Staff

Aaron Allen | Program Associate

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“Nothing you wear is more important than your smile.” – Connie Stevens

Aaron (he/him/his) has been a Youth Apprentice at Cycles for Change since the summer of 2013. Since then, he has evolved and developed the skills of a leader and is now a part of the staff at Cycles for Change. Aaron loves to converse, may talk off your ears with fun facts and new music trends, and when he’s not chatting up a storm, you may catch him biking around Como for the fresh air and natural amusement.

 


Monica Bryand | Special Projects Manager

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“There is no WiFi in the forest, but I promise you’ll find a better connection.”
– Unknown

Monica (she/her/hers) comes to Cycles for Change after 15 years working in the program area at Headwaters Foundation for Justice. She has also volunteered for over 20 years on nonprofit boards, city commissions, and task forces. Monica was introduced to Cycles through one of their many hands-on workshops years ago. She is excited to work on various projects at C4C including the Equity Council, community outreach, and much more. Being a part of an organization that supports getting more people on bikes and out of cars, helps to improve people’s health, and empowers youth is very rewarding. Monica is very proud of her street cred and winter bike–as long as the temp is at least above 20 degrees!


Magdalena Kaluza | Youth Programs Manager

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“Let us come together and remain hopeful as we defend and care for the blood of this Earth and of its spirits.” – Berta Cáceres

Magdalena (she/her/hers, they/them/theirs), a mestiza Maya K’iche’ Minnesotana, remembers crying her way up hills as a little kid, headed to Cedar Lake on her heavy Target bike. Today, her bike is a little lighter, and the Marshall and Franklin hills bring welcomed sweat – and stunning views of the mighty Mississippi. Magdalena loves to ride on pavement and on trails. As a poet, she’s a longtime member of Palabristas, MN’s Latinx spoken word collective. She’s also a visual artist, a cook, a gardener, a grill wiz in-training, a lover of live music, and a lover of sleep.


Anneka Kmiecik | Program Coordinator

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Anneka (they/them/theirs) loves that bicycling adds to their autonomy, happiness, outside time, and moments to be present in their neighborhoods. Anneka wants bicycle groups to include instead of exclude and takes all the opportunities they can to address connections between biking, race, sexual and gender harassment, legal status, gentrification, policing, and environmental justice. When not on their bicycle, Anneka is often found climbing pseudo-rocks at the gym, listening to music, reading, taking photos, cooking, or thinking about how they should go check on their garden.


Jeff Lathrop | Service and Retail Manager

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“I’m cruisin’ on my scraper bike
My scraper bike go hard
I don’t need no car”
– Trunk Boiz, “Scraper Bike”

When Jeff (he/him/his, they/them/theirs) is not obsessing over bikes, bike parts and anything bike related, he is scouring local record stores to add to his growing collection of pop, rock and hip-hop albums. You might catch him playing these gems at some of the local music venues. Jeff also loves dogs, long walks and sandy beaches.


Andrew Magill | Minneapolis Shop Programs Coordinator

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AndrewM“It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them.” – Ernest Hemingway

Andrew (he/him/his) coordinates the receiving and repair of donated bikes sold at our Minneapolis shop’s retail space, and works to keep the shop organized and spiffy. You will find him working with folks during Open Shops and Volunteer Night and teaching repair classes. Andrew is also a League of American Bicyclist’s Cycling Instructor and a cross country ski instructor and coach. Andrew gets a lot of satisfaction from helping folks to learn new bike repair skills and is always looking to expand his own skills. He loves special requests for used bike builds or used parts.


Sheldon Mains | Special Projects/Adviser

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“Plagiarism is the root of all culture.” – Pete Seeger

Sheldon (he/him/his) was the first director of C4C’s Minneapolis shop, under its previous management as part of the Seward Neighborhood Group. He has been an active board member of the Twin Cities Media Alliance/Daily Planet, the national Alliance for Nonprofit Management, the Minneapolis Planning Commission, and the Seward Towers Corporation. For the past few years, his consulting practice has concentrated on helping nonprofit organizations creatively use technology to better serve their communities. In the spring, summer, and fall, he rides his beloved 1988 Trek road bike. From first snow to spring thaw, he rides a Specialized Hard Rock with studded tires (he loves the studded tires).


Merritt McCollum | Bookkeeping Assistant & Minneapolis Retail Coordinator

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People are always asking who is Merritt (he/him/his). What is he doing here. Where did he come from. What are his qualifications. How can we get rid of him without breaking any laws. The answers my friends are far from reassuring. Born and raised in the backwoods of the Lehigh Valley in Pennsylvania, he began bicycle commuting at the age of 16. Ahh… those halcyon days of youthful wanderlust and self-assured decision making, where have they gone. Eventually one day he said to his self, “I don’t know, maybe I could get a job fixing bikes.” And so, after 8 years of causing no known grand jury indictments through his questionable bike wrenching skills at the Hub Bike Co-op, he thought, “You know what, I’m not deep enough in debt.” So he went back to school and bought on credit, an associates degree in bookkeeping. After two years of the indentured servitude known as temping, Cycles for Change decided to buy his labor on an hourly basis at a decidedly employer friendly discount. The rest is his story, which can be found at bookstores near you, in the closeout bins.


