At the 2024 SORBA Summit we awarded 7 volunteers from each state in SORBA as the volunteer of the year. We collected nominations from across the region and selected these recipients from a pool of great volunteers. To help celebrate, each award winner was presented with a custom jersey from Bike Rags as well as a $500 to their chapter to continue supporting their cause. We would like to congratulate each winner and thank all the volunteers from SORBA that make our organization great!

Alabama

Chase Draper is the president of BUMP. And has my number on speed dial. I can assure you this, there are not many out there that are constantly scheming on ways to make their chapter better, host more events, and flat out get stuff done more than Chase. Under his leadership, he organized the people to bring in new members boasting the membership numbers from 180-ish to tripping 500!!! To quote some of his nomination requests “Fully committed to improving the trail system at Oak Mountain and other nearby trail systems. Devotes way more time than he probably should, and is always part of any trail work activity, often doing things alone. Chase has substantially improved the trails we have, and has, and continues to, expand the trail system, at great effort. I can’t imagine anyone doing more to improve and expand a trail system than Chase does at OMSP and nearby trails. “

Florida

Todd Addicott is the president of SORBA Jax and the Florida representative on the SORBA Executive Committee. Todd has been responsible for taking an already excellent chapter another step further. Through his fundraising efforts, Todd and his chapter have been able to bring trail systems like the Trek Trails to reality. His peers mention that There are three qualities that make Todd Addicott stand out among a typical volunteer. First, Todd has incredible PASSION for all things cycling. He’s always hard at work behind the scenes, whether it’s building a new trail for the Boys & Girls Club, creating more opportunities to get kids on bikes through efforts like “Kids Bike Rodeo” and “Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day,” or designing one-of-a-kind bike races. Todd is also unique because he’s great at FUNDRAISING. He does the research, finds out what the chapter needs, and he relentlessly pursues new funds and new streams of revenue. Lastly, Todd knows how to get things done. It’s one thing to be a dreamer with big plans and big ideas. Todd takes ACTION. He does what he says he’s going to do. One person with all three competencies (Passion, Fundraising and Action) is rare. We are lucky to have Todd in NE Florida. They also mention Single most hardworking volunteer I know. He’s in all of it, trail building/ Maintenance community involvement, group ride coordinator, race organizer, fundraiser, event organizer & bike park creator.

Georgia

Josh Camp is a member and now staff at MTB Atlanta. He must have hired someone to campaign on his behalf because Josh received more votes than anyone else with 17 nominations. If you have seen Josh this week you will have noticed how much work he has put in to be one of our amazing hosts. Of the nominations people mentioned that Josh is incredibly kind and welcoming. Happy to help and do some honest work for nothing in return. Josh Camp is magical. I really tried to find a single word that accurately describes his effect in our community, and magical is truly the one word that I feel fits. His impact in our local area is pretty incredible. He volunteers not only as a youth cycling coach for middle and high school kids, but also coordinates our local elementary age mountain biking camp for kids in the summer. His level of passion and enthusiasm is contagious, and the kids really look up to him and admire him. He connects with kids from teams all over the state, and cheers on all of them, whether they are on his team or not. Josh is the reason the Allatoona Creek MTB area is such a wonderful place to ride and live. His commitment, caring, work ethic and welcoming, loving attitude are a testament to what I believe is a perfect volunteer.

Mississippi

Zack McRaney is the president of South Mississippi and is completely dedicated to the mission of providing mountain bike opportunities. Whether it is working within the city or fighting to save trail on National Forest Land, Zack is at the front lines of trail advocacy in Mississippi. A great quote from his nominations is as follows Without Zack, there would be no SMTA. He is the President of SMTA and from my perspective has done a great, no outstanding job. From finding land, to helping develop new trails, to organizing races, Zack does it all. Zack is patient, humble, hard working and never meets a stranger. The first time I met Zack was at a trail maintenance day he organized. Not only did he organize the event, he mowed for eight hours. At the end of the day I told him if he rode like he mowed, I wanted nothing to do with riding with him. He was a beast. I cannot say enough good things about Zack. He will be next to you with a Prohoe or working on a new fun ride but always has the community in mind. If he is not deserving of volunteer of the year, I don’t know who is.

