Our Executive Director is Shifting Gears After Seven Years of Inspiring Leadership

In a letter to members this March, Executive Director René Rivera announced he’ll be shifting gears to new adventures after seven years of leadership at Bike East Bay.

Bike East Bay is passing around a thank you card for members and supporters to show your appreciation. Share your thoughts and thanks for René by signing his thank you card! 

“We thank René for his outstanding commitment to building bike-friendly cities and more equitable communities in the East Bay,” said Alden Mudge, president of Bike East Bay’s Board of Directors. “René leaves behind a dynamic and growing organization that has begun to tackle the big issues of sustainability, affordability and equity in our region.”

Starting May 1, Ginger Jui, currently our Communications Director, will step up as Interim Executive Director. Your Board of Directors and staff has initiated an search and transition committee to evaluate our organizational needs and the key qualities for the next leader of Bike East Bay.

We’ll keep you updated with a public announcement on the next step of our search. René Rivera will be assisting the board and staff Executive Transition Committee. If you have questions or suggestions, please email him directly at Rene@BikeEastBay.org.

Today, Bike East Bay continues to grow with strong financial reserves, robust funding streams, and a culture of shared leadership across our nine talented staff. Under René’s leadership, Bike East Bay has achieved significant wins for a bike-friendly region:

  • Connecting the region with safe, protected bikeways in eight cities. Recent successes include Hearst Ave. and Bancroft Way in Berkeley, the Stanley Blvd. protected intersection in Pleasanton, the Broadway two-way protected bike lane next to Hwy 24 in Oakland, and Walnut Ave. next to Fremont BART station

  • Expanding bike access to and on transit, including lifting the commute hour bike ban on BART

  • Opening the Bay Bridge People Path to Treasure Island and securing a bicycle and pedestrian path on the Richmond/San Rafael Bridge

  • Securing $1 billion for biking, walking, and public transit by getting out the vote for Measure BB in 2014

  • Ensuring equitable access to bike share by pushing for and participating in the Bike Share for All partnership to make a $5 discount membership widely available for people in Black, Brown, and low-income communities

  • Empowering over 3,500 people every year with the skills and confidence to ride in the city through an education program where more than 70% of classes are taught by women and people of color

René’s commitment to social justice led to launching Bike East Bay’s statement of values for equity and social justice in January 2017. These values have been crucial in guiding Bike East Bay’s advocacy work as we rise to meet the challenge of building bike-friendly cities in a region with deep income inequality, skyrocketing costs of living, and widespread displacement of Black and Brown communities.

Today, Bike East Bay’s staff and Board of Directors are working to ensure Rene’s legacy by aligning our current five-year Strategic Plan with our equity values. By embedding strong equity goals, this ambitious document will continue to guide our work in a rapidly changing region.

René’s snappy fashion sense, genuine vision for shared leadership, and strong values for social justice have buoyed Bike East Bay for the past seven years. As René steps down on April 30, 2018, we salute him for creating a strong foundation as Bike East Bay’s first paid executive director.

Now is the time to keep up the momentum for building bike-friendly cities. As Bike East Bay takes on the search for your next Executive Director, you can grow the movement by joining or renewing your membershipmaking a donation, or volunteering.

In true Bike East Bay style, we’ll be celebrating our transition to a new Executive Director with a big party this summer. It will be a chance to ring the cowbell with René and your fellow members. Stay tuned for a party invite after Bike to Work Day.