Bike Works Staff

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.


Rich Brown Program Manager
he/him

A little bit about me

I am originally from Southern California but now I call the Northwest my home. I learned A Black cyclist with a black helmet and sunglasses on sitting in an orange chairhow to ride a bicycle at age five and rode BMX competitively from age 12 to 16. The BMX community was not very diverse and I quit racing and focused on Baseball, Track, and Football. These sports were very diverse and I felt more welcomed and accepted. I did ride bikes a little in college but it just wasn’t the same to me. Following college I embarked on a prosperous career in the High Tech Industry during the 90s. Still again I saw the lack of diversity and people that looked like me. After 10 years in the Tech Industry I decided to take my knowledge of computers and give back to the community. I then began teaching technology at both the University and Community college levels where it was more diverse but not enough. Following that I became a technical instructor at a local non-profit where the mission was to provide technology access and STEM education to youth of color. After 10 years of teaching (there’s a theme here), I decided to take some time off work to travel and play music (DJ, playing the trumpet, and trombone) for about three years. Those were some of the funnest times of my life! In 2012 my passion for cycling was reignited when he began working at REI. Nowadays, it’s hard for me to stay off one of my many bikes for more than a day or two.

Why I work at Bike Works

My experience and background in Education, Youth Programming, Environmental Justice, and Diversity and Inclusion aligns perfectly with Bike Works’ vision and mission. This all resonates with my personal goals and desires to work for Racial Equity and Social Justice reform in South Seattle and King County.


Mike Buendia Shop Mechanic
he/him

A little bit about me Tan cutie with hi-top sneakers, short shorts, denim jacket, biking with a beach towel and pizza box in the front basket, thermos full of cold brew in the bottle cage, and a skateboard on the rear rack. Long wavy hair coming out from beneath a helmet, blowing in the breeze.

Picture this: Tan cutie with hi-top sneakers, short shorts, denim jacket, biking with a beach towel and pizza box in the front basket, thermos full of cold brew in the bottle cage, and a skateboard on the rear rack. Long wavy hair coming out from beneath a helmet, blowing in the breeze. Singing along to hot jams blasting out of some undisclosed bluetooth speaker. If seen, please say, “hey!” I love meeting new people.

Why I work at Bike Works

I have worked on and off for Bike Works in various roles since 2013. Originally I came here because I am an advocate for bikes as a means for empowerment, and believe Bike Works is doing that better than any other organization in Seattle. I’m still here because the staff and work culture are super rad, and I still love and believe in bikes. 


Simon Durbin Shop/Recycle & Reuse Mechanic Coordinator
he/him

A little bit about meA person wearing a mask riding a bike with a green basket and pink water bottle

I have been a resident of South Seattle for 17 years. I was in Bike Works programs from age 11 to 18 and started working here at age 17. I enjoy serving my community and helping with what I can. I am thankful to work with such positive people who are open to share and communicate.

Why I work at Bike Works

What keeps me motivated to work at Bike Works is our strong team of staff who are passionate about what they do and care about the impact they make. There is always an opportunity to learn more when I clock and that makes me feel a step ahead. 


Ed Ewing Executive Director
he/him

A little bit about me

I was born and raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and developed a love for cycling through family bike trips and riding to work with my Dad. I started bike racing in ’83 and actively race today. After graduating from the College of St. Thomas in ’88, I moved to Seattle to start a twenty year career in Sales & Marketing.

I join Bike Works with 31 years of marketing, sales, project development, strategic planning, and non-profit leadership experience. I have a passion for racial equity, diversity, and inclusion, and have developed and implemented successful equity-focused programs initiatives that present community-minded solutions. In 2007, I co-founded and directed the Major Taylor Project, a year-round youth development cycling initiative focused on creating access and opportunities for Black and Brown youth in diverse and underserved communities. I believe in meeting challenges with an innovative and authentic visionary approach to inspire team members and community partners. I believe in strong community partnerships, building and promoting positive, authentic relationships, and leading with a collective voice.

Why I work at Bike Works

I am excited by the possibilities at Bike Works and in its community. It is an honor and extreme pleasure to be working in an organization so deeply committed to Racial Equity. The passion and commitment of the Bike Works Staff, Board, volunteers, and supporters, positively transforms the lives of youth. This aligns with my personal and professional beliefs, I feel blessed to be working with such an amazing organization.


