New Shop Manager Kevin Brown

15 Sep
Kevin Brown on top of the bike sculpture in Arlington, arms spread

Kevin commutes by bike from Arlington.

The Sharing Wheels board has hired our first ever paid shop manager. Kevin Brown has been a Sharing Wheels volunteer for a year or two.

He has many years of experience as a bike mechanic, and has also been a bike racer and a bike messenger.

Now you can find him in the shop during most of our open hours (which are changing Oct. 1!).

We asked Kevin to tell us a little about himself:

“After back surgery I bought a bicycle for exercise and was hooked.  I soon took a job as bicycle messenger in Seattle while attending college.

The mechanic for the messenger service coached a racing team and recruited me.  I raced competivtly for 8 years earning a catorgory 2 USCF rating.  Family and career came along but I continued to use my bicycle as transportation.

Little kid Kevin with a banana seat bike many years ago.

Kevin has been a bike geek for a long time.

I have a love and passion for cycling. I enjoy working on bicyles and also sharing my knowlege with other people.

I have been riding my bicycles for thirty years now and look forward to bringing the joy, passion and expierience to Sharing Wheels.

Hope to make Sharing Wheels the center of the cycling community in Snohomish County.”

Now Hiring Shop Manager

9 Aug

Sharing Wheels Community Bike Shop is hiring our first-ever paid shop manager. Current volunteers and others who know their way around a bike shop are encouraged to apply.

Community Bike Shop Manager

Do you love bicycles – and helping people? Sharing Wheels Community Bike Shop seeks a qualified and enthusiastic part-time bike shop manager. We are a hub for all things bike-related in Everett, WA, and seek someone who wants to be the center of that wheel.

The shop manager will oversee daily shop operations and finances, ensure outstanding customer service, manage and develop staff (1-2) and volunteers, coordinate annual kids bike programs, and work with the Board of Directors to promote our shop’s development and growth.

Your day will include fixing bicycles, helping volunteers and visitors fix bikes, selling used bikes and parts, and assessing repairs and donations. See the full job description here.

Sharing Wheels is an established nonprofit with a mission to “connect unused bikes to people who need wheels.”

Hours: The job is currently part-time, starting at 20 hours a week, including the need for weekend and evening availability. The exact schedule may be negotiable. The job is expected to grow with the right candidate.

Pay starts at $15 an hour, and may be increased based on experience.

Apply by emailing your resume, cover letter, and contact information for three references to Board President Brice Howard,c/o sharingwheels@gmail.com. Your cover letter should describe how you meet the qualifications in the job description.

Position open until filled. Next review of resumes will take place Aug. 15. We hope to have someone start soon to allow for a training period with our longtime volunteer shop manager.

Start Volunteering

5 Aug

Volunteer Work Parties on Third Thursdays

Have you wondered how to get started as a volunteer at Sharing Wheels? Have you taken a class or helped with kids bikes, and want to keep practicing what you learned? Are you a past Sharing Wheels volunteer, and ready to re-engage?

Come to the shop on the third Thursday of each month for a volunteer orientation and work party. We’ll pair up new and experienced volunteers, and put you to work – fixing bikes, organizing, cleaning – wherever your skills and our needs meet.

Work parties are from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at Sharing Wheels Community Bike Shop, 2531 Broadway, Everett. Our entrance and parking are at the back of the Broadway Mall building.

Upcoming work parties: 6:30 to 9 p.m. Sept. 15, Oct. 20, Nov. 17.

Speaking of volunteers, we need a volunteer snack provider for each work party. Let us know if you like to bake cookies or buy salsa!

Bicycle Repair at Project Homeless Connect

11 Jul

While many people think of bicycles as kids toys, some adults rely on their bicycles to get to work, school, and services.

Bicycles are a cheap and efficient way to get around, but they do get flat tires, worn brakes, and other mechanical issues. Sharing Wheels Community Bike Shop volunteers will be at Project Homeless Connect this year offering minor bike repairs and secure bike parking for participants.

More than 1,000 homeless families and individuals attend the event every year. Attendees who travel by bike are encouraged to stop by the Sharing Wheels station for a free bike safety check. Minor repairs will be made on the spot. Volunteers will also provide valet bike parking for event participants and providers.

Sharing Wheels helps low income people keep their bikes on the road year-round. Anyone can use the tools in the shop for DIY fixes. Used bikes and parts are for sale. Classes and volunteers help teach people how to keep their bikes tuned up.

