MONTEREY, CA (BRAIN)—The BRAINy awards reception capped off the three-day Bicycle Leadership Conference last night. Bicycle Retailer & Industry News publisher Marc Sani and Bicycle Product Suppliers Association president Chris Speyer presented awards recognizing industry achievement at the supplier level.
This year, the BPSA board nominated and selected the BRAINy recipients. These included:
Distinguished Service Award
John Nedeau, vice president of OE sales, SRAM
With SRAM since 1993, Nedeau has been a member of the senior management team since 2006. He led the BPSA as its president from 2006 through 2011, as the group tackled legal challenges including California’s Prop. 65, New Jersey’s wheel-retention legislation and Consumer Product Safety Information Act reform efforts. Under Nedeau’s watch the BPSA expanded its industry statistics program to include retail sell-through data, and more recently has grown its overall membership.
Tim Blumenthal, president, Bikes Belong Coalition
Blumenthal has been at the helm the Bikes Belong Coalition since September 2004. He also directs the Bikes Belong Foundation. Together, the two groups have an annual budget of more than $6 million, making Bikes Belong one of the world’s largest non-profit cycling organizations. Before Bikes Belong, he served 11 years as the executive director of the International Mountain Bicycling Association. He began his cycling career as a journalist, working for VeloNews, Mountain Bike magazine and Bicycling magazine.
Gary Erickson, founder, Clif Bar
Erickson took the road less traveled as he built his company over the past two decades. Aside from his commitment to advocacy, Erickson helps fledgling businesses looking for capital through a small venture capital fund, White Road Investments. His three-year-old fund has invested in more than six companies.
Small Company Executive Award
Chris Conroy, president, Yeti
Conroy’s involvement with Yeti dates back 15 years, first as brand manager when it was owned by Schwinn. He became general manager in 1999 and he and his business partner purchased the company in 2001. His company has seen year over year double-digit growth and established itself as an innovation leader in high-end mountain. Yeti Cycles heavily invests in racing. Conroy also volunteers as a board member for IMBA and the Colorado High School Cycling League.
Large Company Executive Award
Fred Clark, president, Thule
Clark started with Thule in 1993 running operations and development. He became president of the North American business area for the Thule Group in 2000 and has led the organization from $13 million in 1993 to a projected $200 million in 2012. He’s led Thule through the acquisition of multiple brands including SportRack and Chariot Carriers. He’s also propelled Thule’s sustainability programs and serves on the board of directors of the Outdoor Foundation.
International Executive Award
René Takens, CEO, Accell Group
Takens joined Accell Group in 1999. He’s led the European bike giant through the acquisition of several U.S. and European brands, most recently e-bike maker Currie Technologies and Raleigh Cycle Limited. In the U.S., Accell also owns distributor Seattle Bike Supply.
Two new awards were introduced this year to recognize consumer media. The BRAINy for consumer media/print went to Bicycling magazine. Cyclingnews.com, run by UK publishing company Future, was the BRAINy recipient for consumer media/electronic.
Photo: Bicycle Retailer & Industry News publisher Marc Sani, SRAM’s John Nedeau and BPSA’s Chris Speyer