Northend Greenway

Good for you, Good for the 'Burg!

Steering Committee

The Northend Greenway Campaign is coordinated by staff and the Northend Greenway Steering Committee:

  • Alleyn Harned (President)
  • Tom Benevento (Co-President)
  • Deb Fitzgerald (Treasurer)
  • Kevin Burnett
  • David Wiens
  • Evan Friss
  • Nathan Musselman
  • Tom Benevento

Steering Committee Alumni:

  • Lars Akerson
  • David Ehrenpreis
  • Tom Benevento
  • Steve Godshall
  • Teresa Hulleman
  • Becky Johnston
  • Jakob zumFelde
  • Lara Mack
  • John McGehee
  • Carol Lena Miller
  • Christine Stephan
  • Nicholas Detweiler-Stoddard
  • Suzi Carter (staff)
  • Michael Weaver
  • Eric Van Steenburg

Current Steering Committee Member Bios:

Kevin Burnett

Kevin joined the Northend Greenway Steering Committee in the fall of 2012. He discovered Harrisonburg when he came to Eastern Mennonite University to study Computer Science and Spanish, and, excepting various stints to Lusaka, Zambia, he has lived in the Friendly City since 1999. During this time, Kevin got married and earned an MBA. Kevin is excited to see the multiplying effects after the first greenways come into use in the city. He rides a bike to Rosetta Stone, where he writes software for a living. Kevin lives in the Northeast part of Harrisonburg with his wife, Olga. Their daughter (since 2011), Lindsey Kunda, is a great companion on walks around Harrisonburg.

Deb Fitzgerald, Treasurer

Deb has lived in Harrisonburg since 1985, and currently works as an Associate Professor of Economics at Blue Ridge Community College.  A founding member of Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance,  Deb has been interested in economic development in the city for many years, and currently chairs the Harrisonburg City Planning Commission.   A graduate of Eastern Mennonite University, Deb joined the Northend Greenway Steering Committee in the Fall of 2013.   Deb and her husband Joe  enjoy walking for fun, travelling,  gardening, and movies;  she is interested in seeing cycling and pedestrian-friendly transportation paths and greenways develop within Harrisonburg  and the Valley in general.

Evan Friss

Evan, his wife, and son (soon to be sons) live in Harrisonburg.  Evan is an Assistant Professor of History at James Madison University.  His research and teaching interests are varied, but most relevant to the Northend Greenway he is interested in the relationship between bicycles and city life and urban development in the United States.  His book, The Cycling City, is under contract with the University of Chicago Press.  Aside from reading, writing, and teaching history, Evan enjoys cycling to work and running up and down Harrisonburg’s hills.

Alleyn Harned (President)

Alleyn is the Executive Director of Virginia Clean Cities, a statewide nonprofit coalition collaborating with the U.S. Department of Energy.  He joined Clean Cities in 2009, the same year Virginia Clean Cities formed a solid state partnership with James Madison University He has a masters degree in Public Administration from JMU, with a concentration in community economic development; while all politics is local, jobs and investment are also based in success of healthy, balanced local markets.  Prior to Virginia Clean Cities,  he served as the Assistant Secretary of Commerce and Trade for the Commonwealth where I assisted in drafting Virginia’s initial Energy Plan, participated in the Virginia Commission on Climate Change and the advanced the Governor’s Energy Policy Advisory Council.  He  currently serve on the Commonwealth’s State Advisory Board on Air Pollution.  As Executive Director of Virginia Clean Cities,  he leads the Virginia coalition’s collaborative effort to assist stakeholders, businesses, and governments in programs to improve air quality, and increase American energy security and facilitate local economic opportunity through the increased use of alternative fuels and vehicles and decreased dependence on foreign oil.

Nathan Musselman

Nathan Musselman graduated from Eastern Mennonite University in 2000 and spent the following 11 years completing an MA from The George Washington University and living in the Middle East, where he worked for a variety of NGO’s, activist organizations, and institutions of higher education.  He returned to Harrisonburg in 2011 seeking a grounded and vibrant community in which to live a more sustainable life.  Nathan joined the Northend Greenway Steering Committee in the fall of 2011, attracted by the potential of a non-vehicle transportation network in Harrisonburg to bring communities together and draw them closer to the natural world.