The shop is open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 1 to 6 p.m. at 2531 Broadway Ave., Everett. Entrance is at the back of the Broadway Mall building.

Hours will be expanding later this summer. Donations of cash and quality used bicycles help support our work.

Sharing Wheels Moving Forward

7 Jul

By Brice Howard, Board President

After volunteering thousands of hours at Sharing Wheels for more than 10 years, Kristi Knodell has decided it’s time to pass the baton. Based in part on a review of other community bike shops, the Board of Directors is currently working on a plan to move from an all-volunteer shop management model to using paid staff.

Sharing Wheels elected a new Board of Directors during the summer of 2015. One of our primary goals at that time was to find a new space for the Sharing Wheels shop. We are hoping to find a larger space with greater visibility (and heat!). Although the current location is very affordable, anyone who has visited the shop knows it is a little crowded. And if you’ve ever spent time there in the winter, you also know there is no heat.

As part of this discussion, we looked at other community bike shops in the area. It turns out most of them rely on professional bike mechanics for a steady revenue stream that keeps the doors open and the lights on so they can run their other programs. The Board identified increasing revenue as a critical step in moving to a new location as we felt we needed to plan for higher rent in a new location. We also discussed expanding the number of shop hours on a weekly basis, the possibilities of retaining an all-volunteer shop model versus hiring employees, and looking for grant funding. However, finding grant funding for any nonprofit operations, such as paying the rent, is always difficult and not a longterm fix.

In late 2015 we drafted a grant application to the City of Everett Community Development Block Grant program (CDBG) program, proposing to use grant funds to expand shop hours on a weekly basis. In May we were notified we have been awarded a grant of $9,000, which should allow us to open the shop up for an additional nine hours per week. We expect to start offering Saturday and some evening hours sometime in July or August, which we hope will greatly increase the number of families and individuals served through the bike shop.

Currently, we are in the process of hiring two independent bicycle mechanics (former volunteers!) to prepare bicycles for sale, and to perform maintenance and repair services. These mechanics are expected to increase our “ready for sale” bicycle inventory, which in turn will hopefully begin to raise revenues. A few years back Kristi made an extra effort to prepare bikes for sale, by putting in more than her usual number of volunteer hours, and revenues increased noticeably.

Within the next month or two we anticipate hiring an additional staff person, a part-time Shop Manager/Bicycle Mechanic/Customer Service Representative. This individual will staff our new weekend and evening hours. Because of grant requirements we will need to track several criteria during these hours, such as number of customers served, number of new customers, and grant specific criteria

We hope to fill this position by the end of July so that the new Shop Manager will be able to train with Kristi over the month of August. This job opportunity has a lot of potential for growth, and the newly hired employee will be expected to help raise revenue and/or funding to pay for their position over the long term.

Volunteers will continue to be an essential part of our shop operations – we just won’t rely on one person’s dedication.

 

Kristi is planning to step down as Shop Manager at the end of August. Thanks to her years of hard work and careful management of Sharing Wheels, we are poised to grow over the next few years.

New Board Member Needed

5 May

Sharing Wheels Community Bike Shop is an Everett nonprofit established in 2001. We seek a board member with vision and a willingness to be hands-on.

We are looking for people with experience and expertise in one or more of the following areas:

  • Nonprofit or business management
  • Real estate
  • Fundraising and grants
  • Budgeting and finance
  • Community connections

Ideal candidates have demonstrated a passion for bicycles or community-building, and have participated in significant ways in other nonprofit organizations.

Applications are due May 18. Download the Board_Application.doc (PDF)

The new Sharing Wheels Board is working to develop and implement a strategic vision and operations plan to move the organization forward. The board meets monthly, and each member has an area of focus. The term runs through January 2017.

 

Kids Bike Repair Parties

21 Apr

kids bikes4-9 p.m. Tuesdays

The Kids Bike Swap is made possible only by the work of our amazing volunteers. Join us for a repair party every Tuesday night through June 7.

All mechanical abilities are welcome. A willingness to learn and get greasy is all you need. Drop-in for an hour or two during a repair party, or anytime during open hours.

We also need donations of gently-used kids bikes for the Kids Bike Swap. Check your garage, talk to some neighbors, post on social media – then bring your donations by any time we are open.

4-9 p.m. Tuesdays at the bike shop, 2531 Broadway, Everett, WA. Entrance at the back.