I first learned about the SF Bicycle Coalition while searching the internet for San Francisco internships from a hostel in Chile in 2014. I’d never ridden a bicycle in San Francisco and I knew next to nothing about the organization. Three months later, I enjoyed my first bike ride in the city straight to the SF Bicycle Coalition office for my internship interview. Spoiler alert: I got the internship.
I loved promoting the bicycle for everyday transportation so much that when a staff position opened up, I jumped on it. Now the organization’s Program Coordinator and manager of our internship program, I’m grateful to the many talented individuals who give their time to support our organization as interns (and volunteers!)
We’re lucky to have three staffers in addition to myself who began as interns, and many more who have risen to take on new roles or started recently.
Anna Gore heard about the SF Bicycle Coalition through her work with a bicycle advocacy organization in Athens, Georgia. As soon as she arrived in San Francisco in 2012, she jumped into volunteering and interning. She started out as Bicycle Education Intern. After wearing a couple of different hats, including Interim Volunteer Coordinator and Database Assistant, she seized the opportunity to join the membership team and is today our Membership and Business Program Manager.
“I’m really passionate about the mission and loved the community of people I met during my internship,” Anna said. “Being part of the staff felt like a dream job for me. I was really impressed by how the organization was run. Staff, members, interns and volunteers collaborated so well.”
Charles Deffarges, our intrepid Bicycle Parking and Campaign Coordinator for the past year, was recently promoted to Community Organizer. As a San Francisco native, he’d been a member of the SF Bicycle Coalition while in high school – “but purely for the discounts,” he said. While in college, he became more interested in bicycle advocacy so interning with the SF Bicycle Coalition was a perfect fit. Upon graduation, he moved back to the city, joined our staff and now has a much deeper appreciation for all our work.
“As an intern, you are often working with one or two staff members so you only see one side of the organization’s work,” Charles said. “Transitioning to staff, you get to see and hear about everything that people are working on, which is a ton. The work we do here is incredibly important for San Francisco and to be able to do that full-time is an exceptional opportunity.”
Julia Schaber began as a Graphic Design Intern at the beginning of 2016 to complement her last semester studying Visual Communications at San Francisco State University. She was drawn to the organization because it aligned with her personal morals and values, even as she strived to be more comfortable biking in urban settings. It was on Bike to Work Day in May of 2016 that she found her wheels, riding to City Hall with her local Commuter Convoy and around town with the Communications team. She loved supporting our work so much that she applied to join the staff when the chance arose. Now our Graphic Designer, she’s impressed with the organization’s impact.
“I love seeing what an incredible amount of work such a small team can accomplish, and how far-reaching the work of the SF Bicycle Coalition actually is,” Julia said. “Our work doesn’t only affect people on bikes, but the entire community of San Francisco. I am so glad to be a part of that influence.”
We’re also excited about some of the recent promotions we’ve made to elevate exceptional staff members to new roles. Brian Wiedenmeier, now our Executive Director, passed the reins of the Development Director position to former Development Manager Tracy Chinn. In 2015, we were thrilled when long-time Community Organizer Janice Li accepted a new role as Advocacy Director.
In addition to these familiar faces, you’ll see some new people hanging out at the SF Bicycle Coalition office. Ana Vasudeo recently joined the team as our Program Director, bringing years of advocacy work around parks and green jobs to our work. Keep an eye out at public meetings on the waterfront and in western neighborhoods for Community Organizer Julia Raskin, and look for Membership Assistant Kelsey Roeder’s smiling face at Women Bike SF’s Coffee Clubs.
Come see us, won’t you? Whether at a Women Bike SF event, phone banking or at our upcoming New Member Meet & Greet, we’re organizing an array of events and have them all listed for your convenience on pages 13-14 and at sfbike.org/events. We hope to see you soon!
The Tube Times is published quarterly as one of the many benefits to members of the SF Bicycle Coalition. For a complete list of membership benefits, or to join/renew today, click here.