Steering Committee Alumni bios:

Eric Van Steenburg

Eric Van Steenburg, Ph.D., is a Visiting Assistant Professor at James Madison University with experience teaching consumer behavior, integrated marketing communications (IMC), brand management, marketing management (M.B.A.), global communications, and nonprofit marketing and communications. His industry experience includes nonprofit, corporate, and agency environments leading to a solid understanding of how strategic planning and integrated marketing communications can support business objectives and brands. Van Steenburg also has experience managing corporate branding, marketing communications campaigns, business-to-consumer product introductions, business-to-business marketing strategy, corporate name change, and financial reporting and communications.

Before earning his Ph.D., he was the executive director for a $30 million nonprofit organization that worked in a public-private partnership with the Park & Recreation Department in the City of Dallas to build the Katy Trail, a 3.5-mile rails-to-trails project in the densest part of the city. During his 7+ year tenure, the Friends of the Katy Trail raised more than $11 million and initiated more than $15 million in construction projects. He also helped three other groups develop and implement trail projects in various parts of Dallas, as well as spearheaded an initiative to connect the Katy Trail to downtown Dallas as part of a feasability study in partnership with Alta Planning+Design out of Portland, Oregon. The study resulted in the City of Dallas hiring its first ever bicycle coordinator, as well as development and implementation of the Dallas’ first comprhensive city-wide bicycle master plan.


David Ehrenpreis

An Associate Professor in the School of Art and Art History, David has been teaching at JMU since 1998. After working at Harvard University Art Museums and the Houghton Library, he received his doctorate from Boston University. He teaches nineteenth-century art and his research focuses on German visual culture and the intersection of art and nationalism. He is Director of the JMU Summer Program in Berlin, and his current book project, “Between Real and Ideal” investigates the role of the artist as a mediator between these two realms in modern European painting.

Gil Coleman, Civil Engineer
Guillermo “Gil” Colman is a licensed Professional Engineer in Virginia, with over 14 years of experience in civil engineering. Mr. Colman has a Master of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Virginia Tech, where he focused on Environmental and Water Resources Engineering. He is a Certified Floodplain Manager (CFM) and a member of the Association of State Flood Plain Managers (ASFPM). He is also a member of the American Society of Civil Engineering (ASCE), National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE), and American Water Works Association (AWWA). Additionally, he has extensive knowledge in designing stormwater management systems for sensitive karst terrain.  Colman Engineering is currently one of the few professional engineering DBE/MBE firms along the I-81 corridor.  Through the firm’s Advancing 206 initiative, Colman Engineering gives a percentage of its profits each month toward engineering efforts in impoverished areas around the world.
Guillermo Colman, PE, CFM
Principal, Colman Engineering, PLC

Johann Zimmermann, Structural Engineer
Johann Zimmermann, a structural and civil engineer, has worked extensively in sustainable and technically appropriate engineering projects in developing countries and in the United States.  After receiving his engineering degree from Cornell University, he lived and worked for 12 years in Africa and Central America and for 12 years in the development of not-for-profit housing in Washington, DC.  For the last 8 years he has lived in Harrisonburg, VA where he is presently self-employed as a civil and structural engineering consultant with a focus on green and sustainable construction, consults for projects in the developing world, and manages the design and volunteer construction work for the Central Valley Habitat for Humanity chapter in Harrisonburg, VA.  He enjoys sharing his love and experience of the cultural, social and technical challenges in the developing world and here at home, and providing hands-on projects for students and interns that enthuse them to become active players in creating a better world for all people.  He loves the outdoors, loves to bike, and has been involved with the Northend Greenway since the initial planning stages.

Lars Akerson
Lars graduated from Eastern Mennonite University in 2008, and nine months later set out from Harrisonburg on his bicycle for Asunción, Paraguay, as part of a six-month international listening project. He then returned to the Shenandoah Valley to engage his hometown in a new way, and to explore local community development within diverse populations. He currently works as a community health interpreter, and enjoys taking part in the life of the Harrisonburg community. Lars has been involved in the Northend Greenway from its inception, and is excited both by its potential to make healthy, neighborly, and environmentally-sound choices easier for all, and by its prospects as a pilot for a larger transportation and recreation network serving and connecting all city residents and visitors.

Tom Benevento
Tom Benevento moved to Harrisonburg in 2007 with his wife Margot sons Zach and Silus.  In the same year he started the local chapter of New Community Project (NCP), of which he is now Co-Coordinator. NCP works to promote peace at both the personal level and community level in three key areas that have the highest impact; food, transportation, and built environment. Tom helped initiate the Northend Greenway through the efforts of many inspirational community members of Harrisonburg. Tom is excited to see the Northend Greenway become a reality to encourage options for residents to live more healthy, enjoyable, and ecologically sustainable life styles. The Northend Greenway is particularly important to him because it is designed to include diverse populations while creating a valuable transportation and recreation corridor. Tom holds an MS degree in Sustainable Systems and has lived and worked in Guatemala for 15 years in community sustainable development. Tom enjoys hiking, commuter biking, and working in the garden.

