Action Sports’ Most Influential Women: Miki Keller

This story originally appeared on Transworld Business and has been republished with permission. For more stories, visit Transworld Business.

Miki Keller: Women's Motocross Association Founder

twb_0611_mikikeller_wmn_2

Life's greatest opportunities often come when you're not looking for them. For Miki Keller, a Southern California native immersed in the world of boardsports, the opportunity to advance women's motocross was highly unexpected.

Miki was introduced to the sport of motocross while working for Morrow Snowboards in Oregon. "We had a track about 20 minutes away, and a couple of guys in our marketing department were into riding. It just looked really fun," Miki says. "I bought a used bike, started riding, and it just took off from there."

While Miki was still at Morrow Snowboards, they created a motocross race for the snowboard and skateboard industry. A decent turnout for the women's class sparked Miki's interest to get more involved. A few years later, she attended a women's MX camp in Colorado and met some people who were involved in organizing women's classes at motocross races. "They were having some internal struggles, and the executive director asked me to become more involved. I ended up taking over the reins of the organization in 2000. I did that for a couple of years, and then in 2004 I created the WMA [Women's Motocross Association] in Bend, Oregon."

The Women's Motocross Association was created to promote and help progress women's professional racing. "The motocross industry has become much more welcoming to women in the sport," Miki says. "There is now gear and equipment specifically designed for women, you now see women riders and racers in advertising, and it's no longer rare to see girls at the track--but it is challenging to excel as a woman in motocross. There's much less support for women, but female racers like Ashley Fiolek are helping to redefine what it means to be a female professional racer."

The WMA played a large role in the progression of female racing, and as the female contingent continues to expand, Miki has high hopes for the future: "The AMA Pro Motocross championship, now owns the WMA, and they are continuing to elevate women's outdoor motocross. The sport is moving forward. I could see a short women's series indoors sometime soon. In general, there's just more and more great opportunities for women in the sport."