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Bublr Bikes appoints new Executive Director

Sally Sheperdson, a long-time leader of non-profit organizations in Wisconsin and New Jersey, has been named executive director of Bublr Bikes, the non-profit Milwaukee-based bike-sharing network.

Sheperdson brings 20 years of experience in executive leadership roles with non-profit institutions, focusing for the last 12 years on leading efforts to secure resources for advancements in cancer and diabetes research.

“I am so excited to be joining the Bublr Bikes team,” Sheperdson said. “This position offers me the opportunity to combine a personal passion – energizing the Greater Milwaukee area that I love – with my professional non-profit leadership background.”

“Advancing Bublr Bike’s mission brings me full circle in my professional career,” she said. “I am strongly committed to public health, sustainability and effective non-profit management. Bublr Bikes’ mission is to create a bike-share system that is accessible to as many people as possible by engaging with the city’s diverse neighborhoods. I will use my experience with building collaborations between city officials, corporate supporters and community volunteers to help achieve that goal and to further the accomplishments that Bublr Board and staff have already achieved.”

Sheperdson’s hiring follows a national search that began in September after Kevin Hardman, the organization’s first executive director, announced his resignation.

Sheperdson most recently served as executive director of the Central and South Jersey Affiliate of Susan G. Komen, the world’s largest non-profit source of funding for the fight against breast cancer. Prior to that, she held the position of executive director of the American Diabetes Association for the Wisconsin market and executive director of the Southeast WI Affiliate of Susan G. Komen. A Pewaukee native, Sheperdson holds a bachelor of science in nonprofit management from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Bublr Board President Bruce Keyes said Sheperdson brings Bublr the non-profit leadership, experience and personality that can take the group to the next level and grow the bike share system to have a greater impact in Milwaukee.

“Sally has the deep experience Bublr needs now to go from the start-up phase to achieving sustainability and availability to all Milwaukeeans.” Keyes said. “Sally is entrepreneurial, team-oriented and a collaborative leader – attributes needed for such an important public-private partnership.”

“We thank Kevin Hardman for serving as the launch director. He and the growing Bublr Bikes staff should be commended for their work to grow the network from one demonstration site at Discovery World in 2013 to a system today of 57 stations with more than 140,000 trips annually. And we’ll be adding more stations and communities in 2017.”

Civic leader Jennifer Bartolotta, who supported the Southeast WI Affiliate of Susan G. Komen under Sally’s leadership, said, “From a partner’s perspective and someone who’s worked with many non-profit leaders, I have found Sally to be a true gem. She’s incredibly creative and thoughtful with an enthusiastic, can-do attitude. She is also genuinely committed to arriving at win-win sponsorship solutions. Bublr Bikes, in such a short time, has become a Milwaukee institution, and Sally is a great leader to build its future success.”

Bublr also announced that Operations Director James Davies has been promoted to a new position of senior director of operations and planning. Davies will be responsible for operations including financial management, human resources and legal, and will be involved in system planning. Davies joined Bublr as its second employee in 2014 and has been serving as acting executive direction since September.

“With a diverse background including a law degree, a passion for system operations and a love of bikes, James has been an invaluable team leader, growing the system and staff to what it is today,” Keyes said. “Together, Sally, James and the board serve as the leadership team guiding the future for Bublr Bikes.”

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