MONTEREY, CA (BRAIN)—Richard Fries has been named Bicycle Leadership Conference director for 2011. The conference will be held April 12-14, 2011.
"This is a big honor and a big role to play," said Fries, who has been involved in cycling as journalist, commentator, marketing director and event promoter dating back to the 1980s. "I hope to learn way more than I expect to teach in this experience, but I will try to develop some new voices and perspectives in the agenda."
Last year's conference director Ray Keener will remain critical to the event as the new executive marketing director of the BPSA. Keener will work on the agenda and sales aspects of BLC on behalf of the BPSA. "I'm looking forward to working with Richard on the aspects of BLC that best suit my skill-set," Keener said. "We set a high-water mark in 2010, and with this team, the 2011 BLC will be even better."
A New Englander with a background in road racing and cyclo-cross, Fries has been a strong advocate of developing urban cycling markets. Fries, 49, is known nationally as a race announcer having called the action at countless national championship events.
The annual conference draws together top executives, advocates and promoters of American cycling. The event will again feature the BRAINY Awards, hosted by the editors of Bicycle Retailer and Industry News.
"This event has continued to grow at a steady rate and we're excited to keep it growing both in size and scope," said Frank Yohannan, president and CEO of the Sea Otter Classic, which organizes the event. "When you see the best minds of bicycling come together, amazing things happen. Often these people are trying to get a bigger slice of the pie, but at the BLC they work to grow the entire pie."
John Nedeau, vice president of sales for SRAM, also serves as the BPSA president and oversees the event. "When you look at every industry that is successful, you see this model employed. We are all so busy working with blinders on to focus on those tasks, those markets, those deadlines, that we miss a lot of great things going on. The BLC is where we take the blinders off and look at what others are doing," said Nedeau. "It's like coming up from below deck to see which way this big ship is headed."
The BLC will again be held at the Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa, positioned on the famous Cannery Row section of Monterey. The region offers fantastic scenery, golf, hiking, and, of course, cycling. The event will conclude with a reception and dinner at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.