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Former bicycle industry executive takes the reins at Pret, a winter sports helmet company

Published August 31, 2017

FRIEDRICHSHAFEN, Germany (BRAIN) — Steve Bellefeuille, Accell North America's former vice president of purchasing, is taking over a helmet brand best known in the winter sports industry. Bellefeuille has been named president and CEO of Pret, Inc. and has moved to Park City where the company is located.

"As an avid skier, I've been a fan of the Pret brand since its inception," Bellefeuille said. "Pret's team is passionate and dedicated to producing the highest performing helmets for the athlete and enthusiast," he said. The company has exhibited its helmets at SIA, the snowsports industry's trade show.

In an interview with BRAIN while attending Eurobike, Bellefeuille said he was enjoying the Utah sunshine after years working in the Seattle area. "The amount of rain or the number of overcast days from October through May seemed endless last year," he said.

Besides ANA, the parent company for Raleigh and Diamondback, Bellefeuille had worked in planning, sales, supply chain management and product development at companies including K2 Sports, World Wide Cycle Supply and most recently at ANA.

Bellefeuille replaces the company's founding president and CEO, Darryl English. English remains the company's owner and continues as a member of its board of directors.

In a press release English said, "Pret has achieved very strong momentum in the competitive helmet category in winter sports and we're committed to taking the next leap in becoming a leading global brand under Steve's lead."

Bellefeuille said the company was founded in 2010 in Europe but its headquarters are in Utah. Pret helmets are made in Asia at the same factory that produces helmets for POC, Bontrager, Smith and others. "It's a custom manufacturer and specializes in technical designs," he said.

Pret, a French word for "ready," is a mid-to-high end helmet designed for skiers and snowboarders who gravitate to off-piste skiing and backcountry winter travel. "Think of Pret as an all mountain/freeride helmet. Those are the athletes we sponsor," he said.

"Our DNA is lightweight, ventilation and low visibility. It's not like putting a watermelon on your head," he said. Pret also features MIPS technology in some of its models. "In the U.S. consumers are more interested in MIPS than in Europe, but it's coming in Europe," he said.

As the company grows it most likely will offer goggles that mate with its helmets and will keep an eye on the bicycle market as well, Bellefeuille said.

Topics associated with this article: People, Eurobike

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