Hello out there! My name is Jesse Williams and I am the Director of Hauling Operations at Rust Belt Riders. I was born and raised in Northeast Cleveland, Ohio. I was fortunate enough to live just a short walk from the shores of Lake Erie, a fact that often surprised those who don't realize Cleveland has beaches and coastal living. This is where I spent most of my time growing up, outdoors, at the beach, in the water, and biking and exploring the the many parks on the coast and along the rivers. When I was in highschool I was rowed crew so I also got to be out on one of cleveland's most infamous bodys of water, The Cuyahoga River. The Cuyahoga has come a long way since its days of catching on fire and now its home to increased richness and biodiversity and has seen a resurgence of recreation and entertainment, a transition I was lucky enough to get to see from the river itself.
In continuing my habit of living minutes from a great lake, I attended college at Roosevelt University in Chicago. I graduated there with an B.A. in Sustainability and an Environmental science minor. While I was there I got to work with a number of awesome organization. Some of my favorites were, Eden Place Nature Center, the only nature center on the southside of Chicago; The Field Museum of Natural History, in the Paleontology and The Insect Departments; and Jumpstart, a program which allowed me to work as a T.A. for a preschool on the southside of Chicago.
While I was there. I noticed that Chicago already has a very robust group of organizations and people doing amazing environmental work. While I was interested in many of them I was drawn more to try and help cleveland build up the environmental community like I saw in Chicago. I was fortunate enough to meet Dan Brown, Co-founder of Rust Belt Riders when I returned back to Cleveland and they were looking to make their first official hire. That's where my path began at RBR and after almost 4 years and a lot passion and hard work, we've grown to where we are today.