The Ridekick Team
What started in a garage with only an idea and a drill has led to a team of full of passionate, driven people. Meet the folks who make Ridekick International tick.
Chelsey Walker is the “brander” at Ridekick International, making sure our marketing activities and sales processes sing the Ridekick song. She received her Bachelor’s of Science in Business Administration with a Concentration in Marketing from Colorado State University. She found Ridekick International during her senior marketing class where she had the opportunity to develop a marketing plan for the company. The project easily transitioned into a full-time job. She says, “With one test-ride on a prototype, I was hooked!” Chelsey’s “beyond” with her Ridekick power trailer would be to ‘kick with a beach-cruiser on a boardwalk in San Diego with her beach gear stuffed inside. Something you probably didn’t know about Chelsey is that she coaches a middle school girls basketball team in Fort Collins.
Dee Coyle Wanger, aka “Mama Bear,” has the specialty of attending to anything that needs to get done, with a focus on Culture Development and Marketing. Her resume includes a Bachelor’s in Communications Studies from UC Santa Barbara and a Master’s in Education – Higher Education Administration from Colorado State University. Dee is also the Founder of the non-profit Discovery Science Center in Northern Colorado, a small business owner of DMC Publications, and a Lego Robotics Coach and former elementary school teacher at Rivendell School. After a year and a half of sharing close living quarters and conducting dinner table consulting with the founder of Ridekick, Dee found a calling to the small business start-up. With her Ridekick power trailer, Dee says, “I’m more likely to ride – commute to work, to social activities, to the grocery store, to… anywhere! It’s efficient AND fun! My only complaint is the bugs in my teeth from smiling so much on the journey.” Dee’s mission is to make every individual she comes in contact with to feel important. And on top of that, she has climbed to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro!
Don Eason is the Mechanical Designer and resident lame humorist of Ridekick. He has 26 years experience in consumer product development and came to Ridekick International from Ultimate Support Systems where he designed numerous useful bike and music products, many of which are in bike shops and music stores today. Don’s favorite memory from Ridekick is tailgating taxis at high speeds with his power trailer on the Las Vegas strip during a trade show in September of 2010. He has two professional missions in life: 1) to conceive and refine products that combine exceptional practicality, performance, value, and aesthetic appeal, and 2) to enjoy friendly professional collaboration with fine people throughout the world. Don passionately strives to make fine-art quality photographs using a big, funky 50-year-old film camera, which he lugs into remote locations from arid Rainbow Bridge to the steamy streets of Shanghai.
Jon Cox is an Electrical Engineer at Ridekick. He received his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Colorado State University. As an engineering student, he worked on a senior design project at CSU – Mark Wanger was a judge for the senior design competition and later contacted Jon about a small company he was starting that would soon be known as Ridekick. After riding the first prototype, named “Al,” he joined the team to help design the electrical systems. Jon’s beyond is being able to change the way people think about bikes and travelling, and he states, “My mission in life is to experience as many different things as possible and to start my own company one day.”
Maria J. Martinez is Ridekick’s bookkeeper. She holds an engineering degree in Industrial Physics from ITESM (Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico) and a B.S. in Business Administration with a Concentration in Accounting from Colorado State University. Bookkeeping is Maria’s newest endeavor; she has a 13-year career as a Process Engineer focused in manufacturing operations. She is very down to earth, and when not at work she spends her time with her husband, Brian, and her two children, Alex and Sofi. Together, they are avid Monopoly and Sorry players, as well as Pokemon experts.
Mark Wanger, President/Founder of Ridekick International, has a focus on recruiting talented, passionate people to accelerate our mission. Degrees from Colorado State University, MIT, and UC Santa Barbara have translated into 25 years of experience in business strategy, planning, engineering, and marketing. Mark’s path to Ridekick International started while pursuing energy savings for the community. “I needed a way to commute without sweating or using a car. John Bidwell provided an answer that catalyzed the founding of RKI!” His ”beyond” with his Ridekick power trailer is bicycling against a headwind with a ‘kick. “It’s a fantastic feeling. Bring it on!” Mark’s personal mission is life is to help people have fun while reducing their carbon footprints. Some interesting things you probably wouldn’t guess about Mark is that he is left-handed, loves to solve puzzles, and has yet to send a text message. We’ll see how long that lasts!
Marshall Morris is a sales focused serial entrepreneur. His last venture began in 2008 when Marshall was brought on as an equity partner of a then struggling web property, Mautofied.com. Through strategic revenue planning, business development and hard work, Marshall helped drive forward positive cash flow with consistent 70-100% increases in profitability year over year. In 2012, the business was sold to an International firm at a 7-figure valuation, creating a substantial ROI for all those involved. Marshall’s passion is starting businesses. Right now he is working on launching a Men’s straight razor shaving line.
Mike Wilkinson is Ridekick’s Customer Technical Support and miscellaneous builder of all things big and small. He has a B.S. from Colorado State University in Mechanical Engineering, is trained as a pilot, and is a self-taught woodworker. After 10 years as a pilot in the Air Force, he became a commercial pilot and created a custom furniture business when not flying. Plus, he enjoys cycling. Mike’s “beyond” with the Ridekick power trailer is making cycling an option for more people in more places. His personal mission in life? Live in the here and now. And would you have ever guessed that he can stack 3 golf balls on top of each other?