Steven Gadingan Recycle & Reuse Director
he/him

A little bit about meSteve works on a bike

I am deeply grateful for my community and the geology of Washington state. After years of moving throughout the USA as a military brat, I settled in Bellingham, WA. I was never a mechanically minded person, but I somehow found myself at the campus bike shop more than the library. The Hub Community Bike Shop caught wind of my new found passion and reeled me in with lucrative bait, my first job as a bike mechanic. I got hooked. That new community defined my formative years: squash & pickleball, volunteering at a food bank, volunteering at a music nonprofit, and pursuing a science degree in Public Health in my late twenties. Suddenly, the current shifted and this little fish got swept up into the huge Seattle marine ecosystem. Six years later, I’ve helped process over a million pounds of material.

Why I work at Bike Works

This one time in Home Ec 101, our instructor gave us a budgeting sheet. She told us to write out all of the expenses of an adult. While everyone in the class wrote in a car payment with insurance and gas, I thought “screw the car bills, I’ll take the bus or ride my bike.” I had this premonition 10 years before I turned into a serious bike mechanic and social justice advocate. A decade later, I view the bike as a tool to help alleviate mental, social, and physical health problems. I feel very fortunate to be a part of Bike Works. I feel happy when I work, one bike at a time.


Jess Green Development Director
she/her

A little bit about me

I first learned to ride my bike as a kid in Woodland Park. The feeling of exhilaration from the wind on my face stuck with me. I always feel more connected to myself and my surroundings on my bike.

Why I work at Bike Works

I left Seattle briefly to study Human Rights and Spanish in Connecticut and Chile, but returned to my hometown as soon as I graduated. A commitment to social justice has always fueled my fundraising, from supporting independent media, to building local economies, to expanding access to education. I am proud to work with a smart and passionate team at Bike Works at the intersection of climate justice, economic opportunity, and community-led organizing.


Elise Hirschi Development & Communications Manager
she/her

A little bit about me

I grew up in Seattle, cutting my cycling teeth at a young age by riding up and down Capitol Hill throughout childhood & adolescence. My love for gaining elevation on 2 wheels was further stoked during my time living and studying in Vancouver BC, conquering a 16km/700ft gain (one-way) commute from home to work & school. I earned a Bachelor’s in Health & Human Services with a minor in Spanish, while exploring the vast outdoor playground of British Columbia. I spent about a year in Mexico during that time learning Spanish, and then moved to Prague, the “City of a Hundred Spires” in 2014 to work as a freelance copywriter, grant writer, and English teacher. I’ve been back in Seattle since 2015, working for several local nonprofits and volunteering for social justice causes, and spending 2 years working to eliminate racism & empower women with YWCA Seattle before landing my dream job in the Development department at Bike Works.

Why I work at Bike Works

During my time as a Sustainability Coordinator for the Continuing Education Department at UBC, I applied for a small grant to begin a bike-share program for international students who may not have the resources, knowledge, or time to acquire their own bikes during their stay in Vancouver. This was when my passion for promoting access to cycling was cinched. Bike commuting, touring, and mountain biking enrich my life and shape my personality, lifestyle, health, and social networks. I want everybody to have that! Bike Works’ work and mission combine my greatest passions – social justice advocacy, youth development, community engagement and of course, cycling and getting outside.


Jim Labayen Adult Education Manager
he/him

A little bit about me

I grew up in Gig Harbor, Washington and asserted my youthful independence by riding the rolling county roads on my bike. Through many hours of observation, tinkering, and riding, bicycling paved a pathway to leadership, self-discovery, sustainable travel, and a career! I am an aficionado of Type II fun — whether it’s thru-hiking Olympic National Park, conquering my fear of heights while skiing and bouldering, or bumping elbows in local cyclocross races.

Why I work at Bike Works

I have been involved in the cycling industry since I was of working age. I’ve sold bicycles, worked as the head of a cycling program for people with disabilities, wrenched as a mechanic, and led rides for youth of color. Bike Works is the proving ground for my education, work experience, life experience, and philosophy.

Being raised by immigrants in a white space, I never felt American enough or even Filipino enough. As a shy, quiet, and introverted leader in an environment that favors extroverts, I never felt as bold, or as loud, or as eloquent as I felt I should be. Because of this, I am committed to fostering a space where young people similar to me can recreate, belong, and thrive despite any odds that may be stacked against them. I am inspired by my fellow staff members’ dedication to social justice and personal agency, and I feel honored to share space with young people who will shape our world. Mabuhay!


