eGo CarShare was started by a group of Boulder citizens who were very concerned about minimizing their environmental impact, and who strived to leave a more sustainable legacy for future generations. They took the issue of transportation to heart and made a commitment to minimize their automobile use. In 1997, the “Little Red Car Co-op” was formed. The momentum continued forward, and in 1998, Boulder CarShare (BCS) was founded.
The organization was incorporated as a Colorado nonprofit on August 28, 1998. Approval by the IRS as a 501(c)(3) entity came on April 3, 2006. Boulder CarShare rebranded in January 2009 as eGo CarShare in order to bring its service to the city of Denver. In March of 2009 eGo CarShare placed its first three cars in Denver, and in the fall of 2009 eGo CarShare received its first significant outside funding from a CMAQ (Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality) grant to aid in its expansion to core Denver neighborhoods.
Since then we have been adding new locations through partnerships and another round of CMAQ funding, which has allowed us to start adding carshare vehicles in close proximity to B-cycle (Denver & Boulder’s bike sharing systems) stations to create multimodal hubs. These hubs allow members to “right size” their transportation. They can choose to walk, bicycle, B-cycle, jump on the bus or light rail, or grab a carshare car depending on their need.
We couldn’t do what we do as a small community nonprofit without stellar staff members. Lucky us that we have found the best of the best to assist our members at all times of the day, keep our fleet running smooth, and lead our organization to the next level. Find out more about these hardworking folks and learn about a favorite member interaction!
After completing her Masters Degree in Urban & Regional Planning from UCD in 2009, Alyssa was looking for her next big thing. She fell into carsharing, the Next Big Thing in sustainable transportation, and has been helping grow this grassroots organization ever since. She grew up in the “best small town” in Wisconsin (maybe the best small town anywhere), got a degree from the University of Minnesota, and moved to Florida for a year to build houses with Habitat for Humanity before finally putting down roots in Denver. She is active in the community, focusing on active transportation and access to healthy food. Alyssa loves to spend as much time outside as possible – sleeping in tents, playing in the mountains, exploring places near and far, and helping shape the community she has grown to love. She has her biggest ideas while pedaling around the city on her bike.
Favorite Member Interaction: We had a Zap (a three-wheeled, neighborhood electric vehicle) donated to eGo. I was driving it from our Denver office to the Auraria Campus for an event (about half a mile) when it just stopped working. I was sitting stranded at an intersection when someone came up to me and said, Hey, I’m an eGo CarShare member – do you need help? I said, Yes! and together we pushed the Zap down the sidewalk (it’s small) to his office, where he found a place to park it. What a great way to meet a member.
Carolyn has been car-free for most of her adult life in Denver, which is longer than she cares to admit. She learned to question the heedless exploitation of natural resources while reading Rousseau at St. John’s College and earning a highly marketable degree in Philosophy. A longtime employee of the Tattered Cover, Carolyn has also worked on progressive political campaigns and raised funds for nonprofits like the NRDC, the Environmental Defense Fund, and the Sierra Club. She first joined a carshare in 2011, but generally rides a single speed cruiser everywhere she can make it go.
Favorite Member Interaction: It's hard to pick just one, because our members are so awesome, and I'm the one they talk to every day! I do remember that right after I started, in late 2012, I helped a delightful elderly gentleman who was having a little trouble getting the hang of making reservations online. He was gracious and courteous and kept calling me “my darling” in a way that somehow managed to be nothing but charming and grandfatherly. It gave me warm fuzzies. He was such a sweetie pie!
Shawn joined the eGo team in October 2012. Prior to moving to Boulder, he worked for three years as a home energy efficiency nerd in Ithaca, NY. After getting tired of talking about the importance of insulation and energy saving light bulbs, Shawn decided to further explore his interest in sustainable transportation with a position at eGo. He has been car-free since high school and was a member of Ithaca CarShare for three years. Shawn is also an avid skier and is excited about exploring everything Colorado has to offer.
After spending three years serving in the Peace Corps in West Africa, Zach decided he needed to live somewhere with less dust, more mountains, and a healthy dose of snow. Combining his interest in climate change activism and green business, he joined eGo CarShare in 2012. Currently, he watches over eGo’s flock of vehicles, has learned the best way to fit his bike into every car in the fleet, and wears whatever other hats will fit on top of his helmet.
Karen has been eGo CarShare’s (formerly Boulder CarShare’s) tireless Executive Director since the program’s inception in 2001, and, not coincidentally, she has also been car-free for over 12 years. Karen grew up in the Midwest, but the Rocky Mountains lured her out to Colorado in 1997 when she accepted a teaching position in Estes Park. She loved the mountains, but sooner than later slid down the hill and settled in for a spell in Boulder. Once she discovered she could easily and joyfully get nearly everywhere by bike and bus, she was here to stay.
What started out as a volunteer and “hobby” project for Karen has gradually transformed into a thriving, non-profit carsharing program – one of the first of its kind in the nation (as evidenced by our URL carshare.org). From 2001-2010, Karen volunteered her time as ED. During those early years for her “day job” she worked in the LOHAS industry, was the CFO of a local home health care agency, and the Conference Manager for Sustainable Resources (a Boulder NPO). Eventually, though, carsharing took over her life, and it’s not just a hobby anymore. She is passionate about helping to transform the way we think about transportation, and advocates for placing people, rather than cars, at the heart of community planning, so that we can create more sustainable, fulfilling and inspirational communities. Karen holds a BA in physics from DePauw University and a teaching certification from UW-Stevens Point. She is currently on the board of the CarSharing Association.
