Past Riders & Crew

2016 Riders

Jason Prince

Jason Prince is currently a detective for the Newport Beach police department. Prior to being hired by the NBPD, he served with the Los Angeles Police Department for 7 years. Throughout Jason’s 10 years as a police officer he has worked several special assignments including patrol, bicycle patrol/bicycle instructor, Venice Beach transient outreach program, child abuse investigator, Crisis Negotiation Team, and Field Training Officer. Prior to entering his career in law enforcement, Jason was a full time youth pastor at several churches throughout Orange County.

Growing up Jason was primarily a soccer and baseball player, however; in 2008, Jason competed in his first triathlon and has been hooked on endurance sports since then. Jason has competed in numerous endurance events including triathlons, cycling races, and running races including the Police and Fire Games, Ironman, a 50 mile Catalina trail running race, and the Red Rock 200 mile cycling road race. Jason was also a founder and former board member of Multisport Ministries, a men’s Christian triathlon team with over 2,000 members worldwide.

During Jason’s time as a pastor and police officer, he has seen the affects of human trafficking on many different levels. Jason has a passion to serve the weak and powerless and is excited to combine that passion with his passion for endurance sports to help bring awareness to the world of human trafficking.

Joshua Zwonitzer

Joshua Zwonitzer is a professional Athlete, who competes on Obstacle Courses (think Tough Mudder, Spartan race, Warrior dash) type events. He is passionate about faith, family, health, and traveling. Some of his hobbies include Beekeeping, Rockclimbing and Cycling.

The thing that make me passionate about this project is that together we CAN make a difference by being aware and sharing that awareness with everyone we know, And getting involved with organizations in our own community’s that are making an impact.
He believes that the fight to end human slavery and trafficking is one each of us can and should be involved in, in some way. Because we are or know someone that could be a target.
Joshua is very excited to be apart of the freedom ride project, and that we are able to make a real difference one conversation, one mile at a time!

Don Jeffery

Don Jeffery is a professional who is dedicated to his wonderful family, being active and healthy, and having a positive impact on the world. He graduated from Purdue University with a chemical engineering degree. Don has two grown and married beautiful daughters, and is now a proud grandpa. Over the years, Don has has qualified and competed in the Olympic distance triathlon world championships representing the USA in his age group for many years.

Don has participated in many fundraising activities over the years. Mostly for various diseases such as MS, Cancer, Alzheimer’s, etc. These we all very good causes with the funding directed at developing cures, as the people affected had no control over whether they contracted the disease.

Human Trafficking is a very different cause, this is a people problem, not a disease.People make the decisions to kidnap innocent victims and other people make the decision to contract with these victims. This is not about finding a cure, but raising awareness to help all understand what is taking place in our communities. By doing this bike ride, Don is sincerely hoping that he can contribute to making a change in the lives of those affected by this tragedy. Don is excited to be a part of the freedom ride project, and hoping to make an impact by bringing awareness to our communities, one mile at a time!

Gina Jeffery

Gina Jeffery is a retired Fire Battalion Chief from the Orange County Fire Authority after 25 years of service. Prior to getting into the OCFA, she was a Permanent Lifeguard for the State of California Department of Parks and Recreation as well as a Seasonal Ocean Lifeguard. Throughout Gina’s years in the OCFA she worked as a Firefighter/Paramedic, Fire Apparatus Engineer, Fire Captain, and Fire Battalion Chief.

Growing up Gina was a an athlete who enjoyed many sports. She competed in the 1992 Olympic road race trials in Altoona Pennsylvania, qualified and competed in the Hawaiian Ironman, world champion in outrigger canoe paddling, Competitive surfer, and a Lifeguard competitor. Her competitive days are far gone and now she enjoys just exercising for health with her husband, and being with her family.

During Gina’s time in public service, she has seen the affects of human tragedy. Gina has always had a passion to serve and protect those in need. She is very excited to combine the passion of helping to educate people on how we can bring awareness to the world about the detrimental effects of human trafficking and be able to see a part of the beautiful state on a bike.

Dawn Niday

Dawn Niday has had long career in Technology Sales, but is passionate about living an active and adventurous lifestyle. Dawn firmly believes that sports are a great way to build self esteem and inspire others to action. Dawn has been a dedicated fundraiser and advocate for the Challenged Athletes Foundation for 8 years and will now be adding The Freedom Ride Project and bringing awareness to human trafficking to her philanthropic endeavors.

