Bike Works Leadership

Bike Works staff is a diverse group of exceptional individuals. They bring years of experience in the nonprofit, social justice, environmental, and youth empowerment arenas and are dedicated to service toward young people, cycling, and building sustainable communities.


Deb Salls Executive Directordeb pic

A little bit about me
I grew up in Minneapolis and have lived in St Louis and Chicago and moved to Seattle for this position. I have a BA in Anthropology and an M.Ed. in Youth Development Leadership from the University of MN, as well as a Master’s in Nonprofit Management from Washington University in St Louis. I have spent the past eighteen years in youth development work and nonprofit management.

Why I work at Bike Works
Helping young people to become better leaders, explore their communities and expand their world view has been a theme in my life and career. Bike Works innovatively elevates the bicycle to a tool for education and transformation, which inspires me. I am passionate about social justice for our communities, youth empowerment, leadership development, civic engagement, our environment and social innovation. I feel like Bike Works programs and staff embodies the very best of all these things in one wonderful organization that is positively impacting our community every day. I am excited to be part of this work.


Tina Bechler Program Directortina-new-2

A little bit about me
I grew up here in Seattle and spent my formative years pedaling the hills of our city on a series of used and recycled bikes. I went to Madrona, Meany, Garfield, and Roosevelt before heading to California to attend UC Santa Cruz where I received a BA in Sociology. After graduation I became a bike messenger in both San Francisco and Seattle, traveled extensively by bicycle throughout Europe/Mexico/Central America, attended the United Bicycle Institute to study bike repair, became trained as a Wilderness First Responder, and returned to school to study Outdoor Recreation Management & Education at Capilano University in Vancouver, B.C.

Why I work at Bike Works
I feel like all my paths have brought me to this work. Cycling has always been a personal passion and part of going back to school was finding a way to integrate my love of being outdoors and seeing the world by bicycle with the youth of Seattle. This is my dream job, and at the end of every day I get to feel that my work here gives back to the community, and that if I’m lucky I may make a difference in the lives of the participants here at Bike Works through a shared love of bicycles.


Tiffany Tudder Development Director

Tiffany180x180

A little bit about me
I spent my entire life in the Puget Sound area, up until 2003, when I left for a brief stint in Minneapolis followed by a decade in Brooklyn. During my time in Brooklyn, I helped organize community gardening and compost education and programs while working in fundraising at environmental and cultural organizations in NYC. I always knew I would return to Seattle to live among its natural beauty and am happy to have landed at such an inspiring organization. When I’m not at Bike Works, you can find me travelling, exploring nature, going on bike rides, walking around the city, cooking, watching soccer, gardening, and hanging out with friends and family.

Why I work at Bike Works
When I moved to NYC, I ditched my car and discovered the wonderful world of alternative transportation. I love the way I feel when I’m riding a bike; using my body to get where I need to be while enjoying the outdoors and feeling more connected to my community. I want to make sure everyone is presented with the opportunity to feel this way and I am thrilled to work at a place where I can use my skills to help make that happen.

THE TEAM


Jasmine Bechlem Program CoordinatorStaff: Jasmine

A little bit about me
I bought my first bike for myself at age 14. I was busing tables after school at a Mexican restaurant in my hometown at the time and eventually got tired of walking to and from work. A bike seemed like a good alternative so I saved up what I could from a handful of paychecks and set myself up with a slick Schwinn cruiser.  As they say, the rest is history. Riding my bike gave me a new sense of independence and mobility. Suddenly I could get where I wanted to go, and fast! The only thing that limited me was my own physical endurance and know-how to repair a flat. Buying my own bike and learning how to maintain it taught me self-reliance, problem-solving, and gave me an enormous sense of pride in the value of my work. Looking back now, that was probably the wisest decision I made as a young adult. There hasn’t been a point in my life since that I haven’t relied on my bikes to get me where I need to go. From my brief stint as a messenger in college to mountain biking and polo misadventures, biking has taken me places and brought me friends I wouldn’t have discovered otherwise.

Why I work at Bike Works
I work at Bike Works because like me, this organization is committed to sustainable community building and empowerment, social and racial equity, and environmental stewardship. I am consistently impressed by the level of care, cooperation, and enthusiasm shown by volunteers, students, and staff at Bike Works. These are guiding principles in my own life and I have to say I feel so fortunate to find myself in a community that reflects these same values. I’m excited to help build a future that every member of our community can participate and thrive in through the work we do at Bike Works. For me, working at Bike Works means helping my neighbors discover the same sense of self-resiliency and empowerment that I found as a teenager by biking to work and school. Biking not only liberates us from economic and physical hardship but also opens us to opportunity we may not have known we were looking for.


Mike Buendía Recycle & Reuse CoordinatorStaff: Mike

A little bit about me
I have been living in Seattle with my beloved wife and two cats since 2010, and I’m totally enamored by everything the Pacific Northwest has to offer. If I’m not on my bike, I’m probably enjoying the finer things in life: pizza, swimming, arts & crafts, music, hiking, and kicking it old school. I studied Humanities at the University of Central Florida, aspire to visit the Grand Canyon, and love the smell of tomato vines.

