Born and raised in the LBC (where she helped start the school’s first student-driven recycling program while at Wilson High), April Economides took an MBA in Sustainable Management from Presidio Graduate School, served with several non-profits, then worked as marketing director of a Bay Area business-improvement district (where her longtime love for small businesses and ecological urban planning came together to lay the foundation of her future work), before returning home in 2010 to help green her hometown. Within a year she launched the City’s Bike Friendly Business District program, started the nation’s largest bike discount program (“Bike Saturdays”), and helped put Long Beach in the national media. She speaks to audiences around the nation about the business case for bicycling. She was an early advisor for the local parklets, organized the Park(ing) Day bike tour, and coordinated two zero-waste events for the Arts Council. She writes the “Bikes Mean Business” column for Women on Bikes SoCal and is on the host committees for July’s TEDxSoCal and September’s Pro Walk/Pro Bike. Her company, Green Octopus Consulting, works at the intersection of economic development and sustainable city planning.