TORONTO, ON (BRAIN) Mar 1, 16:33 MT—The Bicycle Trade Association of Canada announced Thursday that executive director Janet O’Connell will step down from her role later this year.
O’Connell has headed BTAC for 11 years—ever since it broke away from the Canadian Sporting Goods Association—and guided the way as the organization grew from the ground up into Canada’s voice for the industry.
O’Connell said she announced her resignation to BTAC’s board during a meeting earlier this week with mixed feelings, as she looks to pursue personal goals and “take time to breathe.”
“They were very gracious about it. They’re quite surprised but change is sometimes good. I’ve been saying they need to look at this an opportunity, a positive rather than negative,” she said. “I’ve had a great run here and 11 years is a long time.”
O’Connell will remain in her position until Oct.1 in order to give the board time to find a replacement, and so she can be there through this year’s ExpoCycle tradeshow as it moves from Montréal to Toronto. Since she was BTAC’s first and only executive director, O’Connell wants to allow plenty of time for the transition.
During O’Connell’s tenure, BTAC’s membership grew to include bike dealers, manufacturers, distributors and advocacy groups in Canada. It provides market research and grant programs to the industry, partners with advocates and organizes ExpoCycle, Canada’s largest tradeshow.
Of O’Connell’s announcement, BTAC board member Kevin Senior said: “We are very proud of what Janet has accomplished in her time as executive director and we want to thank her for all her efforts and wish her continued success in her future endeavors. The board of directors and Janet will be working on a transition plan.”