5 years ago, Dawn was involved in a near catastrophic paragliding accident. Her medical team was not certain she would ever walk again, but through a great deal of hard work and some tears, Dawn fought back to regain much of her strength and every year she continues to see gains in her physical capabilities. This ride will be a great testament, to the mind and body’s ability to heal. She is looking forward to the challenge.

Elisabeth Gegner

Elisabeth Gegner will be covering many of the same miles she rode last year, when she completed her mostly solo-ride from Laguna Beach, CA to Bend, OR in 2015 to raise awareness about human trafficking and funds for a safe house in Thailand.
This year, her dream to cover the 1500-mile route with a team of athletes and committed crew this September will be fulfilled through the Freedom Ride 2016. So here we go!

For more information on how Elisabeth started the Freedom Ride, Click Here!

Lisa Bowerman

Lisa is a wife of 34 years, mom of two grown kids, and a full time Emergency room nurse. Growing up Lisa was a competitive equestrian rider, downhill skier and swimmer.

Her love of cycling began in the 90’s , and continued over the years while competing in multiple triathlons, including Ironman. In the past two years, Lisa has competed in masters road racing and time trials. She she was a top 10 finisher at masters nationals, and the 2015 Oregon state time trial champion.

This year Lisa has put aside her racing to focus on endurance training for the Freedom Ride. After riding several days of the first freedom ride last year, she knew she wanted to ride for something that would make a difference in people’s lives.
“I look forward to the challenge of the Freedom ride, meeting new friends, but mostly spreading awareness about human trafficking and moving people into action in their communities.”

This next year, Lisa will start a training program at her hospital to train fellow caregivers on how to recognize victims of human trafficking, and get them the resources and support they need.

Paul Salter

I’m a Kiwi (New Zealander) and first arrived in California in 1998, when the US firm I work for as a geologist transferred me here. NZ is great, but it’s hard not to love Southern California too! My first bike trips were a tip to tip tour of NZ and a ride across Australia from Perth to Sydney. After that I was hooked. Although now I’m mostly a middle-aged Dad and weekend wannabe mountain biker.

I heard about the Freedom Ride Project at Mariners Church. It’s hard for me to imagine someone being trafficked as a commodity for personal gain, even children, but it happens. Life is busy in OC and most things stay on my radar pretty fleetingly – human trafficking is something that shouldn’t.

I’m joining the Freedom Ride from San Francisco to LA to help raise awareness and hopefully make some small difference – and to see if I can keep up with a bunch of hardened road bikers who will have already ridden about 1,000 miles together by that stage!
Please consider donating to support this important cause.

Nan Kappeler

Nan is working with the media, raising awareness and bringing attention to the public about human trafficking. With a background in investigative reporting and sports coverage, she will be recruiting multiple news outlets to cover each leg of the ride.

Nan grew up in the Washington DC area. She attended the University of Maryland, where she was a member of the swim team and spent summers lifeguarding on the beach. After decades of swimming, she transitioned into triathlon and endurance events. She also is a member of the California State Lifeguards Surf Racing Team. Along with working in the health care field, she is a freelance writer and is involved with various causes.

Ronald D. Wortman

Ron is a “semi-retired” business professional currently residing in Costa Mesa. He is an avid cyclist and runner and is a competitive duathlete. He is a native Californian having been born and raised in Long Beach. He attended Long Beach City College and is a graduate of the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California with a degree in Accounting with emphasis in taxation and finance. Except for a few years as an oil company executive in Colorado, he has lived his entire life in Southern California.

On New Year’s Eve 2008, Ron had a near fatal cycling accident and was rescued by the Costa Mesa Fire Paramedic’s, who he credits for saving his life. His positive experience with them prompted him to complete the Costa Mesa’s Citizens FireAcademy and later the Police Academy. During his education, he first learned about human trafficking and its’ prevalence in Orange County. When he met teammates Dawn Niday and Beth Gegner, he decided to join the fight and ride 1500 miles to end human trafficking.

Scott Marcoe

Scott earned the nickname of MacGyver within weeks of joining the Freedom Ride 2016 in March 2016, as Marketing Designer, Mechanic and Rider. Not only is Scott a Graphic Artist and Designer at Roger’s Gardens in Newport Beach; he is also the mastermind and creator behind all the Freedom Ride Project posters and artwork.

Not only is Scott our mechanic; he also used to be the mechanic for the Trek Volkswagen professional Mountain Bike Team and, ironically, completed his mechanic training in Bend, Oregon.

