Rob Cotter, Founder and CEO
Rob started out in California working on Porsche and BMW race cars. Not far away, Dr. Paul MacCready built the Gossamer Condor, a pedal powered aircraft. Rob became fascinated with the technology and built a 60 mph pedal powered trike. Highway speeds at fractional horsepower became an obsession. Rob became the VP of the International Human Powered Vehicle Association and directed the first solar car race in the US. With support from GE and DuPont to develop composite and thermoforming technologies, Rob built or contributed to numerous innovative vehicles/ He also served as an advisor to Gov. Jerry Brown, a Creative Director and a documentary producer. He worked with Anita Roddick, CEO of The Body Shop launching environmental and human rights campaigns. After consulting on Bike Sharing technology for NYC, it became apparent there was now a viable market for an ultra-efficient vehicle that was between a bicycle and a car. That was the beginning of the ELF.
Maureen Costello, General Manager
Maureen’s focus in life is to leave a healthier earth for future generations. As a journalist for the Portland Press Herald, she witnessed first hand how environmental disasters like leaking underground tanks at a gas station jeopardized the water supply of a small town in Maine. Earlier in her career, she saw the pollution solution provided by alternative transportation while working as Communications Director for the International Human Powered Vehicle Association in California. Maureen is thrilled to now be part of a company that is creating environmental prosperity by manufacturing and selling a fun, environmentally safe vehicle. Her results-oriented approach and ability to think strategically plays a pivotal role in extending Organic Transit’s track record of innovation and bringing green jobs to the USA. Prior to Organic Transit, Maureen worked in marketing communications for The Dialog Corporation and MicroMass Communications. She brings more than 25 years of relevant experience in business development, marketing, and alternative transportation to this position. Maureen earned her Bachelor of Business Administration from Dowling University in Oakdale, New York. When she’s not busy at Organic Transit, her favorite activity is joy riding and running errands in her ELF.
Tom Glass, Customer Engagement
Tom Glass handles Customer Engagement at Organic Transit. To say he is “mechanically-inclined” is a great understatement. He is also extremely personable and endlessly patient. In a recent survey, our customers credited Tom with doing a great job keeping their vehicles roadworthy with parts, info, and warranty-processing. A mechanic, vintage motorcycle enthusiast, and self-proclaimed tinkerer, Tom is happiest experimenting and developing new products. In 2013, he was brought in to lead production of the ELF. Tom plays a leading role in developing OT’s prototype vehicles and is constantly working to further improve the product.
Dr. Barry Zalph
Barry Zalph, PhD, PE, has served as an engineer, researcher, educator, policy analyst, advocate and consultant in industry, local government, academia, and civic and religious organizations. His works to foster energy and resource conservation, sustainable transportation, and organizations that respect and serve all stakeholders. He holds BSE and MS degrees in mechanical engineering and materials science from Duke University, and a PhD in wood mechanics and timber engineering from Virginia Tech. A life-long transportation and recreational bicyclist, Barry has ridden over 150,000 miles including solo trips of over 1,000 miles and year-round commuting in several US cities. He lives in Louisville, KY, where he founded Bicycling for Louisville, an advocacy and education organization. He is excited to join Organic Transit’s team to create safe, healthy, fossil fuel-free vehicles using technical innovation and local manufacturing.
Dr. Bill Chameides
Dr. Bill Chameides has combined more than 30 years in academia as a professor, researcher, teacher, and mentor with a three year stint in the NGO world as the chief scientist of the Environmental Defense Fund. He joined Duke as the dean of the Nicholas School of the Environment in 2007. Bill’s research focuses on the atmospheric sciences, elucidating the causes of and remedies for global, regional, and urban environmental change and identifying pathways towards a more sustainable future. Specifically, his research helped lay the groundwork for our understanding of the photochemistry of the lower atmosphere, elucidated the importance of nitrogen oxides emission controls in the mitigation of urban and regional photochemical smog, and the impact of regional environmental change on global food production. Bill has served on numerous national and international committees and task forces and in recognition was named a National Associate of the National Academies for “extraordinary service.” In November 2008, Bill was appointed the Vice Chair of the Committee on America’s Climate Choices, committed by Congress to develop a multi-decade roadmap for America’s response to climate change.
Doug Davis is the founder of Tumbl Trak, a gymnastics training equipment company with headquarters in Michigan and offices in Washington and the United Kingdom. His interest in Organic Transit stems from two of his long-held passions – bicycling and human powered vehicles. He completed the one-day Seattle to Portland ride in 2002 and 2010, and has been following developments in hybrid vehicles for years. He is currently working to develop an app that will display the heart rate and other metrics for those interested in combining fitness data with energy conversation, such as potential ELF owners. He lives in Port Townsend, Washington, part of a region with lots of interest in both fitness and conservation of energy.
Gabe Klein has over 20 years of private and public sector experience in cities and transportation. He grew up in the cycling industry and ran operations for the largest bike retailer in the US in the late 90s. Gabe also was an early executive at Zipcar, helping to model city operations and marketing, and scaling the company from less than 100 cars to the largest car-sharing company worldwide. Gabe served as head of transportation in Washington, D.C. and in Chicago. He launched the first and most successful bike-sharing system in the U.S. Gabe is back in the private sector and is a Special Venture Partner at Fontinalis Partners, and advises a number of next-generation mobility companies including Organic Transit.