What brought you to Detroit?
“Before I came to Detroit, I went to Miami for my undergrad and I wanted to do broadcast journalism, something along the lines of TV and sports. But life working in this industry definitely wasn’t how I thought it would be, and it was honestly kind of depressing. I decided to join the Peace Corps and stayed in Madagascar for three years. Biking was basically my only form of transportation, and I guess that’s where my interest in public transit started. Being from Southeastern Michigan, I knew that public transit was a big problem in Detroit, so it made sense to move back here and I’ve been here ever since.”
How did you get to where you are at MoGo?
“When I came back to Detroit, I was looking for ways to get more involved with non-motorized transit in general. I was involved in a Fellowship Program at the time and Lisa (CEO of MoGo) spoke to our group one day about her vision to start bikeshare here in Detroit. I gradually got more and more involved, applied to a few positions, and eventually ended up here at MoGo after staying in contact with Lisa.”
What is a hurdle you’ve overcome, both work related and in general?
“In terms of work, being unemployed was definitely difficult. I had finished my Fellowship Program and had a great relationship with my employer. I was offered a job and a raise, but the work I was doing just wasn’t something I was interested in. I figured that instead of getting sucked into the money now, it’d be better to figure out what I really wanted to do. I thought I was very employable and the process wouldn’t take too long, but I was wrong. I was talking to the right people, going to the right events, but it just wasn’t really working. I started to question whether I made the right decision leaving my previous employer. But luckily, I ended up here at MoGo and I’ve loved it ever since.
In general, being in the Peace Corps was also a hurdle I’d say. It was mainly because I didn’t really know what I’d be getting myself into. But it’s also a hurdle I’d gladly do over and over again. It opened my eyes to a whole other world and culture and it definitely showed me what I’m passionate about.”
What’s your favorite thing about working for MoGo?
“There’s a lot of different reasons why I love what I’m doing. I’m not an obsessed bicyclist or anything. I do ride from my house to work a lot, but I wouldn’t consider myself a cyclist. But it’s definitely been a fun challenge to get people interested in what I’m interested, biking in this case. Because I’m involved with the long term processes of MoGo and getting people involved with bikeshare, I really appreciate the flexibility of my job as well. Lisa’s trusted me with a lot of different projects, and no day is exactly the same.”
How would you describe social entrepreneurship? What role does MoGo play in social entrepreneurship?
“I think social entrepreneurship is business for the betterment of people and humanity. It’s finding a way to create a self sustaining business that puts people first, the people who don’t have the resources to support themselves. MoGo does a phenomenal job of finding ways to do fun, user friendly, convenient transportation to help people who need it. For us, it’s not just about how many rides we get in a given month. We’ve done a lot of stuff to make bikeshare more accessible to multiple demographics and to overall benefit the city.”