After nearly 12 years serving the members of the SF Bicycle Coalition as a staff member, Frank Chan (pictured above, right) is returning to his original role with the organization as a member-volunteer. We caught up with Frank recently to reminisce about some of his favorite memories working here and about what he’s looking forward to as the SF Bicycle Coalition seeks to hire an Organization Development Director.
SF Bicycle Coalition: What first drew you to the SF Bicycle Coalition as a member-volunteer all those years ago?
Frank: It was the same thing that drew me to join the staff and continue as a member now. I wanted to be part of an organization that changes the streetscape and, more broadly, influences the City for the better. That included being part of a community that knows the most efficient way to get around the City and just wants to share it with a larger audience.
How has the SF Bicycle Coalition changed since you started getting involved?
Internally but hopefully noticed by members who pay closer attention, I’m proud the organization is bigger, more diverse, less predominantly male, and more professional. I used to joke that I felt like I knew all the Asians who biked in SF, and now that’s clearly not the case. We are so much better off now being able to speak both Cantonese, Mandarin and Spanish, among other languages.
What’s one of your favorite street campaign memories from your time on staff?
One of my favorite periods was December 2009 right after the bike network injunction was lifted. A backlog of projects got mercifully unclogged, and it felt like there was a new project going in every day! In one month, we saw bike lanes striped on parts of Scott Street with the bike box, Howard, mid-Market Street, Claremont, Clipper, Kansas, Mississippi and Beale. If only every month had so many holiday presents! It was also right around Winterfest, so it felt like I was buzzing around the City during the day to photograph these new lanes and hustling at night for our big event.
What are you most looking forward to in returning to your role as a member-volunteer?
It was certainly an honor to be on staff as long as I was. It’s fine time to give someone else a chance and bring different areas of expertise that the team needs now and beyond. I’ll look forward again to surprises and finding out what’s going on in the weekly Biker Bulletin emails, the Volunteer Newsletter, the blog or on social media.
What continues to surprise you about SF Bicycle Coalition members?
I shouldn’t be surprised, but I’m impressed with the resiliency of their support. Other staff and I read every comment that came in a online membership or donation, and we’ve been honored to be able to do this work.
Would you like the honor of serving our 10,000-plus members and making SF better to bike day in and day out? We’re seeking a human resources and work culture pro to take the SF Bicycle Coalition into a new era of attracting, retaining and supporting the absolute best advocates around for people who bike. Apply today!