The Story of WheelLab
When reflecting on what I enjoyed most during my childhood, my mind automatically goes to building and riding bikes with friends. The excitement of tearing apart a bike and figuring out how it all works, why it needs to be maintained and then of course, remembering how it all goes back together, gave me hours of enjoyment. All of this exploration gave me an opportunity to pursue other avenues of mechanics. From bikes, it became tinkering with small engines, motorcycles, cars, trucks and the rest is history. If I hadn't had the opportunity to explore tools and machinery, I wouldn't have the interests and skills I have now. It is my passion and I want to share it with youth that don't have the same opportunities I had.
My career since college has revolved around working with youth. Most recently, I have been developing and managing after school programs with at-risk teens. It is here that I realized I should be combining these two passions together to develop a comprehensive after school program that provides a creative hands-on building experience for at-risk youth. With a majority of the school day focused on subjects like math and literacy, there is little time left for hands on experiences with prototyping, engineering and activities that build fine motor skills. WheelLab is here to fill that void.
- Lance Latimer, Founder
Founder and Executive Director
Lance is the founder of WheelLab and is an avid biker, builder and outdoorsman.
“I created WheelLab to give youth an opportunity to Fix, Build, Create, and Ride so that they may develop those engineering brains we all have in us.”
Board of Directors, Treasurer
Masao is a community leader who has founded youth programs and organizations with a focus on career development, arts equity, civic engagement, social justice, and more.
Masao currently sits as on the Board of Directors for WheelLab and the Intiman Theatre while also being engaged as an Advisory Board Member for the Melodic Caring Project and One Love Foundation.
Jay grew up with a curiosity about how things work and spent a lot of time working on bikes and other mechanical contraptions. That curiosity turned into a tech career that enables Jay to help teach the next generation mechanical engineering concepts through WheelLab programs like Create a Bike.
Board of Directors, Secretary
Scott has been on the WheeLab board since 2017. In his personal time, he builds and makes whatever pops into his head in any given moment. He's spent time teaching drivers ed and elementary school. All these experiences and passions come together with WheeLab, where creating and educating are at the heart of the organization.
Professionally, Scott is a program manager at Microsoft, where he's been since 2012.
"Mountain biking has become a big part of my life and being able to work with an organization where their mission is to provide our youth a positive, safe place to learn, and experience building and creating things has been life-changing."
It has been a lifelong passion of mine to do what I can to better the lives of youth and teens. I’m also a lifelong outdoor enthusiast. I love to hike, bike, ski, snowshoe, kayak, and just about anything that gets me moving in nature. I’m involved with WheelLab since it intersects personal and professional passions on multiple levels.
Jason is a social media and marketing strategist.
"As a Bellevue resident and bicycle safety advocate, I believe in Safe Streets for riders of all ages."