CEO Mychal Tetteh Announces Transition
What an honor this has been.
When I began my work at the Community Cycling Center in 2005, I was hired as a Retail Sales and Outreach Specialist. I earned $7 an hour and was barely qualified to sell innertubes. It was the only job I could get in a bicycle industry that often requires experience that is difficult to come by. I couldn’t have imagined that I would spend the better part of the next 10 years working tirelessly to broaden access to bicycling and its benefits through community-based enterprise, an unwavering commitment to equity and a grassroots approach to advocacy. While the challenges facing marginalized communities are starker than ever, our organization has never been better positioned to work with our communities to build solutions.
It is with gratitude for all we have accomplished together and confidence in the great promise of all that the Community Cycling Center’s future holds that I announce today that I will be transitioning from my role as CEO at the end of the year.
As CEO, I’ve worked in partnership with the Cycling Center Community to develop a nationally recognised, class leading model for nonprofit bicycle advocacy. Here is just a sampling of what we have done together since September 2013:
Deepened our partnerships with communities–such as Andando en Bicicletas en Cully (ABC) and Cycling 4 Change–that stand to benefit most from access to bicycling;
Expanded the number of children (over 700) who participate in the largest Bike Summer Camp in the state of Oregon;
Driven innovation in bicycle-based education through Bike Club and a new STEM program at Helensview and Rosemary Anderson High Schools;
Engaged over 90,000 people from all walks of life via our bike shop;
Leveraged the bicycle as a tool for empowerment and a vehicle for social change through events like Take Back the Streets and Gentrification Is Weird;
Delivered thousands of bicycles to children and families living on low incomes, with thanks to everyone who helps make Holiday Bike Drive and Bikes for Kids a success; and
Refreshed our brand, logo, look and identity.
The past 10 years have taught me that when people come together with common values, practical ideas and a clear mission, breakthroughs in abundance for those with the greatest need can result. I’ve continually moved outside of my comfort zone in the pursuit of purpose. I’ve pursued purposeful work where challenges are greatest. It is at the intersection of challenge and purpose that I’ve found the greatest opportunities to make a positive impact.
It has been a privilege to work with the amazing staff, volunteers, and partners in the pursuit of our vision. I look back with pride at our accomplishments, and look forward with great excitement to the future of the Community Cycling Center. Our commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion has never been stronger. Our 27-member staff, diverse board, and huge volunteer base has never been more representative of the communities that we partner with every day. We recently received funding from Metro to launch an innovative Community Based Safe Routes to School Program in New Columbia that will see each and every child in local area schools benefit from comprehensive, multi-modal transportation safety education and encouragement. The Center is also poised to build and engage our base of supporters to strengthen the social fabric of our local community in unprecedented ways.
Beginning in January of 2017, I will be leading the Portland Bureau of Transportation’s Fix Our Streets Program implementation. I’ll join a team committed to meeting the needs of our most vulnerable road users and ensuring an increasingly equitable future for transportation in our region. Through the end of this year, I will continue to lead the Community Cycling Center and work with our board and staff to identify the skills, experience, characteristics and approach that will be best suited for the organization’s next chapter. We plan to have an interim director in place by the end of the year and a permanent hire in place by March 2017.
In the meantime, please consider joining me as a sustaining supporter of the Community Cycling Center. With as little as $10 a month, you can help ensure that our mission carries momentum when it matters most. Your regular monthly donation is an investment in a vibrant, thriving future where people from all backgrounds can choose bicycling to stay healthy and connected. I hope you are pleased with the work we do on your behalf; and I know that the best days at the Cycling Center are ahead.