If there was any doubt that the San Diego Mountain Biking Association is serious about their advocacy, the hiring of their first executive director should put those doubts to rest.

SDMBA announced July 8 that the association hired San Diego native and avid mountain biker Susie Murphy as its inaugural executive director.

Murphy will focus on mountain bike advocacy matters throughout San Diego County, including working with state, federal and local land managers and liaising with the conservation community and municipal officials to ensure more and better access for mountain bike riders throughout the region, according to the association.

Murphy grew up backpacking and hiking in San Diego and began mountain biking there in the mid-1990s. She has volunteered with the Mountain Bike Assistance Unit at Cuyamaca Rancho State Park and is currently on the leadership teams of the San Diego Chapter of Girlz Gone Riding and the Wheel Women of San Diego. She also coaches for the Eastlake High School Mountain Bike Team.

“I am committed to the members and volunteers of the San Diego Mountain Biking Association and their dedication to our amazing sport,” said Murphy, in a posting on the International Mountain Biking Association website. “I am excited by the momentum that has been generated by SDMBA’s community activities and advocacy efforts. The relationships that are being developed with local, state, and federal land management agencies are going to improve the trails in the county for generations to come—I’m excited to be a part of it!”

The executive director position is fully funded by SDMBA, with HR support and training from IMBA, and will initially be a half-time position, hopefully moving to full-time. Murphy will work closely with both the SDMBA board and Patrick Kell, IMBA’s Southwest region director. “We see potential for membership growth, leading to significant trail and bike park development throughout San Diego County,” said Kell. “Susie and I are both excited to get started on this new phase in the growth of mountain bike access in southern California.”