North Carolina

Doug Miller is a past vice president of Pisgah Area SORBA. In addition to his work with Pisgah, Doug has helped host a webinar with SORBA as part of our SORBA Sessions series. Doug’s work in fundraising for his chapter set the stage for them to hire staff, and get important projects completed within the Pisgah National Forest. His peers remark that Under Doug’s leadership, the Fundraising Committee successfully synchronized efforts, implementing programs like annual bike giveaways, Sierra Nevada Trail Chaser build, launching our Trail Builder Club, authoring countless grant applications and much more. Doug’s work has resulted in a lasting legacy of financial sustainability and professional development for Pisgah Area SORBA. This year alone, Pisgah Area SORBA will contribute nearly $300,000 worth of professional trail construction and maintenance to trails within the Pisgah Ranger District of Pisgah National Forest. These large scale efforts are largely due to Doug’s commitment of being a steadfast and thoughtful leader of the organization, helping us grow in capacity, professionalism and personal. Thank you Doug, for all you have done for Pisgah Area SORBA and the local trails here in WNC!

South Carolina

Eric Hamann is the president of Upstate SORBA and has held that position for over 8 years. Eric has helped right the ship at Upstate, that has seen issues during COVID. He continues to work passionately to develop his community and keep the mountain biking dream alive. To quote his application In 2023 and now having moved into 2024 we have seen immense energy out of the board, largely due to Eric’s efforts to get new & old faces more involved. Had it not been for Eric’s continuous efforts with our board & community partnerships, I think it is safe to say that our chapter could have largely dissolved. Through much of Eric’s outreach and prioritization in community projects we have now seen more than five new faces eager to join our board, growth in our membership by around 10% year over year, and he has worked vigorously to find relief for long-serving board members that have looked to roll off main positions and let new faces get involved. Through this we have some newly inspired members that are eager to drive more involved projects and take on the responsibilities behind them. Eric has been the conduit to enable every face in our chapter to find success in their goals while ensuring that we keep things realistic

Tennessee

Wes Bradley is a member of SORBA Tri-Cities and a champion for the outdoors in his home town of Elizabethton Tennessee.  He is an avid mountain biker, whitewater kayaker, and downhill skier, so he loves the outdoors. Like most small towns, the local leadership was not aware of the value the outdoor spaces of Elizabethton held. With the help of just a couple others, he put together a proposal for almost 11 new miles of downhill style trail and a bike playground that consist of a pumptrack, skills area, paved jumpline, and kids track. He then spent hundreds of hours attending city and county commissioner meetings, parks and rec meetings, and private meetings with local community leaders to push this project and get the leaders to see the potential and impact it could have on the locals, especially the kids. And just to note, this is a community where city leaders and county leaders don’t necessarily get along so getting them to work together is almost impossible. But with persistence he was able to get the county and city to commit to Phase 1 of the trail expansion which was finished up this spring. But in the process of pushing for money for Phases 2 & 3 of the trail expansion, he took on the project of extending the local rails-to-trail trail (the Tweetsie Trail) by 4 miles into Hampton which would make the new terminus very close to the Hampton Watershed Trails. He won the support of the county mayor, who then together presented a combined proposal for both the trails to the governor who approved the project and award it $6.3 million dollars. Construction on Phase 2 of the Hampton trails will hopefully begin in January and design work on the Tweestie Trail expansion will begin sometime next year. Wes has believed in this project from the very beginning and has put a massive amount of work to make this a reality. He believes in his community and truly wants to see it live up to its potential and this project will be a huge step in the right direction!

Congrats to our award winners. As we look to our 2025 SORBA Summit in Asheville, we encourage you to keep in mind who you think is fitting for this award. We look forward to celebrating a new crop of volunteers next year!