Jonscott Turco Co-Founder
A native Staten Islander, Jonscott first found his love of cycling as a result of a Staten Island Pee Wee Football League raffle win. “My first 10 speed was an orange Kia and I rode that around my Oakwood neighborhood and into the ground”, said Turco.
As time passed, I saved and pleaded for a new bike, then gradually increased my exploration of Staten Island. Laps of my neighborhood grew to laps of Hylan Boulevard; from my Oakwood home, down to the Verrazano bridge, then the length of Hylan to the conference house in Tottenville and back.
“Countless laps and miles before gatorade and before carbo pro”, he jokes.
“The years of my adolescence can be traced through the streets of Staten Island. I see my childhood along those recently flooded roads and taking action was not a question”. He commented.
After graduating from Monsignor Farrell High School in Oakwood Heights, Jonscott went on to earn his undergraduate and graduate degrees from Manhattan College in the Bronx. Following his studies and for more than 20 years, Jonscott has worked to help individuals and organizations conceive, plan, and implement dynamic human resources, employee communications, and talent management practices. In addition, he also instructs students at the Undergraduate and Graduate levels in subjects including Talent and Performance Management, Organizational Leadership, and Communications.
In his personal time, Jonscott enjoys spending time and traveling with his family. He enjoys cycling, photography, is a longtime soccer player/coach and triathlete- having raced at distances up to and including the 140.6 mile Ironman.
Ray Alba - Co-Founder and Founder of Kraft Genie Cycling Inc Not for Profit
Ray Alba is a native New Yorker, born right here on Manhattan Island. His parents immigrated to America with his grandparents to search for a better life and so, his grandfather could pursue his medical career. Ray's father, a young and energetic person took up cycling back in the 1950's, raced competitively and passed the torch onto to his twin sons Ray and Rennie Alba.
The Alba family has a long history of cycling and bike racing. Even Ray himself started riding a bike at the ripe age of just 3 and started racing at the age of 7 in 1975; during a time when bike racing wasn't even popular in the United States. Ray and his brother Rennie competed in every category from age 7 to age 44; midgets, intermediate, juniors and senior elite racing, and masters.
Ray continues to compete today and is the founder of Kraft Genie Cycling Not-For-Profit, helped put Champion System Custom Cycle Wear (http://www.champ-sys.com) on the map, and is the founder the elite program (10 years now) Champion System Racing (http://www.champsysracing.com).
To Ray it is obvious to be part of Ride4NY as he along with the founders of this event feel that the cycling community has so much to give to those in need now but, are unsure how. A ride like this will not only bring awareness and much needed funds to those affected by Hurricane Sandy but, will provide the cyclists participating in the event with the comfort that they have helped those in need.
Outside of cycling, Ray's career is helping publishers through their content challenges and needs, specializing in eBooks.
Jason Gallacher - Co-Founder
Jason Gallacher is the Founder and Owner of Affinity Cycles, a Brooklyn based bicycle manufacturer with a storefront in Williamsburg.
While working as a fine artist in New York City after graduating from the School of Visual Arts with a Bachelors of Fine Arts in photography, Jason began to combine his lifelong love of bicycles with the finely tuned design skills he developed in school. As a competitor in national BMX racing events, Jason had designed and custom built his first bike at the age of 14. Combining these experiences as a racer and artist, Jason’s designs showed an intimate understanding of how to integrate pleasing aesthetics with the practical necessities of functionality for quality riding for both leisurely and professional riders. With these new designs, Jason opened for business as Affinity Cycles in 2007. In only it’s 5th year of operation, Affinity Cycles has grown to become and internationally recognized brand and global leader in track bike manufacturing.
Jason and his bikes have been the source of articles in many publications and Affinity has collaborated on projects with Levi’s and Ralph Lauren. Most recently the bicycles were featured in the major motion picture “Premium Rush” with Joseph Gordon Levitt.
Currently, Affinity Cycles sponsors 20 competitors, from 3 different countries, made up of male and female riders on the professional and junior circuits. On an Affinity Bicycle, Jason’s riders have accumulated more than 15 national titles and 10 international titles, including EuropeanChampionships , Six Day Races and 2 gold medals at the Track World Championships.
As he is a firm believer in the virtue of giving back, Jason is committed to community outreach and is thrilled to be involved in the Ride4NY project.
Rennie Alba - Co-Founder and Co-Founder of KraftGenie Cycling Inc Not for Profit
Jennifer Benepe - Publicist
Jennifer is a practicing journalist and entrepreneur, and bicycle advocate looking to improve access and safety for cyclists in New York City.
As part of her growing interest in improving the lives of New Yorkers, Ms. Benepe obtained her M.S. from the Columbia School of Journalism in 2002. Her thesis examined the difficult legal environment for prosecuting careless motorists who caused pedestrian and cycling fatalities in New York State.
Jennifer also has a background in business and development, and an M.B.A. from the Wharton Graduate School of Business. After working for several large businesses and then as a journalist, in 2010 Jennifer started Cyclists International, a worldwide, franchise-based site that offers news, social networking, travel, and event sharing for cyclists. Ms. Benepe was the first in the region and in the U.S. to create an independent site that investigates bicycle crashes with motorists with specific attention paid to the examination of the causes and resolution of incidents while also maintaining journalistic objectivity and fairness.
Other sites in the New York area that have sprung up since Ms. Benepe started her franchise do not go to the same journalistic length. CI also has a strong reporting function in cycling sports, including each year covering the Tour de France, local races, and events.
Ms. Benepe is also a partner and designer for Hotvelociti, LLC, a bicycle apparel company. The company’s emphasis is on graphic newness, fashion, and safety and is currently developing two new lines, one addressing high visibility and safety, the other venturing into mainstream bicycle-to-work-to-club dresses for women. The company has many corporate and not-for-profit private label clients as well.
Minda Aguhob, M.Ed., is a healthcare researcher and advocate, based in New York City.
Minda specializes in effectively connecting leaders to develop synergistic relationships, and using research as a tool to develop, implement and disseminate readily applied, innovative processes that improve performance. Her ultimate goal is to enhance and transform typical practice, or "business as usual."
At Woodhull Hospital in Brooklyn, NY, Minda developed and is now leading a research study and training collaborative, the Time Out Project, to improve performance of safety protocols that reduce medical errors in the operating room and beyond. Minda has a masters degree in developmental psychology from Harvard University, and is an avid cyclist and triathlete who qualified for, and competed in, the 2008 USAT Age Group National Championships -- the same year she bought her first road bike.