My name is Kari Kuwamura, and I was recently selected to be the new Executive Director with Ghisallo Cycling Initiative. I am a native San Antonian but I have spent half of my life in Austin, Texas. The opportunity to serve two cities that are dear to my heart seems like a dream come true. With my recent role as the Executive Director of ActivateSA where I advocated for active transportation infrastructure for San Antonians, coupled with my previous experience with cycling programs and community engagement, I knew this position was aligned with my values and ultimate goal of finding a profession that is also my passion.
I earned my degree in Recreation Administration from Texas State University (TXST), and my career is focused on managing recreation and education-based programming for children and adults of all ages and abilities.
After graduating TXST, I accepted a role working with Wounded Warrior Project, where my passion for providing equitable access to trails grew immensely by hosting adaptive cycling events for wounded veterans. I learned first hand how cycling is a vehicle for healing and building camaraderie for those who feel isolated after exiting the military.
It was in Austin, TX where I gained experience with outdoor education and multi-use trail planning working for the Lower Colorado River Authority as their Parks Program Coordinator Senior. I managed events, guided mountain bike experiences, paddling, and nature-based education programs.
With my existing experience managing programs for diverse populations, I returned to serve my hometown as the Program Manager for the City of San Antonio’s Parks and Recreation Department.
My love for education and demonstrating how cycling can connect you to the rest of the world has continually grown, and implementing new cycling programs has always been a personal project for me in any organization I have worked for. I’m thankful to have the opportunity to dedicate those values to my professional life with Ghisallo Cycling Initiative.