Serve Well Blog

10.17.10

A Different Kind of Businessman

Destiny Williams | Colleague Press, Urban America, Business, Community, Business, Community, Integrating Service As A Way Of Life

Wakefield Gregg - Krista ColleagueTen years ago, Wakefield Gregg (‘99) became a Charter Class Krista Colleague while serving in Tacoma's Hilltop neighborhood with youth involved in or on the fringes of local gangs.  Wake used Krista Foundation grant money to bring youth to Mississippi to meet the Reverend John Perkins, whose urban development principles of relocation, reconciliation, and redistribution proved life-shaping.

Fast forward ten years, when Wake visited China with George Fox University's MBA program.  He couldn't help but notice the 26.1 million electric bikes sold there in 2007 humming down the road. Returning to Portland, home to the highest percentage of bike commuters in the nation, Wake was inspired to start ‘e-bikes' from his own garage.  He points out the economic and environmental benefits of traveling 15-50 miles on 5 cents of electricity and the fun of 350 watts (equal to 60% of Lance Armstrong's maximum output) powering your bike.  But his vision for this business doesn't stop there.

As soon as the business is "capital positive" Wake's stores will train at-risk or previously incarcerated youth as e-bike mechanics.  "Perkins's principle of redistribution means giving these kids access to the means of production," says Wake.  "I was also inspired by Father Greg Boyle at the Krista Conference three years ago-seeing how his job programs really change the lives of former LA gang members. But this type of thing has been a long-standing passion of mine."  Your investment in Wake's leadership ten years ago helped shape what has become a solid commitment to the "business" of offering hope and opportunity for urban youth.

Click here to read Wakefield's full bio.

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