CHICAGO, IL (BRAIN)—World Bicycle Relief, a Chicago-based not for profit that provides quality bicycles to people living in sub-Saharan Africa, has welcomed Todd Ricketts, Chicago Cubs owner; Mark Ishaug, president of AIDS United; and business owner Elaine Burke to its Board of Directors.
"We are very grateful and excited to have Todd, Mark and Elaine on our Board, each of whom are passionate business and organizational leaders, and will help guide our vision for World Bicycle Relief into the future," said F.K. Day, founder and president of World Bicycle Relief.
Ricketts joined the Chicago Cubs' Board of Directors in 2009 when he and his siblings acquired a controlling ownership interest of the club from the Tribune Company. Among other businesses, Ricketts also owns the Higher Gear bicycle shops in Wilmette and Highland Park, Illinois. Mark Ishaug is the president of the newly formed AIDS United, a not for profit whose mission is to end the AIDS pandemic in the U.S. He was the former president of the AIDS Foundation of Chicago 1998-2011, and has worked and studied extensively in Zimbabwe and Mozambique. Elaine Burke, a former teacher, has been a long time supporter of World Bicycle Relief. Elaine and the Burke family have made a huge impact on the global bike industry through their creation and development of Trek Bicycle Company.
Recently listed as one of Barron's Top 25 most effective philanthropists, World Bicycle Relief has distributed 75,000 specially designed, culturally-appropriate bicycles to students, healthcare workers and entrepreneurs in Asia and Africa, which have improved the lives of more than 700,000 people. Specifically, World Bicycle Relief bikes help students get to school, connect healthcare workers to patients living with HIV & AIDS in rural areas and enable farmers to carry heavy loads while transporting goods to market. Compared to walking, biking is four times faster and allows five times the carrying capacity, significantly increasing productivity and service range.
"A bicycle is a gift of time. In developing countries a bicycle can mean the difference between getting to school, to a doctor or making a living or not," Day said. "What we have found in Africa and are working to change is the fundamental gap that exists between the availability of quality, sturdy and culturally appropriate bicycles and the millions of its residents living at the bottom of the market."