Seeing Yourself in a Shared Micromobility Role

As part of NABSA’s update to the Workforce Diversity Toolkit and strategy to increase diversity in the shared micromobility workforce at all levels, we are also launching a blog and social media series that spotlights jobs in shared micromobility throughout the year. We’re calling this series “Workforce Diversity Wednesdays,” where NABSA will post interviews with individuals in the shared micromobility industry highlighting their work and role with the hopes of encouraging more diversity and representation in the field. 

Meet Adriel Thornton! Adriel is the Executive Director for MoGo, the nonprofit bikeshare organization in metro Detroit, Michigan. Adriel is a current NABSA Board member and NABSA Board Vice President.

How did you come to arrive at working in shared micromobility and your current role?

MoGo is an affiliate of the Downtown Detroit Partnership. I worked for a number of years with the park system doing corporate marketing. I stepped away to do some freelance marketing and PR work. I’ve always been interested in cycling, so when I heard about bikeshare coming to Detroit, I wanted to be part of it. I originally applied for the director of marketing and community outreach position, and started in February of 2017, a few months before we launched! When MoGo’s founder and ED decided to transition, I threw my hat in the ring. I was selected for the role and celebrated my two-year anniversary at the beginning of May.

I spent a long time being an event producer in the city and that has really helped me in my current role. I’ve been able to establish community connections that have been critical. 

What is your favorite thing about your job?

Really, I love the community impact. It’s really being able to do something that positively impacts the people that we serve. Bikeshare is active, healthy, and equitable transportation and I love providing that for the people of metro Detroit. It is truly an honor to serve the community this way.

I love providing a clean form of transportation in a city like Detroit, which is still very much the auto capital of the country. Giving people an opportunity to get from point a to point b in an environmentally conscious way…and doing so in an equitable way is really important to me. 

What is your favorite thing about working in the shared micromoblity industry? 

I love being able to see and get connected to what other people are doing. It’s great being a part of NABSA, an organization that is focused on micromobility as an option and solution to some of the challenges we face. 

It’s interesting to me how working in this sphere allows me to touch on so many different aspects of life. I get to work with state and local governments, community groups, other nonprofits, individuals, corporations, foundations, etc. We are able to touch a lot of pieces of a greater puzzle. 

What has surprised you most about your job? 

The most surprising thing has been the community’s response to bikeshare. People here have really embraced it, and I love that! I would, however, like to see more support for bikeshare on a federal level.

What would you like people to know?

Some of us are working in really diverse cities. I’d like to see a workforce that better represents the diverse cities that we work in. 

What is a recommendation you would have for someone interested in a shared micromobility role?

Come with a people first lens. It’s about the people. Don’t try to fit someone into the plan when they are the plan! 

Stay tuned for our next installment of Workforce Diversity Wednesday and engage with the series on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook with hashtag #WorkforceDiversityWednesday.