Meet New Additions to our America Walks Staff

We’ve been making moves to hire some great staff to advance our goal of walkable, accessible and equitable communities. Let’s meet all the new wonderful folks!

Ben Crowther

Staff - Ben Crowther

Ben Crowther is the new Advocacy Manager for America Walks, where he works with state and local advocates supporting mobility for all. Prior to joining America Walks, Ben was the program manager for the Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU)’s Highways to Boulevards initiative. In this role, he assisted communities across the country seeking to remove aging highways and replace them with socially and economically valuable places. He also led CNU’s national advocacy for the federal Reconnecting Communities program. 

Ben lives in Boston with his partner and their cat. When not fighting freeways, he’s an avid tabletop gamer.

Susan Le

Staff - Susan Le

Susan Le is America Walk’s new Program Manager from Lowell, MA with over a decade’s experience in making systematic change. She is an experienced facilitator leading various successful campaigns including voter rights, civics education, and criminal/juvenile justice in Massachusetts. She has consulted groups nationally to help lower the voting age, one in which San Francisco successfully lowered the voting age to allow 16-year-olds to vote municipally. Before coming on to America Walks, she was the Program Manager of TLTW, a statewide youth-led policy-making coalition that I was also a member of as a youth organizer. Their goal is to bring the people to the power and equip them with civic knowledge to become great organizers within their communities.

In her free time, she plays flag football competitively – while their two pups, Layla and Bruno, cheer her on. She also loves to travel, do outdoor activities, and most importantly – a big foodie!

Kait Spielmaker

Staff - Kait Spielmaker

Kait is the new Communications Manager for America Walks. She is a Flint, Michigan native, and a University of Michigan graduate, obtaining a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Marketing. She now lives in Portland, Oregon after living in Phoenix, Arizona for 3 years where she earned her MA in Sustainable Tourism from Arizona State University. She is a climate optimist and is passionate about environmental and social justice issues. She is a natural organizer with many years of organizing experience. Most recently she worked as an organizer with NextGen America during the 2020 election cycle in Arizona to help register and turn out youth voters, primarily across college campuses, on important progressive issues. 

When she’s not working, she enjoys taking photographs, enjoying the outdoors with her partner and their pitbull, Bo, collecting house plants, thrifting, & doing random art projects.

Bri Carroll

Bri Carroll

Bri Carroll joined America Walks in May of 2021 as the Fund Development Manager. She previously worked with crime victims and environmental advocacy organizations in all facets of fundraising. Bri is passionate about what she does and is committed to perpetuating a model of fundraising that is inclusive, centers the needs of the community, and stewards the mission of America Walks.  

While originally from Colorado, Bri now happily calls Richmond, Virginia home with her partner, their dog, and two cats. She is going into her second season of gardening and loves to watch her flowers and veggies grow. You can also find Bri on adventures around town with her dog and sidekick, Odin. Bri graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with a Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies.

Nicole Smith

Nicole Smith

Nicole Smith joined America Walks in July 2020 as the Operations and Program Manager. She is a Pittsburgh-area native and public health professional who is passionate about making connections with the people and organizations she serves, hearing their stories, and creating common ground. Nicole holds a Bachelor of Science degree in biology with a minor in general chemistry and a Master of Public Health degree with a concentration in nutrition. As a former Community Health Specialist for the City of York – Bureau of Health in Pennsylvania, Nicole led a variety of community health initiatives focused on increasing safe physical activity through policy, systems, and environmental change.

Nicole also served as co-chair of the City’s Active Transportation Committee, Traffic Safety Committee, and Outreach Chair for York County Walks, a countywide initiative promoting the health benefits of walking for physical activity. She also led countywide injury prevention initiatives focused on fall prevention for older adults and child passenger safety as a National Child Passenger Safety Technician. Additionally, Nicole is an alum of the 2019 America Walks National Walking College and is now giving back by co-managing the State Walking College programs.

Nicole now lives in Kennesaw, GA and enjoys reading, maintaining an epic houseplant collection, improving her conversational Spanish, walking, and spending time with her two senior dogs, Lily Grace and Jax.

They join our longer-term staff Ian Thomas and Emilie Bahr, as well as our Executive Director Mike McGinn, who started in July 2020.