Position: Chief Executive Officer
Tom brings a unique view and dynamic contribution to Nine13sports. A visionary of the organization’s novel concept, he has been the primary force in evolving the development of Nine13sports. Tom brings youthful enthusiasm coupled with passion and real world experiences as a young professional. Despite his youth, he delivers outstanding management ability, resourcefulness and ingenuity. Tom is familiar with the many aspects of the cycling industry through his extensive participation in the sport as a competitive cyclist, employment experience in bicycle retail sales, and beneficial partnerships with bicycle and cycling component manufacturers through sponsorships and product testing. He is a 2009 graduate from IUPUI, having earned a Bachelor Degree with a personal penchant toward business and law. In addition, Tom demonstrates an innate entrepreneurial spirit which has been favorably influenced by his experience with family owned businesses. It is the combination of these experiences and personal characteristics that allows Tom to successfully guide the transition of Nine13sports from a concept to a flourishing nonprofit organization.
As a competitive cyclist, Tom became a four-time USA Cycling National Champion, beginning in 2005, in individual and team track racing. Cycling has been an integral part of Tom’s life since he was nine years old. His successes as a young cyclist awarded him a college scholarship and experience in the collegiate cycling arena. In 2004, he moved from Ohio to Indianapolis in order to train full-time, year-round with his cycling coach, and to reside closer for frequent access to the Major Taylor Velodrome. Continued achievements in the sport provided many opportunities to be a sponsored cyclist domestically and internationally.
Tom has proven his passion to share the joy he finds on “two wheels,” and recognition of the benefits the sport has afforded him, by spearheading the focus of Nine13sports to inspire, educate and provide hands-on cycling experience to youth in his community. His passion for the sport is coupled with a sincere philanthropic heart to ensure Nine13sports actively contributes to the equal opportunities and overall well-being and success of the youth in Central Indiana.
The culmination of Tom’s life experiences and choices has matured him into the young professional he demonstrates. In particular, lessons on the fragility of life, health and relationships were unexpectedly learned in June 2010. Tom was among 15 injured in a horrific commercial vehicle accident which killed his best friend. The serious physical injuries he suffered include multiple broken vertebrae, and a brain injury. These injuries have not allowed him the opportunity to return to competitive cycling and it is not clear if he ever will be able to resume his racing pedigree. Consequently, Tom is now channeling his enthusiasm and passion for the sport into the interests of Nine13sports. His commitment to ensure Nine13sports successfully integrates cycling into his community as an educational, influential tool to improve the lives of Central Indiana youth is fueled by the life lessons he has learned.
Position: Chief Operating Officer
Ashley Acuff is the COO at Nine13sports. She is originally from Springboro, Ohio, and graduated from Bowling Green State University with a Bachelor of Music in Music Education. She moved to Indianapolis in 2007.
In 2011, due to the recent resurgence in Indianapolis bicycle infrastructure, she bought her first road bike, and it brought back memories of her childhood in Ohio spent on two wheels, riding to the local ice cream shop, and the park to play with friends.
Ashley became aware of Nine13sports at a yoga fundraiser in 2013. After some Twitter banter about college football rivals, and finding out that she had recently left the world of education, Nine13sports brought her on board. Ashley is a professional at student interactions, working with school faculty, managing interns, and wearing many hats within the Nine13sports organization.
When not at a school site, or riding her bike, you can find Ashley SCUBA diving in Key Largo, or at local libraries with Barks and Books. Barks and Books is a program she leads along with her certified therapy dog, Starbuck, encouraging children to practice reading out loud by reading to dogs at the library.
Position: Program Operations Director
Chris Harris serves as the Program Operations Director at Nine13sports, where he’s responsible for the day-to-day running and management of the Kids Riding Bikes program. Originally from Lakeville, Indiana, Chris graduated with a Sport Management degree from Ball State University in 2012. After graduating from Ball State, he moved to Indianapolis and began working in the athletic department at Ivy Tech Community College – Central Indiana. After working in the athletic department for a year, he began the pursuit of his Master’s Degree from Indiana State University. While pursuing his degree, he was hired as a graduate assistant within the Office of Student Life & Development at Ivy Tech. While at Ivy Tech, Chris was responsible for planning recreational sports, in addition to health & wellness educational programming.
The Executive Director of Career Services at Ivy Tech, Chris Hancock, introduced Chris to Nine13sports in September of 2014. Mr. Hancock, an avid cyclist, had a vision of bringing Nine13sports to the school. This aspiration led to Chris planning and organizing five Nine13sports programming events at three Ivy Tech locations across the Central Indiana area during the winter of 2014. Furthermore, Chris reached out to Nine13sports about completing his required graduate school internship at the nonprofit and was hired as the first senior intern in November of 2014. His internship began in January of 2015 and was completed in May of 2015. Additionally, he graduated from Indiana State with his Master of Science degree in Recreation & Sport Management in May of 2015.
After completing his internship, Chris couldn’t envision working anywhere other than Nine13sports. It gives him the opportunity to make a positive impact on today’s youth, be an advocate for living a healthy lifestyle, and work with individuals who share the same passions of health, teamwork, confidence, and perseverance that he values. Also, it’s given him the opportunity to revisit his childhood passion of cycling and subsequently he’s become an avid cyclist since he started working at Nine13sports.
