MONTEREY, CA (BRAIN) — Bicycle Retailer and Industry News honored industry suppliers and leaders at its annual BRAINy awards dinner Thursday night, marking the end to another successful three-day Bicycle Leadership Conference in this seaside town.
Helping determine the winners this year was Leisure Trends Group, which tracks supplier sales into the IBD channel. This year’s supplier awards were given based on sales growth. In the complete bike supplier category, the BRAINy award for fastest-growing brand with annual sales over $50 million went to Raleigh America. Santa Cruz Bicycles took the BRAINy for fastest-growing bike brand with annual sales under $50 million.
Two other companies—Go Pro and Garmin—were recognized with BRAINys in the accessory/non-complete bike categories.
Charlie Cooper, president of Leisure Trends Group, said Garmin has seen 35 percent year over year growth. Meanwhile, “Go Pro continues to change consumer behavior. We all can appreciate what Go Pro has done for the specialty channel and the outdoor industry,” Cooper said.
Three other BRAINys were awarded to individuals. Giant USA general manager Elysa Walk presented the BRAINy for international person of the year to Giant Global president Tony Lo. “Tony has been called the Dalai Lama of the bike industry,” she said, noting Lo’s work leading Taiwan’s A-Team and as chairman of the Taiwan Bicycle Exporters’ Association (TBEA).
IMBA president and U.S. executive director Mike Van Abel introduced the BRAINy winner for advocate of the year: SRAM’s Elayna Caldwell. “Elayna has made advocacy sexy, made it cool,” he said. “If you’re ever in a meeting you’ll see she knows how to cut to the chase about advocacy.”
And taking the award for service to the industry was Chuck Hooper, who recently stepped down as president of Seattle Bike Supply after nearly 30 years at the company, the last 20 at its helm. Hooper started working in the industry in 1955.
“I’m not leaving the industry,” Hooper said. “I’m becoming an administrative advisor who’s like a meteorologist. You can say anything, it doesn’t matter,” he joked.
Lastly, Specialized executive vice president Bob Margevicius took to the podium to honor BRAIN publisher Marc Sani for his impact on the industry.
“He’s a successful architect of a publication with print and digital presence and he’s hand an impact on everyone at the retail level—dealers, suppliers in Asia. He’s hired and brought people to the publication to bring us the news,” Margevicius said.