Why I work at Bike Works
In 1896, a reporter for Scientific America wrote of the bicycle: “As a social revolutionizer it has never had an equal. It has put the human race on wheels, and has thus changed many of the most ordinary processes of social life… All are on equal terms, all are happier than ever before, and the sufferers in pocket from this universal fraternity and good will may as well make up their minds to the new order of things for there will be no return to the old.” Bike Works sustains and advances the social revolution of the bicycle, and I am glad to be a part of it.


Sarah Danilson Relationships Manager

A little bit about me
I was born and raised in Washington and have lived in Seattle since 2008. I met my (now) husband in Bellingham while attending Western and we are raising our two kids on Beacon Hill. My oldest is excited to upgrade his balance bike to one with pedals soon.

Why I work at Bike Works
I am a Development professional with a background in fundraising and events. Bringing people together to celebrate and raise funds for a shared cause is what I love to do.

The inspirational programs, the skilled and caring staff, the tireless volunteers, the passionate donors and the empowered participants Bike Works has all make doing my job here a dream come true!


 

Steve Gadingan Recycle & Reuse Coordinator

A little bit about meStaff: Steve
I am deeply grateful for my community and the magnificent geology of the Pacific Northwest. Over time, I have committed my life to preserve the health of the community and the health of the environment. I floated during most of my twenties, until I felt inspired to start swimming towards the nearest bike. After years of tooling in my shed, The Hub Community Bike Shop in Bellingham, WA reeled me in with lucrative bait…my first job as a bike mechanic. I immediately got hooked, I had the fever. I have been on two wheels since. That Bellingham fever spread to other passions: a B.S. in Community Health, three volunteer positions, and Squash (sport). Somehow I found myself swimming south and got caught as little fish in a huge marine ecosystem that is Seattle, WA. Now I continue to press forward, whether or not I am two tired.

 Why I work at Bike Works
This one time during Home Ec 101 in middle school, my teacher gave us a budgeting sheet. She told us to write out all of the expenses adults would have. While everyone in the class wrote in a car note with insurance and gas, my logic at the time blurted out “screw the car bills, I’ll take the bus or ride my bike.” This was about 10 years before I turned into a serious bike builder and advocate. A decade later, I feel that the bike is a very feasible and efficient vehicle to alleviate many of the world’s mental, social, and physical health problems. I feel very fortunate to be onboard. I feel happy when I work, one bike at a time.


Staff: Nikki

Nikki McThewson Shop Retail Coordinator

A little bit about me
I grew up outdoors and spent most of my time doing water sports until I moved to Seattle during high school. I soon was introduced to the biking culture and fell in love with the mobility, freedom, and identity that biking gave me.

Why I work at Bike Works
While obtaining my Environmental Studies degree through the UW, I had the opportunity to intern at Bike Works. I’ve now been a bike mechanic for 3 years and have learned everything I know about bicycles through Bike Works. I learned a little about social justice at Bike Works, too. Environmental justice and social justice are different versions of the same tune. I like being a part of the Bike Works’ team because our work helps address both. Biking fosters environmental stewardship and awareness. Bike works helps to create an inclusive bicycling community by making bicycling more accessible. I work at Bike Works to help in creating a bike shop culture where it’s easy to get involved.

 


Mark Pilder Warehouse ManagerStaff: Mark

A little bit about me
I’ve been riding a bike for 40 years. During that time I’ve visited a variety of solar systems within the cycling universe. Including over a decade on a bike messenger planet. A much shorter visit to the aerospace industry influenced carbon fiber wheel world. Six RAGBRAI orbits around Iowa. A trip to UBI in Ashland and a few brief jaunts to Seattle bike shop planets. The common thread linking them all is my love of bikes and being in, on and around their simple beauty and self-contained efficiency. Through Bike Works I’ve refurbished hundreds of donated bikes and gotten them back on the road, re-donated to various programs or sold in the shop.

Why I work at Bike Works
I work at Bike Works because it’s on a planet in a solar system revolving around a sun whose shine makes me happy and allows me to utilize my unique skills and experience in anthropology, poetry, carpentry, utility cycling, outdoor recreation, lean manufacturing, bike mechanics and art.


Kellen Rack Service ManagerStaff: Kellen

A little bit about me
I grew up on Vashon Island where we were lucky to have ample opportunity to run around in the woods, build tree forts, and ride our bicycles. I spent many years living in Bellingham, WA while I attended college and found The Hub, a small non-profit bike shop, and gamely began ripping my bicycle apart and trying to get it back together again. Many months, and volunteer hours, later I had developed a keen obsession with cycling and they had a new mechanic. In my spare time I enjoy traveling, hiking and camping, long bike rides, cooking, playing drums, and the company of family and friends.