Stephen Godshall
Stephen joined the Northend Greenway Steering Committee in the summer of 2011. He enjoys cycling in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County, and feels a need for safer and better cycling routes for both recreation and commuting. After graduating from EMU in 1992, he moved to Pennsylvania where he completed his medical training and spent a few years in practice before returning to this community in 2003.  He works as a family physician in Harrisonburg, and lives in Singers Glen with his wife, Sara, and three children, Ella, Levi and Norah.

Becky Johnston
Becky graduated with a BS in Exercise Science from Milligan College in 2002 and has worked with children and youth advocating healthy lifestyles in many capacities including teaching physical education in her home state of Maryland to implementing school gardens in Guatemala. Her current professional role is with RMH Community Health as Obesity Prevention Specialist providing recipients of Safe Routes to School funding the needed safety education as well as encouragement to more families to walk or bike to and from school. As a cyclist and runner, Becky is excited for the possibilities that the continued momentum towards bike and pedestrian facilities will bring to the life and future of our community.

Teresa Hulleman
Teresa received a B.A. in History and Religion from Central College in Iowa.   She put that degree to use teaching middle and high school students nested between stints of traveling and working in Europe and Australia.  She embarked on her latest career, motherhood, about the same time as her husband entered graduate school in Madison, WI – a town that made them fans of the joy and utility of biking.  Chris’ job at JMU brought them to Harrisonburg (though he now works at UVA). Teresa is currently the co-Vice President of the Thomas Harrison Middle School PTO and the “official chauffeur for her five children.” She is hoping to save time and money by helping develop an infrastructure of biking and walking paths in Harrisonburg that allow kids to safely get around on their own two feet or wheels.

John McGehee

John received his BA in Religious Studies from Virginia Commonwealth University, a master of library science degree from the Catholic University of America, and a master of science in Integrated Science & Technology from JMU. He is a native Virginian and grew up in Richmond. He has lived in Harrisonburg since 1998 and has lived in downtown Harrisonburg since 2008. He played a leadership role in the Old Town neighborhood’s traffic calming efforts and has worked on various safe routes to school initiatives and bike/walk to school days. He is chair of the Bicycle & Pedestrian Subcommittee of the City’s Transportation Safety and Advisory Commission. He, his wife Sandra Quigg, and their three children enjoy biking, gardening, hiking, camping, and cooking.

Carol Lena Miller
Carol Lena Miller received a BS and MS in Computer Science from Virginia Tech, and worked for 15 years as a software developer and manager.  For the last decade, she has redirected her energy to her family and to a passion for environmental protection, justice, and awareness.  After serving in various non-profit capacities, she now works as the Wilderness Coordinator for the Virginia Wilderness Committee.  Carol Lena lives in Harrisonburg with her husband, David, Pastor at Montezuma Church of the Brethren, and their two sons Jonas and Zeb.  She joined the Northend Greenway Steering Committee in the fall of 2010, motivated by the desire for a more walkable, bikeable Harrisonburg for the benefit of families and people from all walks of life.

Christine Stephan
Through her consulting practice, Journeys Family Autism Services, Christine works with families who have a child on the autism spectrum. In both her professional capacity and as a parent of a child with autism, she has become a passionate advocate for the ability of those affected by disability to achieve a greater quality of life through bicycling. Working with the Northend Greenway Steering Committee is a natural extension of her desire to foster a community where all residents feel they can safely use a bicycle as a means for independent transportation and recreation.  When she isn’t working, Christine can be found biking with her husband and two young children, trying to find the safest way between point A and point B.

Michael Weaver, former Treasurer

Michael Weaver is a Harrisonburg native recently returned from Portland, Oregon where he cofounded Portland Playhouse, a non-profit, professional theatre. In his four years at Portland Playhouse, he served as Executive Director, and is now Manager of Court Square Theater. Moving back to Harrisonburg, Michael is eager to see the bike and pedestrian infrastructure that he appreciated and utilized in Portland continue to be expanded in this community. He has a BS in Sociology from Gordon College. Other work experience includes: Operations Superintendent at Rockingham Construction Company, owner of Weaver Grass Fed Beef, and co-owner of Weaver Brothers Wreaths and Trees.  He served as Treasurer for the Northend Greenway.

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