My Send-Off From SBBIKE

I'd like to thank you for the shared efforts and memories we've achieved together with the Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition and Bici Centro. Over 12 years, I've grown a whole lot, and so has our organization. As I depart, I'm filled with appreciation for this fine organization and community that we've built together.

With deep appreciation for all that we in the SB County bicycling community have created together, I would like to share with you that I will be ending my tenure leading Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition as I move on to a new career chapter.

I am extremely fortunate to serve this organization as its first Executive Director. It was an idea for a few community service events held by a group of new friends called Bici Centro that got me into this, and 11 years later, we run three facilities, programming in schools throughout the county, and we have cultivated deep relationships with the 8 agencies to make meaningful change in bike infrastructure. I would have never guessed this path would have engaged my interests and passion for so long. And I could have never imagined all the friends I'd meet along the way. The path has further to go and so do all of these rich friendships.

Steering our group forward through this path, however, will no longer be my role. I won't be leaving Santa Barbara nor the bicycling movement. I will become a supporter instead of a leader. I am so proud of our organization, staff and board and believe we are well set up to ensure that our team can continue to do their fine work with minimal disruption. I am so proud and appreciative of our board of directors in their leadership and support of our staff in this time of transition.

So where am I going? I have chosen to take the opportunity to work with the leadership development organization Leading from Within. The LFW organization and network is a powerful collection of leaders who share a circle of trust and dedication to our shared ‘social sector.’ Through four programs the network continues to grow and ‘burnout’ is challenged by encouragement, curiosity, and wonder.

I have deeply appreciated the people and experiences throughout my time on the SBBIKE and Bici Centro teams. What an amazing team we have had! And indeed it is teamwork that makes the dream work. Even the most challenging times were rewarding as the best lessons to reflect upon. Together we have made a collective contribution to a legacy of active transportation opportunities throughout Santa Barbara County. From classes to community repair and skill share, to numerous new bicycle paths, our residents can choose to bike in a significantly more safe, convenient, and dignified way.

I look forward to providing support to the new SBBIKE leadership as a community member and supporter. And I am thrilled to take the lessons that SBBIKE has taught me into new realms within the Social Sector.

To keep in contact: EdFrance@gmail.com

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