Jerry Alcorn, Member at Large
Jerry Alcorn, owner of Alcorn Adaptive has been a Coachella Valley resident since the earl 1990’s. Jerry has an extensive background in commercial construction, however, after experiencing a traumatic spinal cord injury resulting in partial paraplegia of his lower legs he was forced to redirect his passion for construction toward his own physical recovery. During his journey to recovery, he discovered a passion for hand cycling. He also discovered during this time that it was difficult to find businesses that were able to cater to his specific needs for adaptive equipment and most often he had to build and modify his own equipment. Alcorn Adaptive was born out of his desire to help others and provide them with hope and a positive message about staying active. He says “Life Gives You Lemons So Make Lemonade.”
Gary Brustin, Member at Large
Mr. Brustin has been an avid cyclist for over forty five years. His first road bike was a Schwinn Varsity. Fortunately, he’s upgraded his equipment over the years. He now rides a custom Calfee with Campy Record.
He graduated from the University of Southern California in 1971, and earned his legal degree at Hastings College of the Law in 1975. He is a member of the California State Bar Association.
His passion for cycling has also shaped his professional career. Twenty five years ago he decided to transform his law practice from general personal injury cases to a specialized cycling practice. Today his entire case load involves cycling related matters. He has handled over 1,000 bicycle cases and continues to personally represent each client.
Additionally, he has proudly co-sponsored numerous events and teams. Two examples are the Tour de Palm Sprints and the Race Across America. In his spare time, he acts as a volunteer attorney for various bike organizations.
He’s also very committed to bicycle advocacy. He currently serves on the Boards of Directors of the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition and the Friends of the CVLINK. He also served on the Board of Directors of the California Bicycle Coalition for ten years, and the League of American Bicyclists board for nine years. In 2012 he established the National Legal Affairs Committee for the League.
He maintains a local office in Palm Springs and can be reached at “bicyclelawyer.com”
Terry Karsen, Member at Large
I am from Chicago and have owned a home in Palm Desert since 2005. I attended Northwestern University and have a B.S. in psychology. I worked at a hospital before my children were born assisting low income patients with medical as well as financial needs. I often translated for the Latino patients. As our children were growing up I served on the board of a low income Head Start type pre- kindergarten school. I volunteered in the public school system and did some substitute teaching.
When we retired to the Coachella Valley I became a member of the Coachella Valley Hiking Club, lead hikes for them and eventually served on their board for many years. Through my involvement with them I became one of the principal organizers of the hike for hope benefiting the City of Hope Hospital in Duarte, Ca. I was in charge of recruiting hike leaders and staff. Each March we organized between 300 and 500 hikers from all over southern California for a day of hiking in the Indian Canyon in Palm Springs. We are currently approaching our 22nd year and have raised millions of dollars for research and treatment of cancers and diabetes.
I also volunteered as an art teacher at the Braille institute in Rancho Mirage. I was trained through the Riverside County Juvenile court to be at CASA, which is an advocate for children in the foster care system. I advocated for a young girl who lives in Riverside.
I have always been a bike rider. Currently I ride an e-bike. We ride between 60 and 70 miles per week. E-bikes are a perfect tool to get exercise and have fun. I am very excited by the creation of the CV Link. Safe riding in the Coachella Valley is a dire need. Many of our roads are simply too dangerous for cars and bikes to share. The CV Link will provide a perfect opportunity to share the valley with all of our neighbors. I believe it will encourage the sense of community that we are all fortunate to be a part of. I would be happy to be a member of the board of the Friends of CV Link to promote a very exiting and needed pathway in our valley.
Lauri Aylaian, Member at Large
Lauri discovered the world of triathlon in her hometown of Fairbanks, Alaska, where the sport sometimes included cross country skiing, canoeing, or snowshoeing instead of the traditional swimming, biking, and running. After moving to the Coachella Valley in 1994, she was surprised to learn that it was indeed possible to run, walk, cycle, and hike here even during the hottest summer months. She joined the Palm Springs Frontrunners and Walkers, and began to applaud Valley cities as they undertook projects that stitched together disconnected sections of sidewalk, reducing the number of places where pedestrians had to compete with vehicles for space in the streets. She happily resumed traditional triathlon sports on a social basis, and vows never again to come into contact with snow. Lauri’s professional career included both the public and private sectors, and situated her in places as varied as Beverly Hills and Las Vegas, Denver and Seattle, Miami and Fairbanks, Alaska. She was a construction manager for retail stores and institutional projects, including maximum security prisons, schools, and detention centers. After 25 years in local government, including 20 in Palm Desert, she ultimately retired from the position of Palm Desert City Manager. Lauri freely admits to spending far too much time running, biking, swimming, and hiking, and not enough time cleaning her house or weeding the garden. She volunteers at the Palm Springs Animal Shelter, but stops short of adopting every animal she falls in love with there.
