Much-loved St Helenan, Richard Becker, was tragically killed in a cycling collision August 18, 2012. To honor his life of community involvement and outdoor adventure, his family has asked donations be made on his behalf to help build the Napa Valley Vine Trail. The Vine Trail will provide a no-cars-allowed, safe and scenic walking, running and cycling path for all ages and abilities.
“He was the sweetest and most generous guy you could ever meet,” said Vine Trail board member George Goeggel of Auberge du Soleil. “We will miss him greatly.”
Richard was a dedicated family man, extraordinarily involved in his St Helena community. He was never one to sit on the sidelines. He wanted to get out there, coach that team, write that letter to the editor, hike that trail, ride that Concorde Gavina bicycle, and generally take every opportunity to make things better in the world.
Richard’s amazing wife Jennifer and son Nathan want to continue Richard’s legacy of making things better. Their request to friends and family to donate to the Vine Trail in Richard’s name is something we think Richard would be proud of.
“We so appreciate Jennifer’s generosity and desire to help build the Vine Trail,” said Vine Trail operations director Shannon Kuleto. “We need to be bringing every resource to bear to improve cycling safety in the Napa Valley.
“Getting the Vine Trail built is absolutely key. The 47-mile Vine Trail is a Class I trail, meaning completely separate from the roadway and motorized traffic. It will connect our communities like never before, and safely.”
Thank you Jennifer and Nathan, and thanks to all of you donating to the Vine Trail in honor of the life well lived by Richard Arthur Becker.
Read Rich’s family’s loving obituary in the St Helena Star here.
Jeni Olsen is a Napa-based designer, mother and community leader who has given tirelessly to many local causes. Aside from creating the logo for the Napa Valley Vine Trail and AGRESPECT, along with most of the other design elements associated with the Vine Trail, she has developed creative campaigns and logos for many local businesses. Visit her website to learn more.
Recently, Jeni has been most passionate about teen advocacy and volunteerism, as she has seen so much positive energy and attention from those involved with her Roots and Shoots Napa Valley project.
Jeni earned the distinction of being a Trailblazer for her dedication to the Vine Trail project and selfless spirit with her approach in life.
Seasoned marketing professional, entrepreneur, and community leader, Chris Cutler has launched global brands, held leadership positions with local non-profits, and continues to build new businesses in the wine, technology, and lifestyle industries. With an education from USC and Stanford GSB, work experience at SBC, Siebel Systems, Swanson Vineyards and a variety of startups, Chris’s outside-the-box thinking and dedication to the project has helped the Vine Trail set the bar in marketing and community awareness.
Chris is an avid cyclist, father of two young girls, and volunteer Park Commissioner for the city of St. Helena. In 2005, he was victim of a hit-and-run in the Napa Valley when he was cycling on a local road. It was then that he decided he needed to help make a change and make it safe to cycle in the Napa Valley. When he learned of Chuck McMinn's fledgling Vine Trail Coalition in 2009, it was the least he could do to help build the website, social media, videos, events and other marketing initiatives. He was an active volunteer from 2009-2014, when he assumed the role of Marketing Chair for the VT Board.
Chris looks forward to the day when he can ride bikes with his 70 yr old mother, 4- and 6-year old girls, while his wife rollerblades alongside, in a safe, car-free environment.