Matt Tennant; Founder & Director
Matt has 13 years of experience providing direct service to homeless and at-risk youth, including 10 years providing direct street outreach. He developed the concept for Full Cycle while building bikes with youth during overnight shifts at a shelter where he worked, and started the program in 2002. Matt loves all types of cycling, but his BMX roots have given him an undeniable love for dirt jumping (he just wears a lot more pads than he used to). Matt considers himself lucky to have been able to combine his love of cycling with his passion for youth work to create a pretty amazing job that he’s proud of. And if you bring him chocolate, he will be your friend.
Valerie Scheffler; Shop Manger
Since she received her first toolbox as a kid, Valerie has loved to tinker. Whether it be an old bike or household appliance, she’d put a wrench or a screwdriver to it — sometimes just to discover what was inside. As a young adult, she began to depend on a bicycle as her primary means of transportation, and in her mind, she knew she’d have to know everything about that bike. So, she took it apart and put it back together again. Thus began her love of bikes! Today, she combines over a decade of experience in professional bicycle maintenance with her ever-ending curiosity about life to her work at Full Cycle. You can find her tinkering away daily at our shop.
Arturo Ortega; Mechanic
Moving from Southern California, biking continues to be Arturo’s most reliable mode of transportation. And like the distances he traverses on bike trials throughout the Twin Cities, his knowledge and passion for bike mechanics increases. Arturo began his employment with Full Cycle as an Intern Bike Mechanic in 2013. After completing the internship, he was hired on as a Graduate Mechanic, and in time other positions followed--such as a Food Access Rider and Seasonal Mechanic. Since 2019, Arturo is a year-round full-time Mechanic and proud to be on Staff at Full Cycle.
Kathy Paral; Street Outreach Worker
Kathy brings a background in youth work and love for biking to her position as outreach worker at Full Cycle. Previously, she has worked as a program specialist at The Crib youth shelter in Chicago and as a family advocate in a supportive housing program here in Minneapolis. Kathy loves the freedom and adventure of biking in the city, even in the winter, and tries to get everywhere she can by bike (or more recently, by unicycle). She is excited she can share that passion in her job as an outreach worker for Full Cycle.
Patrick Connelly; Youth Employment Advocate (Mechanic)
Patrick comes to Full Cycle having recently finished the Master’s of Social Work (MSW) program at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. Patrick’s youth job training and career development experiences have included managing programs and sites for AchieveMPLS’ StepUp program, Tree Trust, Brooklyn Bridge Alliance for Youth and College Possible. Patrick’s interest in bikes and cycling began as a way to get active as an adult. A few years, tens of thousands of miles and way (WAY) too many bikes later, that interest has evolved into their primary transportation, recreation and casual academic pursuit. After spending time wrenching and working in a couple bike shops around the Twin Cities, Patrick is thrilled to find themselves at Full Cycle, doing work at the intersection of their two professional and personal passions: youth work and bikes.
Collette Fahey; Youth Employment Advocate (Food Access)
Collette comes as a youth worker and bike enthusiast. They built their first bike when they were 17 and have a specific love for bike camping. They've been a youth worker here in Minneapolis since 2017. They worked at The Bridge for Youth and worked as a Personal Care Assistant for a young person. Their favorite way to get to know someone, especially young people, is by doing a project with them. What a gift to be able to bike with youth at Full Cycle! Collette started with us in 2022 and they coordinate youth employment in delivering food during the warm months via bike.