BEST is a broad coalition of community leaders and organizations. We include the Eugene and Springfield Area Chambers of Commerce and other business leaders, the University of Oregon and Lane Community College, students, environmental and multi-modal transportation advocates, social service organizations, and neighborhood leaders. On our boards are a former transportation advisor to Oregon’s governor, four former members of the LTD Board of Directors, and a former chair of the Oregon House Transportation Committee. We believe that better transportation is good for the economy, the well being of people, and the environment—for our quality of life!


Our talented and committed staff power the efforts of BEST:

Rob Zako, Executive Director

Claire Roth, Safe Streets Coordinator

Board of Directors

Our formal Board of Directors oversees our work:

Laura Potter, President: Laura is a residential real estate broker working with buyers, sellers and investors. Before moving into residential real estate as a  broker she, worked as the Director of Business Advocacy for the Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce and as the Director of Government Affairs for the Home Builders Association of Lane County. It was during her time at the Chamber that Laura and a group of local advocates founded BEST. She specializes in land use, transportation and economic development policy issues. Laura grew up in the Eugene/Springfield area and graduated from the University of Oregon. Laura lives in Eugene  with her partner Chris and their daughters Margot and Marilla. She is passionate about real estate, architecture and design. She also enjoys art, literature, jazz music and the ballet.

Bob Passaro, Vice-President: Bob is co-owner of a web development and design agency based in downtown Eugene. He had been a newspaper reporter and copy editor for 20 years before leaving that troubled industry in 2012. One upside to leaving journalism was that it opened the door to advocacy work. Bob served four years on the the Eugene Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC, now known as the Active Transportation Committee), including a year as chair.

Jon Belcher, Treasurer:Jon Belcher has been involved in community organizations almost since he moved to Eugene in 1978.  He has been a board member and leader of three neighborhood associations, including currently serving as co-chair of River Road Community Organization. He has served on other boards and committees including the Eugene Planning Commission, Human Rights Commission, and Police Commission.

Alexis Biddle, Secretary:Alexis is the Urban Lands Advocate for 1000 Friends of Oregon. He holds dual degrees in law and well as in community and regional planning from the University of Oregon. While a student working as a taxi driver, he began to see urban design at the nexus of equity and sustainability and has shaped his career to address these issues.

Wendee Crofoot

Michael DeLuise: Now retired, Mike served as chair of the Downtown Neighborhood Association and was a member of the Eugene Active Transportation Committee (ATC). Before moving to Eugene to be closer to his daughters, Mike worked as a university administrator and was president of a chamber of commerce president in New York.

Mike Eyster

Marianne Nolte

Terry Parker: Now retired, in addition with BEST Terry volunteers with the League of Women Voters of Lane County and 350 Eugene. Previously, she was LTD’s Accessible Services Manager and worked for LCOG’s Senior & Disability Services. She holds a graduate degree in sociology & gerontology at the University of Oregon. A native Oregonian, she sailed during summer months on 1987 Irwin38 in the Pacific Northwest and British Columbia. He interests include climate change activism,  empowering voters, and defending democracy.

Brett Rowlett: Brett has over two decades of experience advocating for higher education issues and is currently Director of Public Affairs for Lane Community College. Brett is active in numerous nonprofit boards, including United Way, the Oregon Student Foundation, and the National Leadership Team for The Democracy Commitment. Before joining LCC, he served as the legislative director for a statewide higher education advocacy organization and policy analyst for the State of Oregon. A native of Wisconsin, Brett studied political science at the University of Minnesota and University of Oregon. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his family, traveling, kayaking, music and reading.

Board of Advisors

We also have an informal Board of Advisors to help guide our efforts:

  1. John Allcott
  2. Bob Beals
  3. Terry Beyer
  4. Shawn Boles
  5. Eric Burdette
  6. Julie Daniel
  7. Rick Duncan
  8. Tim Duy
  9. Emily Eng
  10. Karmen Fore
  11. David Funk
  12. Gerry Gaydos
  13. Beth Gerot
  14. Kevin Gilbride
  15. George Grier
  16. Eric Gunderson
  17. Clare Haley
  18. Pat Hocken
  19. Richard Hughes
  20. Josh Kashinsky
  21. Kaarin Knudson
  22. Sarah Mazze
  23. Terry McDonald
  24. Sophie McGinley
  25. Matt McRae
  26. DeLeesa Meashintubby
  27. Walt Norblad
  28. Mark Pangborn
  29. Brittany Quick-Warner
  30. Shane Rhodes
  31. Matt Roberts
  32. Seth Sadofsky
  33. Marc Schlossberg
  34. Carmel Snyder
  35. Jean Tate
  36. Kari Turner
  37. Jenny Ulum
  38. Carmen Urbina
  39. Stefano Viggiano
  40. Aliza Whalen
  41. Sue Wolling


Several talented and committed volunteers are contributing to the success of BEST:

  1. Laughton Elliott-DeAngelis
  2. Steve Piercy
  3. Kevin Schaper

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