Routt County Riders name new executive director
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Laraine Martin wanted a job that served her home community.
She spent a year traveling while working for the Friends of the Colorado Avalanche Information Center but longed for a program that would keep her in the Yampa Valley.
When the Routt County Riders executive director position opened up it seemed like fate. It combined her love for mountain biking with her strengths in community development.
“I’m interested in bringing all voices to the table because I think the cycling community and the trails and the roadways … those are things that unite us,” Martin said. “We should be able to cooperate in ways that are constructive for the health and wellbeing for the upcoming generations.”
After 11 years of living in Steamboat Springs and five years of mountain biking, it was surprising that Martin wasn’t already a member of Routt County Riders. She joined the organization the same day she was named as its executive director last week.
“One of my aims is to increase membership — make it a little bit more obvious to people what a membership can offer them and market that,” Martin said.
Martin replaces Kelly Northcutt, who served as executive director of Routt County Riders for three years.
“I got to really reorganize the board and the organization and our goals,” Northcutt said. “I feel like there is a pretty solid foundation for it to have some good growth.”
Northcutt said the bulk of her time was dedicated to the Mad Rabbit project, which proposed trail expansion from Mad Creek to Rabbit Ears. She hopes that Martin will be able to succeed at what Northcutt had hoped to accomplish — uniting Routt County Riders with other local organizations to foster better relationships.
“She will be a great fit,” Northcutt said. “I think her experience with nonprofits and organizing events and fundraisers will make her a huge asset.”
While not seasoned within the organization itself, Martin’s position is just an expansion of the skills she already has. Martin has a master’s degree in international development from the University of Denver and spent seven years working for the Rocky Mountain Youth Corps as a project manager.
Martin hails from Michigan but came to the mountains frequently when she was younger to ski Winter Park.
“As a kid looking around at the mountains and how grand they seemed, I just told myself I wanted to come out to make a life for myself,” Martin said. “When I was looking for grad school, I had my eyes trained out here.”
She moved to Steamboat after graduate school to become a ski instructor, and years later, gravitated to the sport of mountain biking.
“I was just reluctant to start because I was scared about the difficulty of riding uphill in the mountains here,” Martin said. “I had a close friend who was selling her very well-used mountain bike, so I snagged it. I knew that the learning curve was going to be steep, especially in a place like Steamboat with lots of different levels of terrain for beginners and intermediate.
“But I upgraded my bike the next season and never looked back.”
Martin finds the resort community’s economy especially interesting, especially since it’s largely dependent upon tourism. Routt County Riders helps with local cycling events like Tour de Steamboat, Steamboat Stinger and, this summer, SBT GRVL.
“The tourism-based economy is crucial for us,” Martin said.
As someone who has worked in the nonprofit world for 10 years, Martin hopes she can spread a clear vision of what Routt County Riders is all about: implementing positive change for all types of cyclists in Northwest Colorado.
“I’ve been waiting for an opportunity to join an organization I believe in where I can help with strategic planning and take it to the next level,” Martin said. “Especially with something I care about.”
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