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Dave Wiens named executive director of IMBA

Published February 8, 2017
Yeti's Chris Conroy named board chairman.

BOULDER, Colo. (BRAIN) — Retired racer Dave Wiens has quickly moved from the board chair of the International Mountain Bicycling Association to becoming its executive director. He replaces Mike Van Abel who resigned as executive director last summer.

Wiens joined IMBA's board in January 2016 and was elected chairman in November.

Besides his offroad racing career, Wiens is the founder and executive director of Gunnison Trails, a non-profit organization based in Gunnison, Colorado. He is a member of the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame and also is an ambassador for the accessories brand Ergon.

Wiens plans to remain living in Gunnison and make fairly frequent trips to IMBA's headquarters in Boulder, he told BRAIN on Wednesday.

He said his priorities as executive director include reaching out to younger riders, who tend as a group not to be joiners, he noted.

"It's no secret that IMBA has had its challenges. IMBA's membership, while strong, hasn't grown a lot. We know there are way more mountain bikers than there are IMBA members. And the landscape is changing as my demographic group is getting older and we approach advocacy and joining groups in a different way than younger folks do," he said. 

He said responding to recent calls for privatizing public lands is another immediate priority for IMBA.
 
"Right now is really a time to come together to find our common interest in saving these public lands. We need to work with all kinds of groups, including hiking, equestrian, moto, sportsmen, even ranchers — anyone who uses the land in a non-extraction-based way," he said.
 
Wiens assumes the executive director role immediately. The organization has separated the roles of president and executive director. Dan Brillon, who became interim president and executive director after Van Abel resigned, will remain president of the organization and oversee internal operations and business structure.
 
Chris Conroy, the president of Yeti Cycles, has been elected to replace Wiens as chairman of the board. Taldi Walter, government and community affairs manager of REI, serves as vice chair.

 

 

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