Interested in joining HUB's board or want to find out more?
May 2, 2022
Meet Özge Yazar, HUB Cycling Board Director and Consider Applying to our Board!
As a member-based organization, HUB Cycling is accountable to its members and is governed by a Board of Directors elected by the membership.
Our goal is to have strong, diverse and balanced leadership. If you are passionate about making cycling better in Metro Vancouver AND believe your experience (both in life and/or work!) can guide HUB to becoming a stronger organization for people who bike, consider applying to be a HUB Cycling Board Member.
Find out more about HUB's board here and meet Özge Yazar below, a HUB Board of Director who joined us in 2021.
Özge is a lawyer practicing commercial litigation in downtown Vancouver who started cycling to compete in triathlons, but now also commutes and races on a bike.
She is committed to improving cycling infrastructure in British Columbia and expanding the possibilities for exploring or commuting on two wheels. Her contributions to the board have been her experience with cycling infrastructure around the world, as well as her understanding of the legal infrastructure in BC.
How long have you been cycling in Metro Vancouver?
Have you always biked or did you, like so many others, rediscover it as an adult?
I rediscovered it as an adult! In 2017 I started my first job in Canada and bought a road bike with my first paycheck. I have been riding around the world ever since.
What is your favorite place to ride in Metro Vancouve? What is your least favorite and why?
I love cycling around Fort Langley and the Derby Reach Regional Park, and also along 0 Avenue. There are fewer cars and fewer stop lights in this area, and it’s always an adventure to get there from East Van.
My least favourite place to ride is the section of Lougheed highway in Burnaby- it is too hot in the summer, and quite scary with the amount of car traffic.
How does biking in Metro Vancouver compare to other parts of the world where you have biked (or observed biking)?
I have lived in Istanbul, Montreal, Hong Kong, and Amsterdam. Road users in Vancouver are much more respectful to people cycling than in Istanbul or Hong Kong, for sure. Amsterdam is the apex of cycling culture because every single person rides a bike. People are respectful of people cycling even when they are driving.
What about HUB Cycling's work and mission inspired you to apply to the board of directors?
In the summer of 2021 I was training for a 4,000 km bike-packing race, and I got a chance to cycle all around the Lower Mainland. There is so much potential here for a better cycling experience for everyone. HUB’s mission is to get more people cycling more often— I felt that I could contribute with my experience, so I stood for election in 2021.
What impact do you foresee having on the cycling landscape of Metro Vancouver as a board member that you wouldn't be able to have as a donor or a member?
I hope that I will actively participate in some of the strategic decision-making, for example by encouraging our diversity and inclusion initiatives.
Just briefly, what does the HUB board do and what are some of the responsibilities that come with being a board member?
Board members are fiduciaries who ensure HUB has effective planning, sufficient resources, fulfils legal obligations, and who oversee the organization’s activities. Generally we have one board meeting and one committee meeting each month. In between the meetings each director has a different task to be completed at their own time. For example, I am a member of the Board Development Committee, and recently I have been working with HUB staff and the board on making the board and membership more diverse and inclusive.
Have you noticed a unifying trait or value in the people who are on the HUB Board of Directors?
Everyone is very friendly. I did not know anyone on the Board prior to joining it, and now I consider all of the directors my friends (and potential ride buddies).
What about your past work experience/life experience/volunteer experience made you feel you could add value to the HUB board?
I wanted to offer my perspective as an immigrant and as a woman to a cause I care about. I also thought having a lawyer on the board may be useful for the organization.
What is something that has surprised you about HUB or cycling advocacy work since you joined the HUB board?
I have to admit that I did not know the full extent of HUB’s work. I was familiar with the advocacy and action aspects, but I discovered after joining the board that HUB has excellent cycling education and research programs, as well.
What is your vision for HUB Cycling’s future? What areas would you like to see growth in or an increased focus?
There is great potential for sustainable transportation in the public and private spheres today. HUB could be a pioneer in bike infrastructure and bike-friendly business consulting.
If you could ride a tandem bike with anyone who would it be and why?
Fiona Kolbinger- she is a doctor and the overall winner of the 2019 Transcontinental Race (a bike-packing race across Europe) and is one of my biggest inspirations.
Interested in joining HUB's board or want to find out more? Click here!