Position/title: Director of Operations, Great Rides Fargo
Family: Joe Curry (lifelong sweetheart) and Riften (dog)
Explain what you do:
I started working with the non-profit, Great Rides, in January of this year. This small organization had a number of things they were getting ready to launch and steer in a positive direction. There has been an incredible amount of momentum in the cycling world and we are excited to be a part of its continued growth. Great Rides Fargo’s mission is to build healthy individuals and communities by encouraging the use of bicycles for lifestyle, sport and recreation. So we celebrate our love of bikes by providing the community we love with events and programs and also providing cycling-centered services. The biggest pieces of our work day is managing Great Rides Bike Share as well as managing StreetsAlive! Additionally we keep a number of activities rolling like weekly rides with Great Riders Club, ride support, outreach at cycling events and producing a few of our own bike-centered events (like B-B-BRRR Winter Classic, a bike race in the snow and ice). Additionally we make puns about bike parts.
How long have you lived in Fargo-Moorhead?
I am a lifelong resident of the Red River Valley who dwells in NoMo (North Moorhead).
If you had to narrow it down to just one thing, what do you like best about Fargo-Moorhead?
The thing I love best about living and working in the Fargo-Moorhead area is that you can put your ideas in action. We want to be a vibrant and healthy community, and if you have an idea to help make the community better, you can find allies to make it come to fruition and partners to make it thrive.
What book most closely reflects your business’ culture?
“Duck on a Bike” by David Shannon. It’s been awhile since I’ve read an adult book. Duck getting all the farm animals to pedal around the barnyard and experience the joy of biking (not a spoiler … still a good read) seems fitting.
Are you a dog or a cat person?
Get along with both species. Happy to have a dog at home and learning to love fetch.
Who would play you in a movie?
Kirsten Dunst? We had the same haircut for a while back around 2004.
What’s one word that best describes you?
What’s your favorite part of your job?
Collaborating for events. There is a lot of smart and kind people out there!
What does an ideal Saturday look like?
An ideal day off in warm weather would include time for breakfast and coffee (not on the go), a chance to play in the garden, and able to run errands (or get to a work event) by bike. An ideal Saturday in cool weather is similar, but includes making a fire in the woodstove, wearing wool and napping.
Who’s your business mentor and why?
I’m happy to be a friend and former employee of Andrea Baumgardner. She is a brilliant chef, thoughtful communicator, and one of the hardest workers I know. I’m also a big fan of Greg and Renee Danz of Zandbroz Variety. They put down roots in downtown Fargo and are really pillars of the downtown revitalization in my eyes.
What challenges does your business face in creating culture and livability for its employees?
Though we never fully put the “brakes” on bikes, there is definitely a seasonal trend to when people are thinking about bikes. This can mean a swell in work duties during the spring and summer months. Maintaining a balance of work and play in any job can be challenging.
What amenities in the community do you, your family and/or employees most appreciate?
I love our local libraries for the physical and digital resources they provide. The growing collection of public art, community gardens, parks, river trails which can perk up any bike ride!
How has culture and Fargo-Moorhead’s livability changed in your time in the community?
Beyond our community, the conversation has shifted at large to build communities for people. Thoughtfulness for the ways we move through our community has certainly evolved. Bike lanes, bike routes, new bus routes and community leaders championing the idea of walk and bike-ability is awesome. I look forward to the continued growth of those amenities and cultural acceptance and growth. There has always been great food, music, events and places yet to explore in Fargo-Moorhead. Certainly some of my favorite venues or hangouts have evolved, moved or faded away over the last 10 years. In general it just feels like so much more is going on these days.