Meet your 2018 WBR Ambassadors

World Bicycle Relief is excited to announce our 2018 WBR Ambassadors! Now in its sixth year, the WBR Ambassador Program, backed by our amazing sponsors, provides a select group of supporters with gear and fundraising tools to help them in their year-long adventure to transform lives through the Power of Bicycles.

Each Ambassador is challenged to raise $10,000 to provide life-changing bicycles to students and healthcare workers in rural Africa as well as train field bicycle mechanics.

Every year, we look forward to introducing the next group of leaders that will help drive impact in such a profound way. Meet our new Ambassadors!

michael obrien

Michael O’Brien

Michael O’Brien lives in Virginia with his wife Christina and his 8-year old son Christopher. He focuses his energy on three main areas: family, fitness, and career. Michael is an incredible dad and husband who takes great pride in being a part of his son’s life and the incredible boy he is. He works at Gartner Executive Programs and loves helping his clients find their direction and be a part of their success.When it comes to fitness, Michael loves cycling. He is passionate about women’s issues and providing opportunity and equality to women around the world. The fact that a simple bicycle can radically change a girl’s trajectory by allowing her to access education feels like the perfect combination and what he loves so much about being involved with World Bicycle Relief. He’s been the lead champion for WBR’s Ride the Rockies team since 2015 and has helped this group raise almost $100,000.

Michael signs his emails: “The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.” ― Pablo Picasso

Thank you for finding so much purpose through World Bicycle Relief and sharing that with others. We’re thrilled to have you on board as one of our 2018 Ambassadors.

Renee Lockey

Renee Lockey

Renee Lockey lives in Colorado but she’s always on the go. If anyone can fit 48 hours into a single day, it’s Renee.

As an OB/GYN, Renee embraces the bicycle as her primary mode of transportation and the perfect way to clear her mind before a 24-hour shift in the hospital. She has traveled the globe for both work and recreation, committing much of her free time and vacation to mission trips, volunteering and providing health services in areas of the world where it’s needed most.

As a passionate racer and cyclist, joining Team WBR seemed like a natural fit. Renee learned about WBR in 2014 when she rode for a different charity at an event in Europe.

Renee is joining the Ride the Rockies team for the second time, bringing a group of women together from around the country on Team Do Awesome to benefit World Bicycle Relief. They hope to collectively raise $30,000! Renee is an incredible mentor to other racers to show them the value in racing for a cause. Thank you for sharing your passion so broadly, Renee!

kat phillilps

Kat Phillips

Kat found inspiration in a New York Times story about a group of women in Gaza who cycled despite the social stigma in their culture about females riding bicycles. When Kat a cyclist from Wanaka, New Zealand, learned about World Bicycle Relief, she realized she could be a changemaker that fought injustice and oppression for women with bicycles.

In 2016, Kat set out to raise 100 bicycles for World Bicycle Relief by riding 100 ascents of a local hill climb and raise one bicycle for every journey up. Not only did she complete the physical task, she also reached her incredible fundraising target. There will be a short film coming out this year about Kat’s 100 ascents, which will be featured at various locations across Australia and New Zealand.

“My year-long fundraising journey, in which I had set out to transform the lives of others, instead transformed me” says Kat about her personal journey along the way.

Kat has some big plans for 2018. She is recovering from a bike crash in 2017 but already has plans for the 2018 Adventure: The China Traverse. We can’t wait to follow this journey and hope it is as impactful as before. We know that no matter what Renee chooses to take on, she does it full of passion and commitment.

David houston

David Houston

David has been a long-time supporter of World Bicycle Relief as a part of the Fatty and Friends group that helped raise more than $1 million for WBR and created lifelong friendships as well. Over the years, many incredible champions for our work have come forward with the desire to change the world through the Power of Bicycles. Like so many supporters, David rides his bike for fun, fitness and to see what he can accomplish. But his passion for World Bicycle Relief work and a strong belief in education for all has encouraged him to take his efforts to the next level.

David wants to introduce WBR to the next generation of leaders through his involvement with the Northern California NICA MTB Program. As a level 1 coach for his son’s team, David is excited to share the work and the importance of giving back to highlight “students helping students.”

David has participated in Trois Etapes, Ride with Joao and Friends, the Leadville 100 MTB, and other rides and events with World Bicycle Relief. He always highlights the incredible friendships made through the bicycle and what this community can accomplish together. We can’t wait to see where the bike takes David year and the path forward he’s creating for others.


Lara Newell

Triathlete and cyclist Lara Newell heard about World Bicycle Relief’s work through a friend who knew Lara’s passion for cycling and her home country of Zimbabwe.

“So many people in first-world countries take education for granted. If I can help bring education and a glimmer of hope for their future to at least one child I would be extremely happy,” Lara says.

Lara, who lives in London, will be competing in the European and World 70.3 World Championships this year and hopes to inspire those around her. Lara plans on joining the Ride 100 in London and being a mentor and leader to many individuals that will be tackling their first century rides.

Always looking to give back to others, we can’t wait for Lara to join the ranks as an WBR Ambassador.


Feeling inspired by our amazing 2018 Ambassadors?

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