As a senior brand builder who’s equally comfortable in the backcountry and boardroom, Clare has proven success in understanding the brand life cycle when launching brands in the outdoor and mountain lifestyle industries. With over 25 years of experience, her messages create a genuine connection between the consumer and the product resulting in strong sales and brand loyalty. Strengths focus on engaging consumers by identifying brand opportunities and innovating products and services into market leaders with extraordinary profits.
“When asked why I took on the Executive Director role, my response draws from deep inside. I was raised by a mother who was an activist and a father with an entrepreneurial mindset. I was taught to help and to roll up my sleeves when there was work to be done. My career volunteerism has a thread of girl and professional women empowerment spanning decades. To build a community that cares for each other and will help heal when tragedy occurs calls to me. I am a visionary and a believer in holding space for what is possible. Each day I am pulled into the future by the Sacred Cycle vision. I believe Sacred Cycle clients, and survivor girls/women we have not yet met, are our girls. Together we will find them and heal them.”
Living in Vail, CO when she’s away from the desk, she’s a lifelong outdoor enthusiast: Alpine & Telemark Skier | Slalom Water Skier | Snowshoer | Trail and Road Runner | Road Triathlete | Road & Mountain Cyclist | Hiker | Backpacker | River & Reservoir Stand-Up Paddler | Scuba Diver | Swimmer. Determined to reduce sexual assault statistics, Clare parlays her drive into building awareness of the Sacred Cycle mission so others may heal.
Gillian Forsyth has spent nearly 30 years building a career in finance and accounting. As a way to escape from work life and to help manage her Type 1 diabetes she took to endurance sports. Gillian has completed 8 ironman triathlons, many ultra-distance mountain bike and gravel races as well as marathon and ultra running. Gillian also donates her free time as a certified USA triathlon coach to other athletes with type 1 diabetes. As someone who has had a passion for the outdoors and for riding her bike she was excited to become a part of the Sacred Cycle mission.
“It has been proven that exercise can be a form of therapy. As someone who uses exercise as part of my own therapy, I am a huge believer in the Sacred Cycle programs. There is nothing I like more than the feeling of getting out on my bike. Aside from the obvious health benefits, riding and racing provide me with a sense of empowerment, accomplishment, and strength which carries over to other aspects of my life.” ⠀
Patrick Hunter is a public interest environmental lawyer. When he’s not working to protect the outdoors, he’s usually spending time there. Patrick strongly believes in the healing power of spending time in nature.
“The effects of trauma don’t end when ‘the event’ stops. I volunteer with Sacred Cycle because the process of healing is a long one. I know how important it is to have a community to fall back on.”
I have experienced the healing powers and spirituality of mountain biking first hand. Sacred Cycle has recognized the therapeutic qualities of riding and developed an amazingly effective program designed to help the survivors and victims of sexual trauma to heal, persevere and become empowered. I joined the Sacred Cycle team because I believe in its mission and the need for the program to extend its spokes, becoming accessible to survivors beyond its Colorado high country hub. I was raised to be a man for others and I am grateful for the opportunity to make an immediate contribution one pedal stroke at a time.
Mountain biking has taught me to face my fears, overcome obstacles, forgive myself, and learn something new every time I ride. There’s a craving to reach flow state during the ride and a feeling of empowerment and accomplishment at the end of the ride. Just like life, riding is humbling when you least expect it only now, it’s easy to laugh at the mistakes and continue driving forward. There’s an unrivaled camaraderie, support, and love from fellow riders. I am in awe of the mission of Sacred Cycle working with survivors of sexual abuse and honored to be a part of it’s continuing success and progressive future.
Throughout my career as a mental health therapist, my focus has been on treating survivors of trauma. What became clear to me through my work was the importance of reclaiming a sense of safety and security in the body after experiencing a traumatic event like sexual assault. Sacred Cycle’s mission resonated with my clinical training and with my own personal experience of healing through mountain biking. I have felt firsthand the restoration of trust, confidence, and empowerment that comes from pairing counseling with cycling. It’s been my experience that incorporating mind and body creates the strongest path to healing. I’m excited to apply my experience with program development and trauma treatment to Sacred Cycle.
Sara Shainholtz is an outdoor enthusiast, a physician assistant in the emergency room, and breast cancer survivor. Through her work in the emergency room she has evaluated and helped provide resources for women who have experienced sexual trauma; she has seen the depth of impact sexual trauma has on patients. She strongly supports the resources and life changing opportunity Sacred Cycle can bring to women’s lives.
As a breast cancer survivor she has both volunteered and participated in programs and retreats that focus on a path towards healing through mindfulness and adventure. Bonding with others who shared a similar experience was a fundamental part of her healing process, providing confidence and a spiritual connection. Sara is moved, uplifted and beyond honored to be a part of an organization that gives women an opportunity to tell their story and find strength through adventure to focus on a path toward healing.
Julie has lived in the Roaring Fork Valley for nearly 15 years. After a brief stint in Minneapolis where she obtained a degree in accounting, she high-tailed it back to Valley without a second thought and has been happily spending her free time rock climbing and mountain biking ever since. Julie strongly supports the community and the mission of Sacred Cycle with a deep desire to help people heal using unique opportunities that mentally and physically challenging sports provide.
