Brian Benson’s Next Adventure
It is truly a bittersweet moment for us today as we announce the departure of Brian Benson, our Director of Community Engagement. Brian held many roles here at the Community Cycling Center, starting first as a volunteer in March of 2008 then working his way up the ranks to his current director position.
“Brian is such a delightful person that it’s hard to think about not seeing him every day,” noted our Executive Director, Alison Graves. “But knowing that he is pursuing his dream of being a writer makes it easier.”
During his tenure here at the Community Cycling Center, Brian co-created a volunteer certification program that led to a steady increase in the number of highly engaged volunteers, many contributing between 30 and 200 hours annually. We now see an average of 30-40 dedicated volunteers every week on Tuesday Drop-In night, due in large part to the certification program.
Brian worked with our shop staff and volunteers to co-create our Guest Mechanic Program, offering training and support for volunteers that want to learn how to refurbish and build bicycles for our adult and youth programs. The Guest Mechanic program is a great way for us to offer dedicated volunteers greater opportunities for professional development and recognition.
Brian embodies our collaborative spirit, having impacted all aspects of our organization, from facilitating Bikes for Kids events with our community partners, to helping to remodel our bike shop with his father, to overhauling the Cycle Oregon week long bike detailing experience, to finalizing our Understanding Barriers to Bicycling Report.
Brian’s approach to improving our systems was to ask volunteers and staff for their feedback on what they thought would improve a system. He would mull it over and develop a thoughtful proposal, leading to an easier, smoother, clearer, and generally more fun process.
“I am endlessly grateful for what our volunteers accomplish, but even more so I am grateful for the community-building that happens along the way,” said Brian. “It has been an utter gift to help create this space where amazing people can come together, build friendships, and make personal meaning from shared accomplishments.”
Brian’s last day will be March 15 and until then he will be focused on making a smooth transition, training Randi Orth, our Volunteer and Outreach Coordinator, on the ins and outs of our Volunteer Program.
We wish Brian the absolute best on his grand adventure and look forward to reading his stories in the future.
Photo of Brian at Holiday Bike Drive by Lucas Balzer