We are a hodgepodge group of mechanics, number crunchers, tech gurus, and marketers that have come together to make the Midlands a better place for cyclists.
Executive director of Cola Town Bike Collective (CTBC) since March 2021, Scott Nuelken served as president of the board of directors of CTBC from April 2015 until his transition into the nonprofit’s first paid leadership role. As leader of one of South Carolina’s only nonprofit bicycle shops, Nuelken works with the board, volunteers, donors and grantmakers to further CTBC’s mission to provide reliable transportation to an array of communities in the Midlands region.
An Eagle Scout with a long history of community service, Nuelken is an avid bicycle user and staunch advocate for cyclists’ rights and for equity for underserved communities. In 2012, Nuelken co-founded CTBC and collaboratively grew it from a grassroots initiative housed in a residential garage to a full-fledged charitable organization that has secured grant support from funders like BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina and Central Carolina Community Foundation. With his colleagues at CTBC, he has developed products like the Sprocket app, which features curated Midlands cycling maps to help local cyclists connect with safer routes. In addition to managing CTBC’s retail bike shop located at the Elmwood Ave. overpass in downtown Columbia, South Carolina, he works with local human services charities like Transitions, Lutheran Services Carolinas, Providence Home and Catholic Charities of the Midlands to provide bikes at low cost or as a donation to those in need. He has volunteered with various organizations to support those impacted by natural disasters, and he has served on Columbia’s Bike Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC).
Tim is a Columbia native, Eagle Scout, and original founder of the Cola Town Bike Co-op following the footsteps of the Blackbird Bike Cooperative. After leading the organization for two years, he passed the torch to the current Executive Director, Scott Nuelken. Now, Tim is thrilled to return to the organization that he helped build. “This feels like a homecoming,” Tim expresses. “I’m incredibly grateful to Scott and our exceptional board of directors for fostering the success of the Cola Town Bike Collective mission, which has made my employment here possible.”
Regan serves as Executive Director of The Echo Project and is a native of Laurens County. He is a graduate of the University of South Carolina. Regan co-founded The Echo Project along with Rev. Kennedy and members of NBMBC. He is driven by a passion for civic service, the fight against injustice, and a hope for a better South Carolina.
David has worked in the public sector working as a Senior Officer for the SC Retirement Investment Commission, which serves over 500,000 beneficiaries across the state since 2010. He has completed his MBA from the Darla Moore School of Business and was named in the State Newspaper’s Top 20 under 40 in 2019.
As a founding board member of the CTBC in 2015, David has worked towards expanding access to transportation and advocating for safer roads for pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists. David has served on Columbia’s Bike Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC), been involved in grassroots advocacy groups, and has written numerous grants to create virtual and physical cycling infrastructure around the Midlands. He has a passion for learning, cooking, and being outdoors.
Meg Southern Syms
Meg manages Marketing and Public Relations for a Columbia architecture, interiors & planning firm and has been on the Cola Town Bike Collective Board since summer 2019. She’s an active member of the Columbia community, serving also on the board of Columbia Opportunity Resource, as a member of Historic Columbia’s Palladium Society, and as the founder and chief organizer of local College of William & Mary alumni. Meg is a tireless champion for Columbia in her professional and extracurricular activities. She is a member of the Columbia Chamber’s Leadership Columbia Class of 2022.
Meg’s dad is a national champion and internationally-ranked Masters road cyclist and the inspiration for her interest in bikes. Meg’s own cycling is more hobbyist than her dad’s: she enjoys riding the bikes she purchased from CTBC around the North Main, Main Street, and Vista neighborhoods, primarily to and from local restaurants and Segra Park.
Jacob is a lifelong outdoorsman and advocate for human powered movement. He moved to Columbia three years ago and immediately found himself volunteering at the shop. From there he has become the Volunteer Coordinator and a Board Member. Previously he worked with the Lower Savannah River Alliance and Savannah Riverkeeper advocating for a healthy environment and outdoor recreation.
Jacob works as an Environmental Health Manager at the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control, and holds Masters of Science in Environmental GIS. He can be found throughout the Midlands enjoying human powered adventure in his free time.
Jackie is an Ohio native who relocated to Columbia, SC in 2014 for work as a Mental Health Clinical Pharmacy Practitioner with the Veterans Health Administration. She completed her Doctor of Pharmacy from the University of Cincinnati in 2011, followed by two years of psychiatric pharmacy residency training at the other USC in Los Angeles, California.
Her love for the cycling community started in college when she befriended a local bike team. After that, she was all in supporting her local bike co-op, volunteering for alleycat checkpoints, racing goldsprints, and cheering on her crew at cyclocross races. After a long, post-college biking hiatus, she knew that the Cola Town Bike Collective would be the reentry point to the cycling community. Jackie first volunteered with CTBC in 2019, helping to keep our shop organized and events running smoothly and spearheading grant pursuits for bikepacking adventures. She joined the board in January 2023. Jackie is currently involved with Cola Women Cyclists, a community for women, trans, and femme cyclists, and can be found on other local group rides. When not biking she is creating an amazing backyard garden or foraging mushrooms.
Angela is co-owner of Dialed Bicycles, Regional Administrator at Guild Mortgage Company, part of the Cola Women’s Cyclists group, and mom of 3. She has lived in Columbia for most of her life and joined Cola Town Bike Collective in August of 2022.
When not on a bike or at a desk, she can also be found coaching her daughter’s soccer teams and spending time with her family.
Karl works for a security systems company by day and creates incredible artwork by night. He’s been part of the Cola Town Bike Collective almost since its inception, and served as the Board’s Treasurer and Secretary before his current term as President. Karl is an avid rider and a two-time conqueror of Charleston’s Lowvelo century ride.
In 2021 a storm prevented the ride from taking place as scheduled so Karl rode the entire 100 miles on his trainer at home. Beyond his time riding and wrenching with CTBC, Karl creates amazing prints under the pseudonym Deerwood Press. He is also an active member of Columbia Opportunity Resource and a regular at Lula Drake.
Constantine Pournaras has been an Assistant Public Defender in Columbia, SC for the Fifth Circuit Public Defender’s Office for 11 years, where he currently serves as the Director of Community Outreach and is a founding member of the CIty of Columbia Municipal Homeless Court. Along with direct representation of indigent persons facing criminal charges, Constantine’s focus is on reentry programming by building and strengthening relationships with community service providers to assist persons leaving the criminal justice system to access housing, mental health, employment, and recovery resources.