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

CicLAvia Staff

Romel Pascual – Executive Director

Romel (he/him) 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 master’s degree in urban planning and has a long history championing environmental causes, energy, sustainability, and social justice issues in both the non-profit and 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 US Environmental Protection Agency Region 9 (Pacific Southwest). Find Romel on Twitter @romelpascual_la

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Meisha Rainman – Chief Impact Officer

Meisha (she/her) is a proud Angeleno, deeply committed to strengthening local communities in both her professional and personal life. She has over a decade of experience in the non-profit sector, including most recently as Development Director for The Unusual Suspects Theatre Company and as a key leader in the evolution of the Silverlake Independent JCC to a thriving community center for arts, education and culture on LA’s east side. Meisha is a graduate of the Olin School of Business at Washington University and currently lives in Silver Lake with her husband and two children. Meisha is honored to support the incredible team at CicLAvia overseeing Strategic Partnerships, Organizational Development, Communications, and Institutional & Individual Giving.

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Alex Merlino – Chief Financial Officer

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

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Rachel Burke – Chief Program Officer

Rachel (she/her) 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 at The Broad. As CicLAvia's Chief Program Officer, Rachel leads all event planning, programming and logistics from start to finish. She works closely with the city, partners and the local community to ensure that each CicLAvia is fun, safe, and successful. A native Angeleno and UC Berkeley graduate, Rachel is always happy to share her tips on the best spots to dine and drink around LA.

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Tafarai Bayne – Chief Strategist

Tafarai (he/him) is a Los Angeles native with extensive experience in the following areas: strategic planning and communications, promotion and outreach, constituency building, stakeholder education, project management, program development, marketing, and event production. He has worked on urban development and planning issues for 20 years with an emphasis on the dynamics impacting working class communities. He currently serves as Chief Strategist for CicLAvia. He also consults as a Strategic Advisor with Destination Crenshaw and as an Event Producer for Community Coalition. In 2020 he was appointed to the City of Los Angeles Recreation and Parks Commission, following a long stint on the City’s Transportation Commission.

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Aerienne Russell – Production Manager, Outreach and Engagement

Aerienne (she/her) 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 events, Aerienne is very happy to help shape the landscape of Los Angeles with CicLAvia!

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Jennifer Woon – Office Manager and Accounting Assistant

Jennifer (she/her) 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 places to bike and walk in LA are Koreatown and DTLA.

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Alissandra Valdez – Event Producer

Alissandra (she/her) works as an Event Producer to create CicLAvia events that are memorable for all. A UCLA graduate with 4 years of Programming experience at AMPAS, Alissandra is excited to produce events that promote open, safe streets and are beneficial to the environment. Outside of CicLAvia, Alissandra also serves on the Sustainable Burbank Commission. She enjoys walking, roller skating, and biking around her neighborhood!

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Josué L. Hervey – Communications and Development Associate

Josué (he/him) assists with all things related to digital engagement, community growth, and fundraising for the organization. He is a graduate from UC Irvine with a passion for public transportation and community engagement. In his day-to-day life, he promotes cleaner mobility options and strives to spread the knowledge and benefits of living car-free. His hobbies include biking, traveling, and hiking.

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Rio Mateo – Event Production Assistant

Rio (they/she) is passionate about cultivating inclusive and transformative spaces through event planning and community building. With a background in Urban Studies, they are excited to continue advancing the field of active transportation in Los Angeles by supporting CicLAvia's Production team. Rio enjoys exploring the city with their pup, cycling, gardening, and supporting mutual aid efforts in their community.

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Gigi Martinez – Production Assistant (Outreach + Engagement)

Gigi (she/her) was born and raised in Los Angeles and attended California State University, Northridge. She has worked with several nonprofits including AmeriCorps and the Boys and Girls Club of America, and most recently with the Peace Corps. She returned from serving in the Dominican Republic in 2022 and is now ecstatic to be working with CicLAvia on our Outreach team!

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Lea Le Rouzo – Outreach and Volunteer Assistant

Lea (they/them) is passionate about preserving our natural environment and providing access to nature in urban settings. At CicLAvia, they work to engage volunteers in making events safe and vibrant. They are a graduate of UCLA, where they studied environmental science, geography, and food studies. Lea loves that CicLAvia enriches our city by bringing together communities to exchange, explore, and care for our earth. On a weekend, you'd most likely find them at a community garden, backpacking, taking a dance class, or reading at the beach.

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