Favorite Member Interaction: There are so many, its hard to pick just one. All of our members rock! Any person who chooses to live car-lite or car-free inspires me. But here’s an example of how much our members look out for each other: a member left a personal credit card in one of our cars. The next member found it and left us a message about it. When we called her back later that day to arrange to get the credit card back to its rightful owner, she informed us that she had already taken it upon herself to find the credit card owner on Facebook, and she had already returned the card to him. I love it when people help each other out like that.
Board of Directors
Staff could not propel eGo to the next level without the oversight and leadership of our dedicated Board of Directors.
Diana M. Zinkl joined the Board of eGo in January 2013 and was elected President in September. She joined eGo after moving to the Stapleton neighborhood of Denver from Washington, DC. During nine years in DC, she used car sharing for those moments when her bicycles, favorite bus routes and the rail system couldn’t quite get her where she needed to go. She was also a member of the Riders’ Council for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority for four years, serving as Chair in 2009. Prior to that, inspired by her work in environmental consulting and sustainability in Boston, Massachusetts, she studied Law and City and Regional Planning at the University of California—Berkeley, a bit of departure from her undergraduate work in Mathematics and Chemistry at Michigan State University. Surprisingly to many, she is originally from Wisconsin. She is enjoying the challenge of car free living in the Mile High City, although getting by on less oxygen is proving more difficult that getting by on less gasoline.
Greg Ekrem was elected to the board of eGo Carshare in December of 2011 and currently serves as the organization's treasurer. Greg is a Boulder native and is a managing consultant with Navigant Consulting in Boulder. He works within the Energy Practice of Navigant in the Energy Efficiency Group. The focus of his work includes: program lead of impact and process evaluation activities of utility demand response programs, coordination, support and implementation of field activities, market research activities, GIS analysis, database management, and map design. He holds a B.A. in Environmental Conservation, a blended program of geography, biology, and economics from the University of Colorado (CU) at Boulder. An avid walker, Greg has not driven to work in five years and is perennially in the top 20 users of the Boulder B-Cycle bike sharing system.
Daniel Ziskin grew up in a car-dependent sprawling suburb of Philadelphia. In 1993 he received a Ph.D. in physics from The Johns Hopkins University by studying clouds and their effect on climate. After his ultimate frisbee career peaked, he became involved as a transportation activist fighting the construction of a wasteful outer beltway around Washington, D.C. In 1998, Daniel moved to Boulder. He donated his car to eGo CarShare and joined the board around 2001.
Graham has been involved with eGo for the past 10 years. His interest in clean urban transportation extends into many areas. An electric vehicle company first employed him in 1996 before he started ZENN with some Canadian partners in 2001. In 1997, Graham started 21 Wheels with a general methodology towards cleaner urban options. While operating in this space, he has worked with many new technologies and forms of mobility including Neighborhood Electric Vehicles, Segways, CarShare, BikeShare, electric bikes and urban rail. He is the president of two other non-profits: Denver Electric Vehicle Council and Arborway Railroad, and is currently working as a founder of Swift Tram, a suspended monorail company based in Boulder, CO. Graham is married to Cathy, and has two daughters, Peyton and Lexie Bowe.
Jenn Hughes is a Council Aide at the Denver City Council and part of a one-car household. Jenn joined the eGo board in April of 2013, and brings with her the experience of living and commuting in small towns, big cities, and rural settings. Jenn’s experience watching the streets as a private investigator in New York City, commuting to work by ski or bike in Telluride, and planting street trees as a professional gardener in Denver has developed a desire to strengthen communities and empower individuals with multimodal transportation options. When she’s not talking to her friends about the advantages of carsharing, Jenn is daydreaming about her urban farm in Northwest Denver.
Carrie Murphy is one of the new crop of eGo board members, elected onto the board in May 2013. Carrie has been happily carsharing since 2003: first with City CarShare in San Francisco, and then in 2009 with eGo. Leaving a career in arts administration at San Francisco Opera in 2008, Carrie sought to find a new field that combined her passion for sustainability and a healthy built environment. This path lead her to a Masters in Urban and Regional Planning, which she received in 2013. Carrie is currently working with Boulder Housing Partners (BHP) to help measure the impact that BHP’s service coordinators have with some of their lower-income residents. She is glad to get the word out about carsharing whenever possible, and believes in the service as an essential part of the transportation toolkit. Ask her about carsharing and you’ll get an enthusiastic earful.
Cassie Wright is the Project Manager for Urban Ventures, LLC, a real estate company that is dedicated to creating healthy, sustainable communities. In her position, Cassie works on all aspects of real estate development: from land acquisition to project construction. Additionally, Ms. Wright researches and implements best practices and health-based programming to foster community development that promotes social cohesion and positive well-being. Cassie and her husband are a happy, car-free household and are avid car share users. Cassie holds a Master of City Planning degree from the University of Pennsylvania and a B.A. in Sociology/Anthropology from St. Olaf College. She is a LEED Green Associate with ten years’ experience in urban planning, real estate development and environmental sustainability.