During his free time, Chris enjoys almost any type of exercise, listening to about every genre of music, watching his favorite television show, Seinfeld, spending time with his family and animals, writing, reading, playing and watching sports, and enjoying the great outdoors. Chris and his wife, Emily, reside in Plainfield with their 1-year old son, Colin, in addition to their dog, Charlie, and cat, Chip.
Position: Director of Communications
Nathan Wilson joined the Nine13sports Team as the Communications Director. Nathan’s diverse professional background includes everything from working for Harley-Davidson to video production, and is coming together to further two of his greatest passions: his community and the bicycle.
Nathan has been on two wheels since he was able to balance his first bike, and by the next day he was jumping that bike off curbs and homemade ramps. From there it was on to dirt bikes and motorcycles, but he never lost his love for his bicycle. Today, Nathan keeps both wheels on the ground on long rides up the Monon Trail and on Indiana’s country roads.
Nathan graduated from Ball State University in 2012 with a degree in Telecommunications. From there Nathan worked in sales and marketing for Harley-Davidson. Most recently, Nathan worked on video production with 12 Stars Media.
Outside of his professional life, Nathan’s interests include playing music, watching baseball, working out, and hiking, among many other hobbies. His favorite thing to do is spend time with his wife Rebecca, and their son, Oliver.
Position: Director of Business Development
Nathan serves as the Nine13 Business Development Director working with our sponsor partners that contribute to help us achieve our goal of putting more kids on bikes. Throughout his career he has leveraged his sales, marketing, entrepreneurial and programming skills to improve the Indianapolis community.
Nathan is the founder of ActiveIndy Tours – a city tour company that specializes in biking, running & walking tours of Indianapolis. He has a passion for leading a team of guides that excel in educating guests of all ages about all the cool places and spaces around downtown Indianapolis. ActiveIndy Tours continues to be the only company offering daily bicycle tours of the city and also conducts private customized tours serving as wellness and team building outings for corporate groups.
Prior to starting ActiveIndy, Nathan spent nearly a decade working for VisitIndy as a leader on the convention sales team that drove unprecedented levels of growth in the local hospitality industry. He became a trusted advisor to organizations looking to hold conventions, trade shows & sporting events in Indy by working to understand the unique aspects of their event and match them with local businesses that could help them exceed their goals. Along the way he served on local organizing committees for the 2006 & 2007 USA Track & Field National Championships, 2006 NCAA Final Four and the 2012 NFL Super Bowl.
Nathan is a graduate of Butler University where he earned his BS in Chemistry and an MBA in Marketing & Leadership. While there he was also a student-athlete running on the Cross Country and Track & Field teams. He hails from Valparaiso, Indiana and currently resides in downtown Indianapolis with his wife Melissa and daughter Kendall. In his free time he enjoys serving as a national level NCAA track & field official, working on DIY projects around the house and completing long distance endurance rides on his sport touring motorcycle.
Position: Operations Team Specialist
Born and raised on the east side of Indianapolis, Jessica attended Warren Central High School and holds a B.S. in Journalism from Ball State University. While studying at Ball State in 2013, Jessica began coaching high school speech and debate in New Castle, IN. With only one year under her belt, Jessica was awarded 2014 Heartland District Volunteer of the Year. Coaching speech is what turned Jessica into the educator she is today. Since then Jessica has held many roles in schools from coach to substitute teacher, and even outside music programming. After graduating in December of 2016, Jessica’s interest in nonprofit work with a focus on education led her to Nine13sports.
While Jessica does not currently consider herself a ‘biker,’ twelve years of competitive dance taught her the importance of being active and staying active. To keep moving, Jessica loves to hike, rock climb, and of course, ride bikes. Jessica can also be found pursuing more artistic hobbies like writing, singing, or playing the guitar. Jessica currently lives in Indianapolis with her cat Peeta.
Position: Special Programs Director
Aryn joins the Nine13 team as their Special Programs Director and lead consultant on all things pizza. Aryn brings a wide variety of skills to the table, along side an animated personality that is ready to grow. With a passion to work with the local youth of Indiana and an eagerness to grow the Kids Riding Bikes program, Aryn is sure to work hard to carry out the Nine13sports’ vision.
Born and raised in Avon, IN; Aryn graduated high school in 2008 and headed to college 13 miles East to the state capitol. She completed 4 years at IUPUI and received a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Health Service Management from the IU School of Medicine. In 2012, instead of jumping straight into the world of health care set off on new adventures and soon was hired by Sun King Brewery in downtown Indianapolis. After almost 4 years of working events and running Sun King’s merchandise department, Aryn found herself in search of something more and accepted a job offer with Nine13.
When she’s not pedal to the metal at work, Aryn can be found enjoying a wide variety of hobbies with her family and friends. Some of her favorite past times include: playing basketball or enjoying the outdoors, cuddling with her fur-family of 3 (1 dog named Suni and 2 cats named Taco and Chalupa Batman), night bike rides and ice cream cones, and even being sucked into HGTV for hours.
Even though Aryn’s plate is sure to always be full of pizza, she will be more than capable to juggle all the Nine13 organization has to add to it. Think she’s joking when it comes to juggling? Think twice because that’s her hidden talent.