Trailnet Champion – Liz Heller
This month’s Trailnet Champion is Liz Heller, Principal of Goldenberg, Heller & Antognoli. Competition drives Liz Heller. Between her basketball career at Beloit College in Wisconsin where she scored more than 1,000 points, her bid to join the USA Olympic Cycling Team, or her successful law career as a principal with Goldenberg, Heller & Antognoli PC, Heller has always been able to “mix it up competitively.”
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
How would you describe your community?
I’m lucky because I live in the City of St. Louis in the Central West End, and I work in Edwardsville, which is right in the middle of a network of amazing bike trails. The park is my backyard and I love what is going on with the linking of the trails throughout the city.
What makes you wake up everyday wanting work for Goldenberg, Heller & Antognoli PC?
I work with people who have terrible diseases, caused by exposure to toxins and they’re generally people who worked making $8/hour in terrible conditions. They’re wonderful people and the relationships we’ve built is absolutely the best part of my job.
What are some memorable biking cities, trails, or places you’ve experienced? What made them memorable?
I have competed all around the country and internationally, but the most eye opening experience was the 1992 Barcelona Paralympics. We trained for about 6 months, the first year after law school. My firm actually gave me the time off to train and we went to Barcelona and won a silver medal.
What do you think could most improve transportation in St. Louis?
Creating safe bike lanes would help immensely. I love how other cities are keeping bikes and cars moving in the same direction, but safely separate.
What are your thoughts on our Connecting St. Louis vison?
I am a strong supporter of the Connecting St. Louis plan. To be able to safely connect from neighborhood to neighborhood, will be critical for growth. I recently met with Trailnet and they spoke about traffic calming, which is a phrase I had not heard before, but the safety behind it is absolutely imperative.
In your opinion, what makes a city thrive?
When I think of thriving cities, Denver and Seattle come to mind. In my opinion, they have what Trailnet is trying to promote, and that’s making it feasible and possible to move throughout the city without a car.
Hobbies/Community Outreach you are involved with?
I hang out on my bike when I’m not working. Training takes a great deal of time and I love to stay busy!
Any final thoughts or words?
If you’re biking, there is always the risk of getting hit by a car and I’ve been hit twice. I love what Trailnet is doing to make our streets and parks safer. Thanks to Trailnet for all you do for the St. Louis region!