Rick Ellison is as familiar riding a bike as being in the executive suite. Rick joined Bike SLO County as the new executive director and brings professional experience, a passion for San Luis Obispo community and experience with multiple types of cycling.
Rick has lived in three towns known for cycling, including Boulder, Colorado; Chico, California; and San Luis Obispo. After graduating from Pepperdine University with a Bachelors in Business and an MBA, Rick moved to SLO 20 years ago to serve as the Associate VP for University Advancement. He played a lead role with the first fundraising campaign in the history of Cal Poly and the CSU. His professional background involves leading community development, alumni relations, major gift fundraising and campaign fundraising in higher education and health care. In addition, he has served as a collegiate triathlon coach for more than 15 years and garnered four National Collegiate Championship’s, while coaching more than 1000 triathletes.
Athletically, Rick has competed in triathlons for more than 30 years, completing more than 100 races, including seven Ironman distance races. You can find Rick riding any one of his bicylces throughout the county, including a road bike, a tri bike, a cruiser and a Santana tandem he rides with his wife Laurie.
Born and raised in Templeton, local boy Michael Velasquez is a passionate bike mechanic with an enthusiasm for outdoor sports including cycling, sprint triathlons, soccer and surfing! He lives in beautiful Morro Bay with his gorgeous wife and two children.
Michael has been volunteering at the Bike Kitchen since 2008 and since then has represented Bike SLO County at numerous Bike Rodeos and Bike-a-Thons, making sure that kids’ bikes are safe to ride.
Michael has worked as a professional bike mechanic, but his passion for refurbishing bikes began in middle school, when he and his dad deconstructed, then perfected and personalized a bike for him in his garage. It is with this same pride and precision that Michael excels in collaborating with people to find or create the right bike for the right person.
Audrey moved to San Luis Obispo to attend Cal Poly in 2010. After graduating she could not imagine calling any other place "home." She began commuting to work by bike, started learning how to fix her own bike, and eventually found the Bike Kitchen. After one visit as a customer, she started volunteering - eventually becoming the lead mechanic for Women’s Night. Audrey was then hired as our Women‘s Night Coordinator before being promoted to run both the Bike Kitchen and our Women’s Program.
Audrey spends approximately 90% of her waking hours working on, riding, or thinking about bikes. Aside from teaching people how to work on bikes, she particularly enjoys commuting, touring, and bike polo. She is proud to be a female mechanic - working toward greater equality and empowerment of anyone on two wheels.
Rory’s love of bikes started with mountain biking in the San Francisco Bay area. While attending university at Humboldt State he helped reignite their Bicycle Learning Center, a space where students can work on their bikes free of charge.
During the the summer of 2016, Rory worked for Bike SLO County part time, helping out with the Bike Education and Bike Valet programs. He immediately fell in love with the organization and the bike community. When he heard of a staff position opening in February 2018 he was eager to join.
Rory now works full time, running the kitchen a few days a week, organizing Bike Valets around the county and lending a hand to the Bike Education program.
Steve began volunteering at Bike Valet in 2012 then officially joined the Bike Valet staff in 2013 before stepping in as our Communications Director in 2014. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Radio-Television-Film from the University of Texas at Austin and spent many years working in both documentary and feature film production. He grew up all over the U.S. (New Jersey, Texas, California) and all over the world (Dubai, Athens, London).
His first volunteer gig ever was with Bikes Not Bombs in Boston, MA and the first bike he remembers wanting really badly was actually a unicycle. Steve enjoys caffeine, gardening, making cheesy pop music, hiking and camping, reading (or listening to) all manner of books, watching films and animation (foreign and domestic), traveling to new places and cooking up a storm in the kitchen.