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 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.
Meisha Rainman – Chief Impact Officer
Meisha 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.
Alex Merlino – Chief Financial Officer
Alex 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.
Rachel Burke – Chief Program Officer
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 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.
Tafarai Bayne – Chief Strategist
Tafarai 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. Follow him on Twitter @tafarai.
Aerienne Russell – Production Manager, Outreach and Engagement
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 events, Aerienne is very happy to help 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 places to bike and walk in LA are Koreatown and DTLA.
John Saveland – Digital Communications Manager
John has run social and digital comms campaigns for non-profit organizations and entertainment agencies. After getting his Master's in Public Policy he ran digital outreach for the RAND Corporation, and works with political candidates on their social messaging. Follow him on Twitter @johnsaveland.