Chris Long Shop Mechanic
he/him

A little bit about me

I started biking in my teenage years, mostly to get to and from high school in the suburbs of MD. It was through that daily commute that I discovered the empowerment and independence that bikes offer. Outside of biking, you can find me outdoors hiking and backpacking, reading a good book when the weather is crummy, or spending quality time with my senior dog.

Why I work at Bike Works

As someone who enjoys working with my hands, working in the shop at Bike Works has been a perfect opportunity for me to grow my skills as a mechanic while also contributing to bike accessibility in Seattle. I believe strongly in what Bike Works stands for and am grateful to be a part of this organization along with all the other amazing folks here.


Tom Parker Program Coordinator
they/them

A little bit about meA person in a brown hat and black jacket out for a hike, leaning against some wooden stairs outside

I originally hail from the midwest and have moved around a bit since with much gratitude to have landed in the temperate seaside of Seattle. The bicycle has been a tool of connection for me since I was a child and my main form of transportation since about age 12. Living in this world as a disabled trans person from working class roots has influenced a lot of the ways that I relate to my bike as well as the ways that I have existed within bike communities. I am consistently amazed by the ways that I am impacted by my relationship with my bicycle and the ways that it allows me to connect with others. My work in and outside of bike community organizations in the last decade has been centered around youth empowerment, mutual aid, liberation minded community programming, abolition and anti-capitalism. 

Why I work at Bike Works

It is important to me to do work that I believe in and to continuously grow in my understandings and beliefs. In my experience, bike community work is always more than bike community work. The bicycle is a tool to be wielded in many different ways by many different people. Affordable and accessible transportation is just the beginning. Bike Works is a place where I feel like I am growing and contributing to an equity based project that is continuously growing and changing. This brings me joy.


Kellen Rack Shop Director
he/him

Staff: 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.


Allie Sarfaty Recycle & Reuse Operations Manager
they/them

A little bit about me
 

I grew up in the foothills of Colorado, where I spent my youth riding bicycles up dirt-covered paths. After graduating with a BA in Sociology, I decided to head west and not look back. I fell into the bike industry nearly on accident, and now it feels like I’ve come full-circle being able to work at Bike Works. When I’m not riding or wrenching on bikes, I enjoy playing D&D, backcountry skiing, and long summer nights.

 
Why I work at Bike Works
 

What initially attracted me to Bike Works was accessibility–as a trans person who has been involved in the outdoor industry, I have faced many barriers simply just trying to getting out there. I want to be the person I needed when I was younger, to prove to others and myself that people like me can be both educators and leaders in the outdoors. Bicycles are the great equalizer: fusing social justice, empowerment, and access with exploration, agency and most importantly, getting outside and having fun!


Khatsini Simani Program Director
she/her

A little bit about me

Put simply, the saddle is my happy place. When I was younger, I spent many Seattle summers whizzing down a cul-de-sac in Rainier Valley, feet tucked sturdily into my bottle cage. I’ve carried this memory with me into adulthood as a reminder of joy, a feeling I try to tap into often. In addition to riding my bike (occasionally with my feet up still), I enjoy taking photos, writing, doodling, travelling, and dancing. When it comes to program management, I draw from diverse work experiences ranging from bicycle safety education to information technology, research, and business development. I formally studied accounting and architecture in undergrad, although I love learning outside of the classroom the most. I bring this learning-centered approach to leadership and service, with a firm belief that everyone has something valuable to teach and contribute. I think what’s awesome about bicycling is that it can be a variety of things for different people. I believe that increasing access to bicycling, especially for young people, provides avenues for agency and self-actualization that are multi-faceted and impactful for a lifetime. 

Why I work at Bike Works

I believe every person should be able and empowered to access and actualize their vision of success, and I believe a bicycle can be a tool in that journey. I’m grateful to work with and learn from an extraordinary team of people here at Bike Works that are committed to the mission of the organization.


Monika Sharma Program Manager
she/her

A little bit about meA person in a red shirt leaning against a fence in front of two bicycles with red panniers.
 
I grew up in Western Massachusetts swimming, biking, and running around. Living and working in  westmass through my upbringing as well as undergraduate and graduate school fostered a passion for safe, healthy, and affordable housing in my own community. During my undergraduate years I was able to spend time alongside my housing work with young people and bicycles at an organization called Holyoke Urban Bike School which was modeled after Bike Works. After finishing my Masters in Planning with a focus on Racial Justice and Equity in crisis response planning I returned to hands on work through a move to Seattle to work in home repair for low-income and disabled homeowners. Along with riding bikes and building things, I also spend time printmaking.
 
