Staff Spotlight: David Kurushima, Retail Supervisor
By Britt Appleton, Social Media Specialist
David Kurushima has been promoted since we last checked in with him. He is now our Retail Manager. From what we sell to creating a welcoming environment in the bike shop, David is the guy making sure you have a top notch experience. He is also very involved with the Equity Committee. Outside of work, David is actively remodeling his home, caring for his animals, captaining his Ultimate Frisbee team, and somehow managing to have more fun than anyone else. (We suspect he doesn’t sleep.)
What do you hope to be able to change about the shop in your new position?
My priority is to continue to develop and improve our shop in ways that will allow us to serve a broader array of cycling communities. Our shop is the 7-day-a-week, year-round hub of our organization. The more we can do to create both a welcoming space as well as improve the utility and convenience of our shop for an increasingly diverse cycling community, the better we can pursue our goal of broadening access to bicycling.
How has the organization changed in your tenure?
Well, it’s always hard to see the forest for the trees, but I would say the biggest changes I’ve seen, aside from Zelda’s [shop cat] retirement and the 2011 shop expansion, has been a huge shift in the culture of management at the shop. Input and participation in management decisions from all levels of the organization is valued and sought after and I think this has really improved not only our work environment, but also the quality of the decisions that we make.
What is your involvement on the Equity Committee like?
Participating in the Equity Committee is a great opportunity to take a step back and look at how our organization fits within the social and economic disparity in our city and the evolving dynamics of power and privilege in our community. This is a very unique opportunity for dialogue that I think is largely absent in broader discussions about sustainable and healthy transportation both here in Portland and at the national level.
What goes into creating a welcoming environment in a bike shop?
A welcoming shop needs consistently friendly and helpful staff, a diverse array of products and services that suit varying needs of affordability, utility and quality, and a good mix of shiny things and dirty things.
How many bikes do you have? Which is your favorite?
Don’t ask me that, a few dozen bushels I suppose. My favorite bike is my Kuwahara Tandem; its lavender, I bought it at the shop. Sometimes I ride alone, though I try to wear some kind of animal costume so people think I’m going somewhere important, rather than feeling sorry for me.
What is your bike specialty?
Oh geez, I’m really good at identifying bikes and bike parts that are about to catch on fire. Haven’t had any complaints yet.
You have pets. Tell us about them.
I have two cats. They are really strong and handsome. I also have like 10,000 bees and help care for three goats. They are all strong as well.
You’re the captain of an Ultimate Frisbee team in Portland. Tell us about it.
Well, if you have never played Ultimate, you should try it; it’s almost a real sport, I swear. If you have played Ultimate, you probably know that chasing a plastic disc is only half of it and the other half is generally not fit to print. I will say that costumes make the best uniforms, puppets make great surrogates for authority, and taking yourself far too seriously is a wonderful escape from reality. I’d also like to say that my teammates are among the finest people I know.
What do you like to do besides frisbee and biking?
I spend the rest of my time working on my house, contemplating my chances at becoming a professional Magic player, and color coordinating my email correspondences. Oh, and trail running! Who’d have thought that running is faster than hiking!?!
Pictures by Chad Berkley and Shannon McWeeney