CicLAvia’s passionate team works to open streets across Los Angeles, turning them into public parks for people to play, learn, and connect.

The CicLAvia Team


Romel Pascual - Executive Director

Romel has been a key figure at CicLAvia from the start. As Deputy Mayor for Energy and Environment during the administration of former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, his leadership at the city helped the organization and the event gain traction within the city in CicLAvia’s fledgling years. Romel successfully merged the mayor’s vision and CicLAvia’s mission to help create what is now a city institution that transforms communities throughout the region.

Prior to being named executive director in 2015, Romel served on the CicLAvia board and was actively involved in the expansion of the organization.

Romel has a masters degree in urban planning and has a long history championing environmental, energy, sustainability and social justice issues in both the non-profit and the public sector. He was the first Assistant Secretary of Environmental Justice under former California Governor Gray Davis. He led the environmental justice program at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 9 - Western U.S., Hawaii and the Pacific Territories. @romelpascual_la


Alex Merlino - Director of Finance

Alex oversees all financial aspects of the organization and leads development of branded merchandise. Born and raised in Los Angeles, Alexandra is an entrepreneur and nonprofit executive with more than 15 years experience growing small businesses and nonprofit enterprises. She has launched and managed organizations and businesses focused on sustainability, economic development, consumer products and community. @tereskids


Rachel Burke - Director of Production

Rachel has spent over a decade activating public space with cultural programming and events throughout Los Angeles County. In her previous job with Community Arts Resources, she produced multiple festivals and pop-ups including GLOW for the City of Santa Monica, Little Tokyo Design Week, Chinatown Summer Nights, Friday Night Concerts at the J. Paul Getty Museum and Family Weekends for the Broad Museum. As CicLAvia's Director of Production, Rachel leads all event logistics from start to finish. She works closely with the city and the local community to ensure a safe, fun and successful CicLAvia. A graduate of UC Berkeley, and a native Angeleno, Rachel is always happy to share her tips for the best spots to dine and drink around the city.

Tafarai Bayne - Chief Strategist

Tafarai is a Los Angeles native with extensive experience in the following areas: communications, promotion and outreach, constituency building, stakeholder education, project management, program development, marketing, and event production. He is considered a leader in strategic planning & community organizing and has worked on development and urban planning issues for over 15 years with an emphasis on the dynamics impacting working class communities. He has extensive organizational development experience having served on the board of Strategic Actions for a Just Economy during a critical executive transition and he recently served on the Board of CicLAvia, having helped spearhead expansion efforts into South Los Angeles. He currently serves as CicLAvia Chief Strategist. In 2014 he was appointed as a commissioner to the City of Los Angeles Transportation Commission. Tafarai is also the founder of EMH Creative Group, a consulting firm focused on strategic planning, communications and event production. @tafarai

Shawn Dhanak - Communications Coordinator

Shawn is a proud Angeleno who hails from Lansing, Michigan. During his undergraduate studies at Michigan State University, Shawn started down a life path that has since been dedicated to civic engagement.  His professional and volunteer leadership work to date have centered on communications strategy for advocacy organizations and management candidate campaigns. As Communications Coordinator, Shawn oversees CicLAvia's digital community engagement and other communication efforts.  He is passionate about being outdoors and inspiring more walkable, bikeable communities. @shawndhanak

Aerienne Russell - Outreach Lead

Aerienne first joined CicLAvia in April 2018 as the new Outreach Lead. She is responsible for mitigation and community relation efforts leading up to an event. With a background in environmental science, outdoor equity and community event - Aerienne is very happy to be helping shape the landscape of Los Angeles with CicLAvia.


Jennifer Woon - Accounting Assistant

Jennifer assists on all financial duties with the organization.  She’s a graduate of UC Riverside where she studied biology and is passionate about public health issues.  She’s an explorer of the city, where she enjoys walking and discovering LA’s urban landscape.  Her favorite place to bike or walk is Koreatown and DTLA.