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NBDA restructures by eliminating a key position; plans move to Colorado

Published January 18, 2017
Fred Clements at the IBD Summit on Wednesday

TEMPE, Ariz. (BRAIN) — The National Bicycle Dealers Association is in the midst of a significant restructuring. The association’s board of directors has eliminated the vice president position held by Fred Clements and plans to set up a new office in the Boulder, Colorado, area.

Clements, who has a 27-year history with the NBDA, will end his full-time job April 30. He would then work part time as a contractor on specific projects. “It’s been an honor to have had these years with the association — unlike a for-profit business, it’s been a unique job,” he said.

“Sometimes it’s been a wild ride, but I am thankful for the time I’ve spent with the NBDA and the many wonderful retailers I have met and worked with over the years,” Clements added.

Todd Grant, the NBDA’s president, said it’s been a pleasure working with Clements. “For almost 30 years he has done a great job and has kept his eye focused on the IBD,” he said.

In the meantime, Grant will close the Costa Mesa, California, office and move the association’s records to Boulder. Grant said he would like to complete the move by June.

Briefly addressing the audience at the IBD Summit being held in Tempe, Grant said it’s been an “exciting time” at the association noting the development of the group’s “Buy Where You Ride” and its “Bikes Build …” programs (Bikes Build Families, Bikes Build Fitness, etc.). The full NBDA board met at the Summit.

Grant plans to hire two new employees as staff at the new location. Last April Grant retained Steve Elmes, owner of SJE Productions, a Boulder marketing company, to handle marketing. The NBDA also has an employee, Karen Townsend, who manages the association’s America’s Best program as well as some membership duties. She lives in Geneva, Illinois.

Grant, selected by the NBDA board 15 months ago to run the organization, orchestrated the purchase of Barnett Bicycle Institute, a 30-year-old professional mechanics school founded by John Barnett. The purchase was announced last September, a few days before Interbike.

With the hiring of Grant, Clements’ role at the NBDA became more of an administrative position. The NBDA was founded in 1946. The late Steve Ready, founder of Interbike, bought the association out of bankruptcy and hired Clements in 1989 to run it.

Brandee Lepak, the NBDA’s newly named chairperson, told BRAIN that the goal in moving its offices to Boulder was to allow Grant to build up a staff to help develop long-term strategies for the association.

“Boulder is also where the key industry associations are,” she said, citing PeopleForBikes and IMBA. The Bicycle Product Suppliers Association’s executive director, Ray Keener, also lives in Boulder.

“It got to the point where we (the board) realized that Todd wanted to surround himself with a staff to help him better strategize for the future and to help develop new programs that would move the NBDA forward,” Lepak said.

Nonetheless, Lepak said the association’s No. 1 goal is to boost its membership. But at the same time, she added, the association needs to offer more programs that are relevant to a changing retail base. “We need to have programs that better serve our members,” Lepak said.

Currently, the NBDA licenses Bicycle Retailer & Industry News from Emerald Expositions, owner of Interbike. The magazine’s offices will remain in Laguna Hills, California. 

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