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NiteRider Lays Off Three Including Gresmer

Published January 5, 2009

SAN DIEGO, CA (BRAIN)—NiteRider has released three full time employees including president Jack Gresmer, who served in that capacity since March 2005.

NiteRider's director of engineering Ed Allen and mechanical engineer Tim Martinson were also let go, according to founder and chief executive officer Tom Carroll.

After a four year absence NiteRider founder Tom Carroll decided to come back as chief executive officer last September, moving Ed Andrew to chief operating officer.

Then on December 17, Carroll fired Gresmer along with two out of three of the company's engineering team. NiteRider employs 30-35 at its San Diego office.

"He told us the reason was a 'bad economy,'" Gresmer said. "During Tom’s absence NiteRider had four years of record growth and profits. It doesn’t make a lot of sense but it’s done."

Carroll didn't dispute that sales were up overall for 2008, 15 percent to be exact. However, Carroll said that the last three months of 2008 sales were down.

Carroll founded NiteRider in the mid-1980s, when he owned a construction company. An avid surfer, Carroll devised a lighting system he could wear on a white water helmet. The "ride" in NiteRider comes from riding waves, though it translates to cycling. Carroll also owns NiteRider Dive Lights International.

Carroll said the lay offs had to do with not only a souring economy, but the fact that Carroll is now focusing his efforts on bike lights, not dive lights.

"My strengths are engineering," Carroll said. "I'm a very creative person."

With Gresmer's departure, NiteRider sales manager Mike Ely will become the company's figurehead at tradeshows and events, Carroll said. Ely has been with NiteRider for nine years.

Gresmer said that he's still looking for another job in the bicycle industry. He said all the industry experience he has "speaks for itself."

Gresmer can be reached at jgresmer@aol.com.

—Jason Norman

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