FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Rebecca Morley
AS NEW EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
PHILADELPHIA, April 23, 2012 – Today the Board of Directors of Neighborhood Bike Works, a nonprofit educational organization in Philadelphia that seeks to increase opportunities for urban youth in underserved neighborhoods through bicycling, announced the selection of Erin DeCou as its new Executive Director. She will begin as executive director effective today.
Neighborhood Bike Works conducted an extensive candidate search, and after a six-month process, is pleased to appoint DeCou as the organization’s next leader. Working from its main location in West Philadelphia, DeCou will be responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of Neighborhood Bike Works including financial and program development, management of its five locations and retail operations, and increasing the organization’s partnerships with the City of Philadelphia and other local partners.
DeCou is a cyclist, educator, and nonprofit manager with experience in a variety of programs, including initiatives involving the local food, environmental and arts communities. DeCou led Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens as its first Executive Director until 2009, and continues to serve as a member of its Board of Directors. During her time as Executive Director, DeCou launched the Magic Gardens’ education programs, which today serves more than 4,000 youth and adults annually through tours, hands-on arts activities, and long-term partnerships with local schools. DeCou also previously managed youth education programs for Greener Partners’, a nonprofit dedicated to bringing communities together through local food and farms.
She completed a Master of Public Administration in Community Development from Rutgers University, and finished her degree with a five month engagement in Karnataka, India developing an organic coffee and spice growers’ cooperative that is still thriving today.
“We could not be happier to have Erin join the Neighborhood Bike Works family. She brings with her a strong passion for empowering youth and adults to live sustainable, healthy lives, and has a love for cycling that is contagious,” said Neighborhood Bike Works President Sergio Armani. “Our program has made a tremendous impact on the local community, but there is still more work to be done, and I know Erin will lead us to new heights as we continue to transform the lives of the youth we serve, one bike at a time.”
About Neighborhood Bike Works
Neighborhood Bike Works is a nonprofit educational organization in Philadelphia that seeks to increase opportunities for urban youth in underserved neighborhoods in greater Philadelphia by offering educational, recreational, and career-building opportunities through bicycling; it also promotes cycling as a healthy, affordable, environment-friendly form of transportation.
Started in 1996 as Youth Cycle & Recycle, a program of the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, Neighborhood Bike Works incorporated as a non-profit in July 1999. We expanded to the Haddington neighborhood in 2003, and opened the North Philadelphia Neighborhood Shop in 2009. The North Philly shop is also our sales and service location, and operates a fully functioning repair shop. In 2010, our South Philadelphia satellite program opened a location on 5th Street between Lombard and South. Today, we hold programming at four permanent sites, our satellite location in Norristown, PA, and in several public schools and community centers. Call to find out about an Earn-a-Bike class near you!