Jioni Palmer, Executive Director
For the past two decades, Jioni has served in a succession of high-profile positions in organizations large and small with broad responsibility for human and capital resources. He is a strong leader and entrepreneurial thinker adept at startups, turnarounds, and taking existing organizations to the next level. His experience spans media relations, public and legislative affairs, policy development, fundraising, and organizational leadership in the government and non-profit sectors.
Most recently, Jioni served as Senior Director of Communications and External Affairs for a non-profit public survey research firm. He managed the message development and marketing of the organization’s research products and relationships with advocates, policymakers, academics, and journalists.
Previously, Jioni served as an Obama Administration political appointee with the Social Security Administration and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation. Before his work as an executive branch official, Jioni worked on Capitol Hill as the Communications Director for the Congressional Black Caucus, as National Press Secretary at Media Matters for America, and as Press Secretary for the Ways and Means Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives. A former journalist, Jioni worked for Newsday starting as a summer intern, eventually becoming the paper’s congressional correspondent, reporting on the daily activities on Capitol Hill, with a focus on the New York delegation.
Jioni is the Founder & Publisher of Thinking Good, a digital media community that helps men be their better selves, and the Men’s Minister at Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church in Washington, DC. He is the author of numerous Op-Ed’s, personal essays, and short stories. He is currently working on a novel, a children’s book, and a collection of essays.
Jioni is a graduate of the University of California at Los Angeles, where he majored in African American studies and the Howard University School of Divinity with a Master of Divinity. He lives in Washington DC with his wife, two sons, two cats, and a puppy.
Keith Jackson, General Manager
With more than 20 years of bike industry experience and tenures at BicycleSpace, HTO, Capital Hill Bikes, Chain Reaction Bicycle, Bikes USA, and Bicycle Exchange, Keith is a seasoned bike industry expert. In addition, Keith has provided neutral race support during Ironman triathlons across the country and is the founder of the Anacostia Bicycle Company. Prior to joining the Gearin’ Up team, Keith spent 20 years working as an EPA contractor.
Fun bicycle fact: Keith is all about the vintage bikes.
Tori Riemersma, Program Coordinator
DaiQuan Medley, Shop Manager and Head Mechanic
DaiQuan Medley came to Gearin’ Up Bicycles when he needed an outlet for his energies as part of his struggles to overcome behavioral challenges. A the time, DaiQuan was a high School student with a mechanical-focused mind and a leading member of their Robotics team, thus volunteering at Gearin’ Up was just a natural fit. After working at Gearin’ Up through the District’s Summer Youth Employment Program in 2014, DaiQuan officially became part of the Gearin’ Up Bicycles staff in early 2015 as a youth mechanic. Ever since joining our staff, DaiQuan has been a leader in teaching other DC youth about bike mechanics, especially during our Youth Night program. After 4 years at Gearin’ Up, DaiQuan decided to pursue an auto mechanic degree in Pennsylvania, and is now back in the area working at Gearin’ Up before he takes his next step!
Fun bicycle fact: DaiQuan is an avid mountain biker and frequently rode trails through the PA wilderness during his college days.
Matt Walden, Youth Mechanic
Matt joined the Gearin’ Up staff in June 2020 after being a regular youth at weekly youth nights and volunteering with us over the past few years. He works alongside our mechanic team as well as up front with customers.
Fun bicycle fact: As a volunteer, Matt sold many bikes to customers at our Big Bear sales and the 2019 DC Bike Swap.
Keon Terry, Youth Mechanic
At first a volunteer, Keon became a part of the Gearin’ Up family in 2015. He says that Gearin’ Up “taught me to do what is right” and “produce quality work” for others. Keon dreams of working as a photographer for National Geographic and is currently pursuing an Arts degree in North Carolina!
Andre Cousart, Youth Mechanic
Andre started volunteering with Gearin’ Up in 2015. He was inspired by his brother Antwaun to begin riding and repairing bicycles. A couple of months later, Andre began to bring more youth to volunteer and participate in Gearin’ Up after-school bike maintenance activities. In his free time, Andre enjoys watching Kevin Hart for a good laugh and comedy movies. Andre now works full time as a mechanic at Conte’s Bike Shop in DC!
Kojo Saunders, Sales Associate
Known for his dramatic entrances, Kojo joined Gearin’ Up in 2015, and developed his love for all things cycling. He moved on up to work for City Bikes as a mechanic and then Shop Manager. During the pandemic, Kojo helped out at Gearin’ Up as our main sales associate, assisting customers with his bright smile and gregarious demeanor. He is currently in the process of becoming DC Fire Department Cadet. Go Kojo!
Antwaun Cousart, Youth Shop Manager
Antwaun discovered Gearin’ Up after his bottom bracket broke and a friend recommended the shop for affordable repairs. Antwaun had previous experience doing simple repairs at home, and he quickly improved his skills, first by volunteering at Gearin’ Up and then joining the staff in 2015. As an ambitious youth mechanic, Antwaun enjoys solving challenging problems while doing repairs. Antwaun has shown his love for all things on 2 wheels since joining the staff as a youth mechanic, and has continued to grow over the last 3 years. Antwaun recently worked his way up to be Youth Shop Manager and played a key role in leading and teaching the next wave of youth at Gearin’ Up Bicycles. He now works at Capital Bikeshare on the mechanic team.
Anthony Cousart, Youth Shop Manager
Anthony has been working for Gearin’ Up since 2017. He enjoys working through building a bike from the ground up, and has visions for a youth bike park one day. Anthony now works as a mechanic for Capital Bikeshare.