, yet with the small numbers, there is only so much that can be done. The CCB list serve holds great potential for building interest and growing participation. I envision CCB, as the organization that can bring together Champaign-Urbana’s seemingly disparate, yet sometimes overlapping organizations who share interest in promoting, safety, cycling and a healthy lifestyle, in ways that builds the entire community as a whole. CCB already does this well for the month of May. Through an up-dated and increased on-line and social media presence and by proactively facilitating the exchange of communications amongst these organizations, CCB stands to benefit greatly as the go to reference for all things cycling in the greater Champaign-Urbana community. Adding value to CCB membership I envision as another way to grow membership. Leveraging partnerships with local retailers thru sponsorships or discount specials for CCB members promise to grow both our organization as well as the business community. Two organizations in which I have membership, the Active Transportation Alliance (Chicago) and the Savannah Bicycle Campaign (GA) have proven the worth of value- added benefits to the growth of membership in their organizations.
Whether as a Board Member, or regular member of CCB, I value the combined passion and work done in our community by CCB and look forward to serving in any capacity to further its goals. Thank you for your consideration.