2016 Ambassador Team
Venus de Miles thrives off its community. Community of riders, Scholars, volunteers, and supporters. And our Ambassadors are an integral piece of our community.
The Venus de Miles Ambassadors are women just like you. They are healthy, they are active, they are mothers, daughters, sisters, and friends, they are always on the go, and they are passionate! Their enthusiasm for Venus is rooted in the personal challenge it presents, but also in the opportunity to encourage other women to achieve their goals while supporting Greenhouse Scholars.
Our Ambassadors help us to expand our supporter base so that Greenhouse Scholars can fulfill its mission of supporting exceptional students from Colorado who are creating change in communities at home and across the globe. Ambassadors are spreading the word, hosting events, and fundraising.
We hope you'll attend some of the events hosted by Ambassadors leading up to August 27 (join our MeetUp group for updates) and be sure to say hi when you see them at athletic expos, other events around Colorado this summer, or at Venus de Miles!
meet our 2016 ambassadors
Amy retired from GE after 28 years as a sales manager. She has since made volunteering with Greenhouse Scholars a priority while also working two days a week as a Registered Nurse at a rehab facility. A resident of Prospect, the start and finish line of Venus de Miles, she has made the ride an annual event and will participate in her 9th consecutive ride this year! Feeling blessed to go through life with her husband Mark, cycling is a major part of the healthy lifestyle they live. She believes Greenhouse Scholars is doing important work as it helps young people get the boost in life that they deserve. She is proud to be a part of the organization, especially in the fundraising capacity. 2016 will be our best ride ever!
Jessica wants nothing more than to see more women on bikes. Cycling is a male-dominated sport and while she has plenty of male friends with whom she rides, she loves that Greenhouse Scholars has a female-focused organized bike event that encourages women to get on their bikes and see what they can do. Jessica feels a totally different vibe with Venus de Miles: one that encourages fun and camaraderie. She's always excited to see the men dressed up and out supporting the women. In 2015 her friend, Jared dressed as Wonder Woman and after 90 miles of heat, rain, and crashes, seeing his cape-socks helped her cross the finish line. This is her third year with Venus de Miles and like the saying goes, "third time's a charm." She's thrilled to be back for another year as a Venus Ambassador!
Follow Jessica's adventures at Cyclizing.com
Janice loves to cycle. She has been passionate about riding since she was five years old and learned to ride her sister's 24" single speed Schwinn. She now cycles for fun and for fitness and has been know to just get on her bike to clear her head. Janice is currently recovering from a sudden onset of Still's Disease (a very rare autoimmune disease that comes with Rheumatoid Arithisis). The good news is she can finally turn the crank on an exercise bike again and is determined to be ready to ride Venus in August, an event she loves. Janice declares the Venus de Miles course as one of her favorite Colorado rides. She's proud to be a Venus Ambassador this year and continue to lead the Bikes and Rockets team, made up of rocket scientists who know how to enjoy life.
Jennifer moved to Colorado in 2003 and her husband bought her an orange cruiser bike with a wicker basket as a welcome gift! Since then, she's taken advantage of all that Colorado has to offer; yoga, Ragnar trail running, a CSA membership, snow boarding, and attending music festivals. In 2014, she hiked the Colorado trail from Denver to Durango and she's met some wonderful friends through running and cycling who have encouraged her to push her limits. She's proud of the strength and confidence she's developed while training for 3 Venus rides and helping flood victims in 2013. This year, she hopes to overcome a recent diagnosis of chronic arthritis joint pain by focusing on cycling and friendships, and encouraging more women to ride Venus and support Greenhouse Scholars.
Madeline is a mom and lawyer living in Boulder. From the first time she rode Venus de Miles in 2011, the ride has been a highlight of her year. She is visually impaired due to retinitis pigmentosa, and as her vision deteriorated her time riding was limited and she eventually gave up triathlon. In 2011, she took the tandem plunge and set up the bike so she could ride with her 6'0" husband or 5'5" friend, Sonya. The tandem opened up a whole new world to her, reuniting her with a passion of hers. Venus de Miles helped make the change in her approach to cycling a positive experience, rather than making her feel limited and disabled. Madeline and Sonya love the encouraging cheers and smiles along the ride! She's thrilled to be an Ambassador this year.
Monica is an amateur athlete who loves to be outdoors. 2015 was her first Venus de Miles when she won an opportunity to participate and found it to be a wonderful and rewarding experience. She loves the sense of camaraderie that is natural to the all-women's event and the various course lengths which welcomes women of all levels of experience. Overweight, Monica decided it was time to make a change and live a more healthful life. She joined a Boulder running group and signed up for cycling events including Venus de Miles, Pony Express, and Dirty Kanza. She'd love to help other women overcome the issues with diet and exercise, and most importantly, have fun!
Maggie started training for Venus de Miles as a way to get in shape for her 50th birthday and ultimately decided to do 50-miles to coincide with her age. Her fundraising goal was around $500 but donations kept pouring and she raised over $4,000. Since then, she has raised more than $14,000 for Greenhouse Scholars and started the Whirly Girls Team with another top fundraiser to encourage other women to feel comfortable and confident cycling. Last year an experience with degenerative disc disease left her paralyzed from the waist down. Maggie fought to get back in the saddle and completed her 5th Venus de Miles with the help of an electric tricycle. She's excited to be an "official" Ambassador in her 6th year.
Viktoria is the Administrative Assistant for the Longmont office of 8z Real Estate. Originally from London, England, she has called Longmont her home for almost 14 years. And she loves it here, both Longmont and working for 8z! She's been happily married to her husband, Mike, for 16 years and they have a 12-year old daughter. When she joined 8z she was thrilled to find out they were sponsors of Greenhouse Scholars and Venus de Miles as she believes that young people who work hard should the opportunity to attend college and succeed. She knew she was in the right place.
A New York transplant to Colorado, Michelle is a woman with a work hard, play hard mentality. She's the same girl who learned how to swim after almost drowning as a child, and later swam a 1.2 mile—willingly—race. An endurance athlete with several half marathons, the NYC marathon, and a half Ironman, she's participated in several cycling events in Colorado and is excited to ride Venus for her second time as an Ambassador this year. Venus and Greenhouse Scholars combine two of her passions: biking and education. She bikes for pleasure, but to be a decent endurance athlete takes training and dedication. She works in higher education marketing, and to be a decent advocate takes experience and authenticity. She approaches both interests knowing at heart that we can do more than we think!
Michelle and her husband relocated to Colorado last year. While this will be her first year participating in Venus de Miles, she's heard so many great things about the ride for years from friends and family in the area she was eager to be an Ambassador. Cycling has always been something she's enjoyed, finding it to be a great way to travel and explore. She's done many week-long trips with friends, and has ridden the Northern Tier route from Maine to Washington. She also enjoys running and has participated in several half marathons since moving to Colorado. She contends that she is not fast, but she is determined; refering to races as "supported long runs." Michelle is thrilled to find events like the Venus de Miles which celebrate fitness and raising money for a good cause.