Motivation to serve: Lauri and her husband reside in downtown Palm Springs, where she is excited for the day when it’s possible to live in the Coachella Valley without needing a car. It’s getting closer!
Anthony M. Tristan, Member at Large
Anthony became seriously involved with bikes when he became a BMX racer at the age of 10. He now rides road bikes and still rides and collects old BMX bikes from the 80s and 90s. He has lived in other cities outside of the Coachella Valley, such as Berkeley, CA and Anaheim, CA and would ride bikes to work and for fun in the riverbeds of L.A. and Orange County and also the 500+ mile Bay Area Trail of the San Francisco Bay. He knows how important the CV/Link trail is for local riders, runners, etc. due to the amount of increased auto congestion and speeding cars.
He has been an educator for 15 years, primarily as an English teacher, but has also taught Art and is currently coaching high school football, while still employed at Palm Springs Unified School District. He acquired his MPA at USC with an emphasis in nonprofit management and is hoping to enter that arena of work as a full-time administrator, fundraiser and grant writer. He has always found time to volunteer for nonprofit organizations, such as the YMCA and the Palm Springs Boxing Club because he enjoys assisting his community and gaining experience from working with various nonprofits. He still finds time to stay fit with cycling, skateboarding and weightlifting, but does want to utilize a safe, valley-wide path, considering he has cycled in most areas of the valley, including Desert Hot Springs and Thermal.
Gary Lueders, Secretary
Gary lives an active lifestyle and began riding bicycles in the early ‘70’s for sport, pleasure, and errands. He has ridden in Europe and many cities in the U.S. and quickly realized that off-street bike trails are much safer than riding with cars.
His advocacy work began when serving as president of the local Desert Bicycle Club by encouraging Coachella Valley cities to improve cycling by installing bike lanes and better signage.
He served as a board member on the Coachella Valley Community Trails Alliance since 2007 and has been instrumental in the changeover to the nonprofit Friends of CV Link. He is also a member of CVAG’s Citizens Advisory Group for CV Link; serves on the CVAG Trails Management Sub-Committee; and is a board member on the Desert Trails Coalition.
Gary was a USAF pilot in Vietnam, is a retired American Airlines Captain, lives in Rancho Mirage with his wife Shirley, and has 2 children and 5 grandkids.
Contact Gary at his personal email.
Jim Rothblatt, President
Jim an avid bicyclist, had his first bike ride on a neighbor’s new bike in 1950 when he was seven years old. He loved the freedom it gave him and then his parents bought him a three speed Hercules English road bike. He rode it everywhere in the south Los Angeles area until he got his driver’s permit at 15 ½. 10 ½ years later, after a stint in the Army in Vietnam and as a student at Cal State Long Beach, his wife bought him a new Raleigh 10 speed road bike. He loved the freedom it gave him. He commuted to work and school on his bike and in 1975 upgraded to a beautiful Motebecane 10 speed road bike and continued his commuting and recreational riding. Upon retiring in 2006 he upgraded again to his current Trek 1600 and rides recreationally whenever he can. He hosts a cycling blog: http://desertroadkill.blogspot.com/ and advocates for safe cycling in the Coachella Valley. He is consistently amazed at how hard a two or three hour drive in a car can be when compared to the joy he experiences on a two or three hour bike ride in our beautiful desert.
Mary Settle, Vice President
Mary has been coming to the desert for about 20 years, and has been waiting desperately for an off road, paved trail to go from one end of the valley to the other. She has lived in the midwest, south, and now the west and seen the advantages of cities that provide resources encouraging active, healthy lifestyles. A “hiker with a biking problem”, Mary is a hike leader and a former member of the Executive Council of the Coachella Valley Hiking Club, and a member of Friends of the Desert Mountains.
Mary’s professional career included management consulting, training and development, and human resource management. She recently retired as the Vice President of Human Resources for a medical device company. Mary can be reached at her personal email.
Ernie Smith, Treasurer
Ernie spent the bulk of his life in the Pacific Northwest, having moved to the Coachella Valley in 2010 to retire. His professional life was spent mostly as Controller of University Volkswagen Audi in Seattle, having retired after 25 years. Having always been impressed with and a frequent user of the Burke-Gilman Trail in King County, he was instantly excited about the prospects of a 50 mile car-free trail between Desert Hot Springs and the Salton Sea. He has only returned to biking since retiring. In addition, finding a place to ride where he did not have to always be competing with cars made biking irresistible. He has since become much more comfortable co-existing with cars and biking on the highways, but feels the CV/Link in a worthy project to support. He feels the future of tourism in the Coachella Valley will transition from a golf focus toward more environmental, space, and water friendly activities like biking, walking, hiking, and running; plus all the activities enabled by the revival of the Salton Sea.