Thursday February 09, 2012
Manganiello, a South Burlington resident, was nominated for eTown’s prestigious e-Chievement Award by friend and long-time listener Janice Russotti, who “knew [eTown] would just love him.”
“Ron represents everything the e-Chievement Award celebrates,” says Russotti. “He’s a generous man who’s always thinking of ways to help those less fortunate. What he’s created with Bike Recycle Vermont—as a volunteer—is truly extraordinary.”
In 2004, Manganiello had no grand plan to change the world. Having recently retired from his work as an energy auditor, he did want to give back to his community—but never imagined that fulfilling a simple request from a friend, to help collect a few bikes for a Somali refugee family, would lead him to his next “career” as Founding Volunteer of BRV. Since then, he has built the organization from humble beginnings into a vital social service provider for thousands of low- and no-income Vermonters. To date, BRV has collected, refurbished, and redistributed more than 4,000 bikes to the area’s New American population, at-risk youth, the homeless, and others unable to afford a car.
During this time, under Manganiello’s guidance, BRV has also expanded its core service to include initiatives such as the Youth Training Program—which teaches practical skills, in a natural mentoring environment, to students with a range of challenges. Beginning in 2012, the BRV Bike Mechanics’ Institute will provide opportunities for un- and underemployed young adults to learn both a marketable skill set, and the necessary “soft skills” that help define job readiness. And, Manganiello’s vision for sustainability also helped inspire the creation of Bike Recycle Designs late last year. Bike Recycle Designs reclaims spokes, tires, inner tubes and other parts from unusable bikes, and transforms them into “wearable art”—proceeds from the sales of which are reinvested back into Bike Recycle Vermont.
Remarkably, Manganiello has accomplished all of this without being paid.
“He’s truly a man motivated by passion, and his energy is boundless,” says Russotti. “He leads by example and inspires everyone around him to achieve great things. Our community is a better place because of Ron, and I hope he’s part of Bike Recycle Vermont for years to come.”
“Really, this is not about me,” says Manganiello—true to his characteristic humility. “Bike Recycle Vermont owes so much of our success to our great sponsors and funders. . . we are grateful to have them behind us.”
For more information about Bike Recycle Vermont, go to www.localmotion.org/bikerecycle.
SOURCE: Local Motion