Why I work at Bike Works
I am drawn to Bike Works because of the shared commitment to community, social equity, justice, and education. Working as a mechanic means more to me than fixing bicycles- it means creating opportunity: for mobility, for employment, for confidence, for health, for leadership, for social interaction, and for joy. One of the joys of my job here is the chance I have to offer education and encouragement to riders of all stripes.


Martez Rice Youth Outreach Coordinatormartez

A little bit about me
I was born in Seattle but spent most of my years living in Tacoma. I attended the University Of Washington where I received my BA in communications and media. I am self-proclaimed ‘Culture Junky.’ This includes everything from skateboarding, clothing, sports, and art to the people I meet through such activities. My mission in life is to gain a diverse understanding of the world around me by engaging with others. And maybe one day I can be cooler than Ferris Bueller.

Why I work at Bike Works
I’ve always had a sense of responsibility to pass on opportunities that I wish I had when I was younger. I’ve worked in several youth positions that help youth embrace and be a part of change. Bike Works gives me a chance to do just that on a bigger platform! I get to be in a great city and work around great people; the fact that I get to do it on a bike is a bonus.


Ben Schultz Senior Programs Coordinator

When I moved to Pittsburgh, I was excited to ride my old Ross ten-speed around the city. Sometime during the first night, someone destroyed it. It wasn’t until I moved to Chicago to play music, five years later, that I found myself on a bike again, this time as a messenger. Bikes – working as a mechanic, playing bike polo, becoming a dedicated commuter – quickly permeated my life.

Eleven years later, I joined the Wisconsin Bike Federation to oversee the youth shop.  I witnessed structure, consistency, dedication making a positive impact. Everyone – mentors and students – grew and developed a real sense of skill, confidence, and accomplishment. Bike Works is invested in this same mission, Seattle is a dynamic city –  I’m all in.

 

 


Seth Short Program Coordinator

A little bit about me
I was born in rural Kentucky and attended college at Western Kentucky University to study sustainability
and planning. After graduating I lived in Boston, MA briefly and interned with the Boston Cyclists Union and worked at the Hubway bike share. In 2013 I moved back to Kentucky to live in Louisville where I worked at a TV station part time and helped start a bicycle co-op. Through my whole life I’d never been further west than Fargo, ND but jumped at the opportunity to move to the pacific northwest to be at Bike Works. In my free time I like to make music, art, and write. I also like to play soccer and climb at the local bouldering gym. There is a lot for me to learn and explore in this region and I’m looking forward to experiencing it all.

Why I work at Bike Works
When I moved to college I started biking as a fun method of transportation as well as exercise but I quickly fell in love with the many financial, social, and environmental benefits that cycling provided. Learning to fix my bike made me feel empowered and organizing group rides made me feel like part of a fun and diverse community. All of my experiences since I became a bicycle “life-stylist” have led me to this position at Bike Works where I hope to both share my knowledge and continue learning myself.

 

 


Selina Urena Development Coordinator IMG_0860

A little bit about me
I am from a little town in Oregon that serves as a hub for bike touring along the Pacific coast. While I grew up watching cyclists come and go, I did not get my own bike until after college. But once I had the taste of that special freedom only a bicycle can bring, I was hooked. I wanted to learn everything.  I went back to tech school to become a bicycle mechanic and have been using that power to bring the joy of cycling to my community ever since.

I could write a book on how to be the worst cyclist ever: tales of wet, rainy train tracks, encounters with semi trucks on sidewalks, constantly forgetting commuter essentials, and putting all my heavy groceries in one pannier (bad idea when clipping in). But somehow, I just laugh it off and keep on pedaling toward my next adventure- and mishap.

Why I work at Bike Works
When I moved to Seattle, I immediately fell in love with Bike Works (who wouldn’t?!). Bike Works stands for everything that I believe in: youth empowerment, leadership development, sustainable communities, and creating equal opportunity. I truly believe that the bicycle can be a vehicle for change. I couldn’t be happier to come to work every day and be surrounded by people that feel that way too.


Shawna Williams Senior Programs Coordinator

A little bit about me
Growing up in a military family, the concept of “home” always seemed a bit elusive and impermanent. It wasn’t until we settled down in the Puget Sound that the word became meaningful. For the past 13 years, biking has allowed me to explore the incredible sights, smells and sounds of the first place I’ve felt a sense of true belonging. On any given day I can be found riding my bike around Seattle, tutoring a group of 4th and 5th graders on the finer points of reading and puns, working on a route at the climbing gym or hunkering down with a good read. My obsessions include anything ginger flavored, documentaries, and sloths.

Why I work at Bike Works
Working as a bicycle mechanic with a background in community development, I can see the ways in which bikes are a tool for social change. I am also aware that the industry has largely excluded the people who could benefit from bicycles the most. Bike Works continually impresses me with its determination to foster a more creative bicycle story. The commitment to social justice, inclusivity, reducing waste and promoting community leadership inspires me to think about bikes and people in ever changing ways. I am uninterested in being part of something that promotes a single narrative; I want to help create a story that is filled with diverse characters and new scenery.