Public support and sheer determination is what will help Ryan Push Across America, but there is also a dedicated team behind the scenes to make sure everything runs smoothly.
Founder and President
Roger Muller worked in both academia and the business world before committing to his passion of creating an organization that would provide teens with a unique learning experience. On a diving trip to Grand Cayman in 2000, Roger dived with his brother Bobby, a Marine Corps combat veteran and a paraplegic as a result of an injury sustained in Vietnam. Seeing how much Bobby enjoyed the freedom of diving, Roger decided Stay-Focused would be dedicated to offering teens with disabilities the same opportunity to enjoy the water that his brother had experienced. Stay-Focused was incorporated in January, 2003.
Director of Programs
Ryan graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2011, majoring in Recreation, Sport, and Tourism. He learned to SCUBA dive with Stay-Focused in 2005, and was selected to be the first Stay-Focused mentor in 2007. Ryan competed in wheelchair track in the World Championships in 2011, and was a member of Team USA in the Paralympic Games in London in 2012. He recently became a PADI certified Divemaster in October of 2012. This spring he will Push Across America to raise awareness for the potential of all persons with disabilities, to highlight the importance of leadership programs for disabled teens, and to give back to the organization that helped change his life.
Director of Social Media
Brian is a 23-year-old senior at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, finishing his degree in English with a minor in Secondary Education. Brian became a PADI certified diver through the Stay-Focused program in 2006, is a Stay-Focused mentor, and is looking forward to his role as the Director of Social Media for Push Across America. Brian is committed to helping run Stay-Focused programs and furthering its mission of raising awareness for the potential of all those with disabilities.
Director of Route and Logistics
Push Across America
Paul has an extensive 30-year background in all aspects of cycling events, a 10-year involvement with non-profit sport management, and is a 25-time National Cycling Champion in road, mountain bike, cyclo-cross, and tandem bike racing. He finished fourth at the 1992 Barcelona Paralympic Games in the tandem road race as the pilot for a blind athlete, is a five-time U.S. team member at World Cycling Championships in five different European countries, and has competed in races in 20 countries around the world.
University of Illinois Wheelchair Track and Road Racing Team
During his seven years as the head coach of the University of Illinois Wheelchair Track team, Adam’s athletes have consistently proven themselves among the world’s best. In both the 2008 Beijing Paralympics and the 2012 London Paralympics, Illini athletes won nearly half of all the medals won by the U.S. Track and Field team. On the road, his athletes have won many of the world’s most prestigious races, including the London Marathon, ING NYC Marathon, Chicago Marathon, and Paris Marathon.