When we shared the news of Margaret McCarthy’s appointment as Interim Executive Director, members’ heavy use of capitalization and exclamation points on social media was a blast for us to watch from the office. As staff and fellow members, we share that enthusiasm for Margaret stepping into this new role.
It’s no wonder that Margaret’s selection as Interim Executive Director drew so much member enthusiasm. Margaret’s been on the SF Bicycle Coalition’s staff since 2012, serving first as Volunteer Coordinator, then as Program Director. In those roles, Margaret has engaged with more members than we can count, on everything from teaching the next generation how to bike, to the important office tasks that bring folks together for community and a shared meal every Volunteer Night. “You’d be hard-pressed to find an organization more thoroughly powered by member-volunteer support,” Margaret told us about the SF Bicycle Coalition.
Prior to joining the staff at the SF Bicycle Coalition, Margaret worked on program implementation, fundraising and managing volunteer communities at other local nonprofit organizations. “From engaging tutors for after-school programs, mentors for low-income and at-risk middle-school students, and for several years working with members of the SF Bicycle Coalition, I’ve been proud to work for volunteer-powered organizations that connect people with opportunities to help make San Francisco the city we want it to be.
“Our members are the heart and soul of this organization,” Margaret said. “Getting to work closely and personally with our members has been one of my favorite things about being on staff here.”
Her dedication to developing community is evidenced in Margaret’s support of her colleagues, who she will now lead as Interim Executive Director. Margaret takes on that role today, Jan. 11, through the start of a long-term Executive Director, whose selection may take up to six months.
“In this role, my job is to support our excellent staff in executing their work, whether it’s advocating for better bike lanes, supporting parents and families in active transportation, or delivering safety education to thousands of people who bike and drive in our city,” Margaret said. “It’ll be exciting to see how much progress we can make together in 2016. From the expansion of bike share to groundbreaking for major street transformations on Masonic, Second and Polk, 2016 is shaping up to be an exciting year for people biking in our city. It’s a great time to be a member, and it’s a great time to get involved.”
Margaret can testify to how much your SF Bicycle Coalition is capable of, having watched the popularity and accessibility of biking soar since she first moved here in 2002. Back then, Margaret regularly commuted to her cafe job in the Inner Richmond from her Lower Haight apartment.
“Those foggy, early-morning rides through Golden Gate Park were truly magical, but I didn’t bike anywhere else besides work then,” she said. “I was intimidated and I didn’t have many friends who biked. It seemed athletic and hard. Then I moved away for a couple of years, and when I moved back, biking had exploded!
“I asked a friend of mine where all these bike lanes came from, and he said, ‘Haven’t you heard of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition?’ and signed me up as a member,” Margaret recalled.
“Now, one of my favorite things about biking in San Francisco is how sociable it is,” Margaret said. “I can’t count the number of times I’ve struck up a conversation with someone while we’re both waiting at a red light. I meet great people all the time biking in San Francisco. When you see me in the bike lane, say hi!”