MONTEREY, CA (BRAIN)—Leslie Bohm looks forward to a day when we won’t need awards to recognize advocacy work, he said in his acceptance speech for a BRAINy for Individual Advocate of the Year. Until then, he said, he appreciated the recognition.
Bohm, chief executive officer of Catalyst Communication, was one of 14 industry leaders and companies Bicycle Retailer and Industry News recognized at the annual BRAINy awards ceremony Thursday night during the Bicycle Leadership Conference.
“These inspirational industry leaders deserve to be recognized for their longtime efforts to improve bicycle retailing, advocate for cycling interests, protect the environment and combat serious legal threats to our business,” said BRAIN editor Megan Tompkins, who emceed the awards ceremony. “Much of their important work is done behind the scenes and they have earned their day in the sun.”
Highlights of the evening included:
• SRAM chief executive officer Stan Day received a standing ovation when he accepted the BRAINy for Supplier Advocate of the Year. Day said he didn’t take advocacy seriously enough to get personally involved when SRAM’s Mike Mercuri suggested he should 12 years ago. Fast-forward to today and Day confirmed that advocacy is for real, adding that SRAM, the company culture and he personally are committed to it.
• In a touching father-daughter moment, Eugene Kiefel’s daughter Leona stood next to her father and spoke about how cycling afforded him and his family the opportunity to see the world. She said, “It was always about family,” for her father, who started Wheat Ridge Cyclery in 1973 and was the first retail recipient of the BRAINy Lifetime Achievement award.
• Straight off the plane from a family vacation in Mexico and wearing shorts and sandals, Trek’s general counsel Bob Burns arrived just in time to accept the Distinguished Service Award for his steadfast work to fight the CPSIA legislation. BPSA president John Nedeau, who presented the award referred to him as the “industry’s Superman,” without whom the ramifications of CPSIA could be far worse.
Here’s the complete list of 2009 BRAINy award winners:
Distinguished Service Award
Bob Burns, Trek Bicycles
International Person of the Year
King Liu, Giant Bicycle
Lifetime Achievement Award
Eugene Kiefel, Wheat Ridge Cyclery
Individual Advocate of the Year
Leslie Bohm, Catalyst Communication
Supplier Advocate of the Year
Retailer Advocate of the Year
Southwest Florida Bicycle United Dealers (SWFBUD)
GREENy Large Supplier
Quality Bicycle Products
GREENy Small Supplier
Peloton Cycles, Ft. Collins, CO
2009 Retailer of the Year
Erik’s Bike Shop, Bloomington, MN
Most Female-Friendly Shop
Brielle Cyclery, Brielle, NJ
Best Pro Shop
Belmont Wheel Works, Belmont, MA
Best Multisport Shop
Gear West, Long Lake, MN
Best Family Shop
Beacon Cycling & Fitness, Northfield, NJ
Photo: Lifetime Achievement Award winner Eugene Kiefel and daughter Leona Photo by Douglas Schwartz, ELV Motors