Tim O'Mara, Executive Director
Tim is a relentless believer in the possibilities of youth, and he fights against negative influences and the consequences they have on Atlanta youth. His passion for working with youth and children began in 2000, when he began volunteering in church youth ministry, mentoring teens and leading worship service production. As a student, Tim struggled in school, eventually leading him to drop out of high school at the age of 17. Having forged a path through difficult circumstances allows him a unique connection point to many of the families Bearings Bike Shop serves.
Tim founded the organization in 2010 with a mission to help at-risk youth discover their potential and to prevent future crises. For the past 10 years, his goal has been to illuminate pathways to possibilities. Bearings Bike Shop aims to expose every child’s God-given gifts through experiences that provoke discovery and curiosity while developing perseverance and confidence. Tim brings a sincere level of passion and integrity for developing leaders within the community to continue the mission.
Tim believes collaboration is an essential facet to positive life-changes, and he has partnered with various schools, businesses and other for-impact organizations to provide on-campus solutions in vocational training.
As a credit to his successful leadership at the Bearings Bike Shop, Tim has received numerous awards.Tim has been married to his wife Becky for 12 years, and they are the proud parents of two kids. They have been residents of Adair Park for over 10 years.
becky o'mara, Co-Founder, Special projects
Becky's background is varied but has always involved system building, people leadership and problem solving. She possesses strong interpersonal and communication skills, and specializes in planning and logistics. Becky spent five years working in children's ministry at 12Stone Church, then one of the fastest growing churches in the country. From 2011 to 2016, Becky managed the staff at Matchstic, a boutique branding agency, first as Project Manager and later as Operations Manager. She oversaw system development related to tracking key performance indicators and the operational systems that impacted those areas. She's worked with some of the city's largest brands including Chick-fil-A, Coca-Cola, and Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. Today, Becky serves the bike shop by maintaining strong relationships with its supporters and overseeing special projects as they arise, such as the Building Tomorrow Capital Campaign.
Claire dozier, director of operations
Claire Dozier joined the Bearings Bike Shop team in 2017 with ten years of experience in various educational and non-profit settings. She managed an after-school athletic and educational program for refugee youth before earning her M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction (Montana State University) and becoming a certified teacher, going on to teach both middle- and high-school students.
Since joining the Bearings team in 2017, she has spearheaded the organization's efforts to maximize impact by recruiting a talented team, developing its innovative skills-building curricula, and adopting evidence-based evaluation practices.
Her passion is increasing access to educational and employment opportunities for all young people, whether they are new arrivals to the U.S. or the first in their families to graduate high school. She’s a native of metro Atlanta and lives in the Mechanicsville neighborhood with her husband Jason.
Connorie Russell, School Programs coordinator
“Shon” Connorie Russell is the School Programs Coordinator for Bearings Bike Shop. Prior to her recent move to Atlanta, she worked with children & families in the Midwest, specifically in Wisconsin & Illinois.
While traditional classroom settings were a challenge for her as a student, Connorie persisted & completed her Master’s Degree in Program Planning & Instructional Design. With the support of her extended family she raised her daughter & worked three jobs, while attending school.
Connorie is most excited to accompany children on their discovery of their individual strengths & weakness, as well as guiding them through the inevitable setbacks with compassion & patience.
ALLIE GARLAND, PROGRAM COORDINATOR
Allie Garland joined the Bearings team in the summer of 2018 as our Program Coordinator. She graduated with a Bachelor’s in Social Work from the University of Georgia, and then earned her MSW with an emphasis in community partnerships at Georgia State University. Allie has lived in metro Atlanta for most of her life and is passionate about seeing Atlanta become a more just, equal, and sustainable city. She is excited to put her background in social work to use with kids and bikes in our city.
CANDICE LOFTON, PROGRAM COORDINATOR
Candice Lofton joined the Bearings Bike Shop team in summer 2018, helping to ensure that young people in the program develop the hard and soft skills necessary to become successful young adults.
Her passion for healthy living led her to pursue her Master of Public Health from Walden University, where she fell in love with youth health education. Since graduating, she has worked with several non-profit organizations such as Upward Bound, the YMCA, and Girls Inc., developing and delivering programming to empower and educate young people to become the best versions of themselves. She brings her enthusiasm, educational background, and professional expertise with her to serve as a Program Coordinator on the Bearings team. Candice is a southern Virginia native and recent transplant to the Greater Atlanta area. She loves to explore Atlanta by bike with her husband Nick and try new restaurants around the city.
JESSI BURGESS, DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATE
Jessi joined the Bearings team in the spring of 2019 as the Development Associate. After graduating from Georgia State University with a degree in Journalism, Jessi went on to work in several different fields, including print and radio journalism, but she knew her dream was to work in the nonprofit sector, using her skills to give back to her community. Her nonprofit career began in Nevada working as a development coordinator for Big Brothers Big Sisters, but the desire to be close to family after having her daughter brought her back to Atlanta. Jessi is thrilled to be working for an organization whose mission and vision she feels passionately about.
On the weekends, Jessi loves spending time with family, reading novels, and exploring the city.
andrew kobayashi, lead bicycle mechanic
Andrew Kobayashi is our Lead Bicycle Mechanic. Cycling and community engagement are a fundamental part of his values. Previous to coming to Bearings, Andrew worked in the restaurant industry before leaving to manage a local bike shop. With several years in the cycling community of Atlanta, Andrew sees it as a privilege and responsibility to make cycling infrastructure and knowledge accessible to the city of Atlanta. He believes that quality service to both, people and of bikes is essential.
Elijah belz, program mechanic
Elijah Belz purchased his first “real” bicycle at a yard sale when he was 13 years old. He fixed it at the Durham Bicycle Cooperative, and continued volunteering there for 8 years. He learned how to be a mechanic at the DBC, and served on the co-op's board for two years. Elijah managed his own independent bicycle shop, Hillsborough Bicycle, from the age of 15 to 20 with the help of his father. He’s passionate about non-profit bicycle shops, excited about Bearings’ mission, and wants to teach anybody and everybody the joys of the bicycle!
Tim simpson, outreach coordinator
Tim S. serves as the Outreach Coordinator for Bearings Bike Shop. He graduated from in the University of West Georgia with a bachelor's degree in Journalism. Tim moved to Atlanta in October with the passion and drive to do ministry in areas like Adair Park and currently serves as a pastoral intern at Cornerstone Church Atlanta. In his spare time, Tim, loves to read, write and play basketball.