Why I work at Bike Works
 
I have been lucky to work in hands-on education through bikes, construction, and carpentry in combination with my affordable housing work. I am excited to bring my passion for equity and hands on education into work with youth and bikes, especially girls and young women. I believe bicycles can be a tool for empowerment, self-discovery, and growth. Breaking down barriers to biking is an important part of the Bike Works mission. Making bike spaces open and welcoming to people from all different backgrounds is very important to me and Bike Works is already on that path. 

Seth Short Recycle & Reuse Community Manager
he/him

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.


Nick Strother Lead Mechanic
he/him

A little about me

I grew up in western Pennsylvania riding dirt bikes. I went to college and started commuting by bicycle. I moved to Seattle in 2015. I love all the 80’s cars that are still on the roads out here. I own three! I like off-trail exploration. Outside of work you’ll find me swimming/snorkeling/canoeing the local waters, taking photographs, and bike commuting from West Seattle.

Why I work at Bike Works

Bike Works was a great resource for me as a newer resident to Seattle. I quickly fell in love with the vibe, its characters, and what it offered to the community. I jumped at the opportunity to work here and continue to work here just because I love it. 


Kae-Lin Wang Operations Coordinator
she/her

A cyclist stands in front of a sign that reads "Red Rock Pass, Elevation 7120 FT). Her bike is fully loaded for bike touring!

A little bit about me

I grew up in Texas and moved to Seattle in 2009 after college but never really did anything outdoors for most of my life. In 2013, I signed up for STP and for the first time in my life, I saw what my body was fully capable of. From there, I got really into long distance travel and had the privilege to thru-hike the Pacific Crest Trail in 2016. I spent the next several years volunteering with trails associations and learning to build trails with the hiking community. After surviving nearly a year with a debilitating health condition in 2018, I decided to sell my road bike for my first gravel bike so that I could fulfill my long time dream of bike touring. In 2021, I rode the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route after finding my racial roots during the pandemic that led me to instill my place in the bikepacking community and be okay with taking up space. Aside from bikes, I love baking sourdough, working on the farm, embracing my new found love for cats and documenting the people and places around me.


Why I work at Bike Works

I was connected with a few Bike Works staff after organizing an impromptu ride for the Asian community after the Atlanta spa shootings in March of 2021. I wanted to create a safe space for healing for those who had been also unfolding all of their past racial trauma. I was deeply craving close relationships with those who had similar lived experiences as me. For the next several months, we birthed Asian Bike Club that intersected my passion for bikes, connecting people, food and racial justice. From there, I knew that I wanted to work at Bike Works where their mission aligned with my values. I want to help continue making bicycling more accessible and inclusive and empower the next generation to feel the joy and empowerment of riding their bikes. I’m very grateful to join the team and be part of an organization that cares so much for the community and making an impact.


Isaac Wen Shop Mechanic
they/he

A little about me

I grew up in suburban Arizona and moved to Seattle to study at UW. As a student, I worked as a mechanic for the ASUW Bike Shop. There, I fell in love with cycling – it gave me a sense of freedom and community that I truly needed at the time. An incredible chain of events occurred, and I found myself with the opportunity to be a mechanic at Bike Works. I took it, of course!  Beyond work, I have a fondness for fixed gear bicycles, gongfu tea, and mushrooms.

Why I work at Bike Works

Bike Works’ goals resonate with me deeply. My greatest motivator is knowing that my work serves our community first, not a bottom line. I’m grateful to work with such amazing people to make our goals of empowerment and accessibility a reality.


Aaron Yoon Stewardship Manager
he/him

A little about me

Born and raised in Seattle (Supersonics), with frequent time in Suwon, South Korea, I cherish the beautiful nature and people here in the Evergreen State. Living mostly in the CD and Cap Hill since my Seattle U days, I miss pinball at John John’s on Olive and late night coconut donuts and coffee at the Bauhaus on Pine. My favorite Korean spot is the Kimchi Bistro on Broadway and the best pizza in town is a Hot Mama’s pesto slice with a dab of sriracha. I truly enjoy astronomy, mountaineering, kayaking the San Juans, the Seattle Humane Society, live music at the Tractor, biking to the north end beach on the Seward Park loop, and I’m pretty romantic about baseball. 


Why I work at Bike Works

I’m passionate in continuing to serve our South Seattle community while building authentic relationships with my neighbors. I think it’s beautiful to build bridges and bring in new people through the bicycle as we work towards equity and connection.