Strava Appoints RISE CEO to Board of Directors
Diahann Billings-Burford brings deep expertise and leadership experience in community building to the rapidly growing social platform for athletes.
SAN FRANCISCO (June 29, 2021) — Strava, the leading social platform for athletes and the largest sports community in the world with over 86 million athletes and growing, today announced the board appointment of Diahann Billings-Burford, CEO of RISE, a national nonprofit that educates and empowers the sports community to eliminate racial discrimination, champion social justice and improve race relations.
This key appointment comes at a high-momentum moment for Strava with its community of over 86 million athletes which continues to grow rapidly, adding two million athletes every month. With that growth comes a renewed focus on ensuring the board is structured with highly skilled and strategic business leaders that will continue to accelerate the growth of its community and further amplify Strava’s position as the largest sports community in the world.
“Diahann is a proficient community builder who has worked across the private, public and nonprofit sectors. Her abilities and her deep understanding of the importance of seeking out different points of view and aligning them around a common framework and objectives we can all get behind will help accelerate Strava towards fulfilling its mission,” said Michael Horvath, Strava CEO.
That mission is directly linked to Strava’s commitment to connecting athletes to what motivates them and helping them find their personal best.
“I was not only impressed with the vision founder and co-founders Mark Gainey and Michael Horvath outlined, but how open and transparent they were about wanting to address some of the opportunities they felt existed within Strava. Being intentional about wanting to build a diverse community of athletes is key to future subscription growth, but in order to unlock that we have to collectively invest more time and energy around building those communities within the current experience. Strava is steadfastly committed to building a platform that is truly inclusive and I’m ecstatic to be able to bring my perspective and deep leadership experience to help build this new ecosystem with them. We are just at the beginning of our journey.” said Billings-Burford.
The aforementioned experience that Billings-Burford brings indeed runs deep and spans the nonprofit, private and public company sectors. A graduate from Yale University and Columbia School of Law, where she received her J.D., she has held several prominent leadership positions, including serving as the Executive Director of Cultural Investments and Vice President of the Time Warner Foundation at Time Warner. For a number of years, she was also the Chief Service Officer for the city of New York in the mayor’s office working to help 1.3 million New Yorkers connect to service opportunities more easily, and targeting volunteers to address the city’s greatest needs and promote service.
Understanding it takes long-term, intentional action to create lasting change, Diahann and RISE have brought solutions-oriented programming to the sports community during an unprecedented time. She has helped deepen partnerships across more than 35 states and in key regions such as Los Angeles, South Florida and Minneapolis, and she has developed multi-year partnerships at the professional and collegiate levels. Diahann has also directed RISE to hold more than 650 partner engagements since 2020, including hundreds of workshops across the professional, collegiate and youth sports levels that empower inclusive leaders and create a more equitable and inclusive sports culture.
Strava is the leading social platform for athletes and the largest sports community in the world, with over 86 million athletes in 195 countries. If you sweat you’re an athlete, and Strava’s mobile apps and website connect millions of active people every day. Strava gives athletes simple, fun ways to stay motivated and compete against themselves and others without having to be in the same place at the same time. All athletes belong on Strava no matter where they live, which sport they love or what device they use. Join the community and make the most of your sport with a Strava subscription.