Originally from New Hampshire, Mavis headed to Boulder for school and has called Colorado her home for over 20 years. Mavis brings over a decade of ski, bike & outdoor industry marketing and communication experience. She supports the Sacred Cycle mission with empathy and deep understanding of trauma and mental illness. An avid cyclist when it’s not ski season, she is excited to spread the word throughout active outdoor communities.
Breton McNamara has worked in the addiction treatment field in the Western Slope for about three years, working as a Residential Technician at a treatment center and as an Aftercare Coordinator for a non-profit that provides scholarships to motivated addicts and alcoholics seeking treatment. He is returning to college at the University of Colorado Boulder to study Psychology. As a survivor of childhood trauma, Breton has a passion for helping others who have experienced similar events and hardships, and is very grateful to be involved with Sacred Cycle.
Just beginning to mountain bike a little over two years ago, Breton has found a deep passion for racing, training, and going on fun rides with friends and family. Breton has competed in the Leadville Trail 100 mountain bike race the last two years, as well as many other races throughout Colorado, and plans to continue to compete in more challenging events in the upcoming seasons. Mountain biking is a huge part of Breton’s self-care, helping to keep him physically, mentally, and spiritually healthy.
Jim Francis is a former business executive in coal land management. In recent years, as a volunteer, he has worked for a number of non-profits, and has experience as a treasurer who has been responsible for filing tax returns. A lover of the outdoors, he owns a bicycle, but only competes with himself. He is delighted to run the back office of Sacred Cycle and leave the real work to a group of strong women.
Brandy Maze has been practicing law in Colorado for over 15 years. Before going to law school she knew she wanted to study children’s law, “I wanted to be a voice for those whose voices are often not heard.” Since 2010 her practice has focused almost exclusively on child advocacy in Dependency and Neglect matters. Her work centers on the most private and difficult experiences that children and families face.
Through her work with children and families she has seen firsthand how past traumatic events, when left unaddressed, negatively impact an individuals’ ability to care for themselves, care for and meet the needs of their children, and function productively in society. Like us, Brandy believe the biggest public health crisis in the United States is childhood trauma, “The silence that surrounds the epidemic of sexual assault on children allows this crisis to grow. That is why I am extremely honored to be a part of Sacred Cycle – whose mission is to empower and support survivors, raise awareness, and provide healing.” And we’re honored to have her.
Mary Lyn Bondlow-Bushong has had a life-long passion for cycling and feels honored to share her enthusiasm and expertise with the Sacred Cycle community. She has coached a championship NORCAL team in Northern CA, taught groups of women to cycle as a Luna Ambassador for Cliff Bar, and has done extensive fundraising for the Breast Cancer Foundation. She is certified in Wilderness First Aid and CPR and is an IMBA (International Mountain Bike Association) guide and instructor. Mary Lyn and her husband live in the Roaring Fork Valley.
Lauren Gueriera has been an RN for over 25 years, later becoming a nurse practitioner, and has regularly cared for patients who have been sexually traumatized at some point in their past. For 12 years she worked as the coordinator of two Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) programs in Westminster and Glenwood Springs. During this time she passionately volunteered her time and expertise to help found the River Bridge Regional Center, an advocacy center for child victims of abuse and neglect serving several counties in western Colorado. Lauren says, “Mountain biking is my favorite activity in the world and it makes my heart and soul happy!” It’s this child-like enthusiasm for riding that Sacred Cycle is so determined to share with survivors and we’re honored to have Lauren on our team.
Jeannine has worked in high-end retail with Betteridge Jewelers in Vail, CO for 10 years. Over this time she has held roles in sales as well as office operations management. Jeannine has been passionately racing bikes for 7 years and has found success in the ultra-distance MTB world. She has competed in 15 ultra-endurance MTB races, ranging from 12 to 25 hours, as well as multiple 40+ mile races. Jeannine strongly supports the Sacred Cycle mission and is excited to spread the word throughout the mountain biking community. Cycling has been an extremely positive influence in her life so she is anxious to share her passion with others.
Willow began her career in mental health working with at risk youth in 1996 in Boulder, Colorado while studying to get her master’s degree in psychotherapy. After graduating, Willow worked for the Boulder County Mental Health Center providing home based family and individual therapy. She worked for seven years providing direct services, eventually becoming a team leader and clinical supervisor. A native of Los Angeles, Willow then began providing individual and family therapy for clients who struggle with both substance abuse and mental health issues in her home town. After joining Vive in Los Angeles, Willow provided mentor and parent coach services before becoming the team leader. Eventually, Willow’s connection and dedication to the Vive model became evident and was named Clinical Director and then became the Executive Director of Clinical Services. Willow promotes a holistic and integrated approach to therapy and holds the vision that families can change patterns and heal from past wounds. She remains forever passionate about finding creative and effective ways of providing and supporting the therapeutic services for youth, young adults, and their families.
Heather Russell, LPC, founded Sacred Cycle out of a community need and attempt to join passions; cycling and helping others. A therapist trained in transpersonal counseling, sexual assault crisis, and mindfulness awareness, Heather works with adults struggling with severe and persistent mental illness. A survivor herself, Heather found healing through mountain biking, the outdoors and helping others. She longs to share her passion for riding and vision for healing with others on their journey. Heather lives in Carbondale, Colorado and spends her free time pedaling in the mountains.