Not only is Scott a great rider; he also used to race mountain bikes as a pro. But if you want the real story on why we call him MacGyver, you’ll have to ask him over his favorite drink, beer, and he’ll entertain you with a slew of stories about how he fixed one car with a pack of chewing gum and another with a bike handlebar.

His motive for doing the ride? “I love to ride the backcountry and enjoy doing good things for people. As a mechanic, I’m happy to help people who can’t help themselves.”


Janene Falsone

Janene Falsone works with Project Freedom Ride as a liaison to promote upcoming fundraising events in the school systems and awareness in our communities.

Janene is a wholistic kinesiolgist and is in private practice in Newport Beach as a Clinical Hypnotherapist. She is president of Newport Beach Hypnotherapy. Janene uses her warm gift of empathy and compassion to exclusively work with women and children clients dealing with past emotional trauma. Janene was motivated to give back to her community and get involved with charities since childhood. Charities near and dear to her have included working to provide funds and aid to the homeless and at risk youth. Janene holds the title as Mrs New Mexico America 2010 and used her prestigious title to bring awareness to countless charities though out the southwest.

Janene committed to Project Freedom Ride after becoming aware that every MINUTE two children are being sold into sex trafficking with a less then 1% recovery rate. As a concerned and devoted mother Janene committed to exclusively dedicate her charity time to the movement to end modern day slavery that exists in our very back yards and world wide. Janene believes that instead of reading statistics we should all do our part to change them.
Janene resides in Orange County with her two children and fiancé.

Tod Hillman

Video producer Tod Hillman is an LA native who has been successfully employed in the entertainment business for over 20 years. He’s an AFI-trained director as well a producer, editor and cameraman. Tod has also appeared as an on-camera celebrity host. His production company Hollywood Media Services has produced video for ESPN, NBC Television, The American Music Awards, World Music Awards, Critics Choice Awards, The Biggest Loser, The L.A. Marathon, The Los Angeles County Fair and more.

Tod began working as a fitness instructor but eventually caught the acting bug which didn’t come as a surprise since he was raised by artistic parents (his father was a world-famous composer / guitarist and mother an artist). He studied under a prominent acting coach for some time but his interests shifted and he began working behind the camera, studying Technical Theatre in college and Directing at American Film Institute. This started his career in the industry filming and editing some of the biggest names in Hollywood. Tod still enjoys an active lifestyle and has a weekly gymnastics regimen swinging on the Traveling Rings at the beach in Santa Monica.

To The Freedom Ride, I thank you. I’m honored to be helping raise awareness to end human trafficking. People need to know more about this criminal act and that it’s happening in our own backyard. I knew I wanted to be part of the team when I realized how much I didn’t know about it and wanted to help. Doing my part by capturing the energy, persistence, spirit and dedication of the riders on video will attract the viewers attention in getting them actively involved with Freedom Ride 2016!

John Grahl

John is an intern in Junior High Ministry at Mariners Irvine, California. In this ministry, he is a part of the Worship Band and is in charge of photography. He is a student and Irvine Valley College working on a degree in photo journalism.

Some of his hobbies include playing guitar, paddle boarding, biking, and going on adventures. Jon works as a freelance photographer on his off hours from his other job. He has a passion for photojournalism and will use that passion to bring awareness of human trafficking to the world and be a part of the next step to ending human trafficking. It’s an honor to be the photographer for the freedom ride project. He can’t wait to go on this wild adventure all the way down the West Coast to stop human trafficking.

David McGill

David W. McGill holds the rank of Deputy Chief of Police for the Newport Beach Police Department (NBPD). Prior to being hired by the NBPD, he served with the Los Angeles Police Department for over 25 years, working a variety of assignments including patrol and detectives, Anti-Terrorist Division, Internal Affairs Division, and as the Adjutant to the LAPD Chief of Staff.

David is the 1 st Vice President of the California Peace Officers’ Association (CPOA), an organization of 3,000 law enforcement professionals of all ranks that provides leadership and tactical training, political advocacy, and mentoring throughout the State of California. He will be assuming the presidency in October 2016. Throughout David’s career, he has seen first-hand the victims and survivors of the human trafficking trade, as well as the traffickers themselves who prey on the vulnerabilities of human beings in the shadows of nearly every community, large or small, wealthy or not. Encouragingly, he is seeing law enforcement transition from treating prostitutes and escorts in the sex trafficking trade as suspects, to now focusing their efforts in identifying and assisting survivors (victim-centric model). He is passionate about this effort, and he is committed to doing what he can to help reduce or eliminate this modern day form of human slavery.