Kasandra Griffin has decided to leave her job as Executive Director of the northeast Portland-based nonprofit Community Cycling Center.
In a statement to be released later today, the CCC says Griffin will leave at the end of February to spend more time with her family (Griffin and her wife are expecting a baby in early March). Taking her place will be longtime staffer Jonnie Ling, who’s been with the organization since being hired as a seasonal mechanic in 2008. Ling has worked his way up to Director of Programs and Enterprise, which means he supervises the managers of the CCC’s retail shop (Northeast Alberta Street), summer camps, and community programs.
Griffin began her tenure with the CCC in summer of 2017 and had previously worked for Upstream Public Health and served many years as a board member of The Street Trust. At the CCC, Griffin was a strong voice for cycling and active transportation activism. She spoke recently at the 2030 Bike Plan rally and was a member of the Getting There Together Coalition that’s pushing for a greener Metro transportation bond measure.
Ling is 38 years old and was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio. He moved to Portland in 2007 to attend furniture making school at (now defunct) Oregon College of Art and Craft. He worked part-time as a mechanic at the CCC while still in school and has done pretty much every job at the organization in the 11 years since he was first hired. Asked what keeps him committed to the CCC he said a lot of it has to do with the people. “I find camaraderie and a shared sense of purpose with a lot of the people here.” He also loves how the mission of the organization is so closely tied to the surrounding community.
One of the biggest projects on Ling’s plate was served to him by Griffin: An effort to establish a CCC presence in east Portland. With many of their former customers, supporters, and friends from north and northeast Portland displaced to further-out neighborhoods, the CCC wants to open a resource to serve them. Griffin secured a donor pledge of $50,000 for that initiative and Ling plans to carry on conversations with the board and partners to see it through.
While the CCC is in solid shape and is poised for another strong summer season with their programs and retail shop, Griffin had one final plea she wanted to make sure made it into this story: “We need more bikes right now!”
Between their Holiday Bike Drive, STEM bike mechanic program at local high schools, and a bustling retail shop that sells used bikes, Griffin said they need about 1,500 bikes per year to keep the gears turning. They’re about 200 bikes short at the moment.
If you’ve got a used bike in your garage or basement, roll it over to the shop any day of the week at 1700 NE Alberta, 10:00 am to 6:00 pm.
— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and email@example.com
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