Brandie Macdonald | Program Director

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“You are our ancestors’ prayers made flesh” – Sylvia McAdams

Brandie (Chickasaw/Choctaw) (she/her/hers) is an educator, writer, explorer, and most importantly an elder in training whom is dedicated to social justice and cultural equity. Before joining the C4C team, Brandie worked as Program Manager at First Peoples Fund and has 7 years experience in museum education management. She holds a B.A. in Applied Anthropology from UNC Charlotte, and is a M.Ed. candidate at Loyola University Chicago. She’s a 2016 Salzburg Global Seminar Fellow, 2015 Intermedia Arts Creative Community Leadership Institute Fellow, 2013 American Alliance of Museums Diversity Fellow, and was Charlotte Building Initiative’s Prominent Community Leader under 40 in 2011.


Matthew “Paj” Pajunen | Volunteer Coordinator, AmeriCorps VISTA

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The perfect is the enemy of the good. – Italian Proverb

Coming from a background in Anthropology, Paj (he/him/his) has studied bioarchaeology, education, and environmental sustainability. Throughout all this work, the only things that stood solid was his love for bicycling and a firm belief in the emancipatory power of the bicycle. As Volunteer Coordinator, he intends to broaden and deepen community participation in Cycles for Change’s programming.

 


Jason Partridge (Tanzman) | Executive Director

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Jason“They say that nobody is perfect. Then they tell you practice makes perfect. I wish they’d make up their minds.” – Wilt Chamberlain

Jason (he/him/his) fell in love with bicycling when, for his 16th birthday, he received a vintage Italian racing bike from his uncle–which had supposedly been won in a poker game. Jason first became involved in bicycle organizing and advocacy after riding in Chicago’s Critical Mass bike ride, which helped him discover the personal and political power of bicycling. Jason also has a passion for bicycle touring–he’s logged multi-week and multi-month bike trips in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, Argentina, and New Zealand. Jason believes that a bicycle can be a powerful tool for building healthy, equitable, sustainable, and socially just communities. Jason changed his last name to Partridge after getting married in September, 2016.


Betsy Raasch-Gilman | Bookkeeper

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Betsy (she/her/hers) is first and foremost a social change activist, having devoted most of her life to grassroots people’s movements. Working in a food co-op, she learned bookkeeping, which she actually enjoys. Since many good organizers and trainers do not enjoy bookkeeping, she’s found a niche for herself–though she also organizes and trains. Gardening, ending white supremacy, and forming a retirement community for aging radicals fill her life up, when she’s not pouring over debits and credits.

 


Jacob Schile | St. Paul Shop Programs Coordinator

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“My two favorite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything. The perfect day: riding a bike to the library.”
– Peter Golkin

As a child of the corn, hailing from Iowa, Jacob (he/him/his) is our Jake-of-all-trades at the St. Paul Shop. With a quick wit and an even quicker wrench, if you listen closely you’ll find him teaching that there’s always a lesson to be learned from a bicycle. Jacob brings a lighthearted perspective and strong mechanical skills to C4C, and believes in demystifying the workings of a bicycle and sharing the satisfaction of a repair well done.  C4C provides the foundation for the exchange of knowledge and skills to all who enter through its doors.


Stephanie Schultz | Development & Communications Coordinator

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Steph“Instructions for living a life: pay attention, be astonished, tell about it.”
– Mary Oliver

Stephanie (she/her/hers) has a background in graphic design and long distance running, but is excited to fundraise and bike at C4C. She completed two terms of national service in St. Paul as an AmeriCorps VISTA member at C4C before becoming a full-time staff member, and looks forward to continuing her education in all things nonprofit. In her free time, Stephanie tries to maximize use of her MFA in poetry, avidly scours thrift stores, and spends a lot of time getting turf burn on the soccer pitch.

Jesus Suarez Gurrola | Retail Mechanic

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Jesus (he/him/his) was born in Jerez, Zacatecas, Mexico, but grew up in southern California (San Fernando Valley) riding BMX and mountain bikes. He’s been working on bikes for about 13 years and collects old school BMX bikes. When he’s not working on bikes, he’s working on cars (grease monkey). He graduated from Saint Paul College’s diesel tech program in 2015. He loves being outside–fishing, camping, hiking, and bro-ing out with his bros.

 


Dazhion Taylor | Program Associate

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Dazhion (he/him/his) was a Youth Apprentice at Cycles for Change, since the summer of 2014. He evolved and developed the skills of a leader and is now a part of the staff at Cycles for Change. Dazhion loves to go on adventures with friends and be around others. When not around others, you can catch him gaming on his Playstation, doing what he does best, winning.

 

 


Skye Vang | Program Coordinator

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“Document the moments you feel most in love with yourself – what you’re wearing, who you’re around, what you’re doing. Recreate and repeat” ― Warsan Shire

Skye (they/them/theirs) is a second generation, queer, trans Hmong American person that happens to be excited about the many ways one can build relationships and communities. They spend a great deal of their time fawning at clouds, drooling over art supplies, searching for great music, taking photos with plants, and learning to live and love authentically.