Robert Ruano, Bike Walk Coral Gables' co-founder and founding chair, has accepted the board’s nomination to return as chair and lead the organization as it enters its eighth season of public programming.
In 2011, Ruano helped start BWCG, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life through programs and events that promote the accessibility of streets and trails for cyclists and pedestrians in Coral Gables and neighboring communities.
Also, elected to the executive committee of BWCG are Adhys Izquierdo Obeso, vice chair; John Swain, treasurer; and Jennifer Garcia, secretary.
In its seven-year history, BWCG has served the Coral Gables community through popular programs such as the monthly Gables Bike Tours series, and special events including the annual Gables Bike Day in Downtown Coral Gables, as well as the annual Bike & BBQ at Matheson Hammock Park.
BWCG has spearheaded important initiatives that have improved the Coral Gables urban experience, including the Bike Fix-It Station on the Museum Plaza and the Galiano Green, a public space improvement project supported through a grant from The Miami Foundation, that will begin construction in 2019. BWCG has advocated in favor of bicycle- and pedestrian-related issues at City Hall, such as the Bike and Pedestrian Master Plan, which has faced recent opposition by some residents.
“Since its founding, Bike Walk Coral Gables has been fortunate to have a dedicated team of volunteer board members who give their time, money, and sweat towards making the Gables more cycling and walking friendly,” Ruano said. “I’m excited about the opportunity to once again lead this fine organization, and look forward to working with the community and city of Coral Gables staff and elected officials to make us a model for the rest of the county.”
Ruano is president of Ecostrata Services, a private government and fundraising firm in Coral Gables. Since he founded Ecostrata Services in 2010, he has worked with nonprofits, municipalities and private entities seeking funding or access to government programs. He has over 26 years of management experience, both in the private and public sectors, including many years in City of Miami government overseeing all grant applications and environmental initiatives.
Ruano believes that community service is crucial to being a good corporate citizen, and as such, he volunteers and chairs several community boards and volunteers at community events. Currently, he serves on the USDA’s National Urban & Community Forestry Advisory Council, is a member of Miami Dade County’s Planning Advisory Board, and a member of the Coral Gables Transportation Advisory Board. He also is a member of the Green Mobility Network. Ruano holds a bachelor’s degree in communications from Virginia Commonwealth University and he is a LEED Accredited Professional.