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PeopleForBikes announces Tim Blumenthal's retirement

Published June 30, 2020
Organization creates Tim Blumenthal Legacy Fund

Editor's note: A version of this article appears in the July 1 issue of Bicycle Retailer & Industry News. This article has been corrected from an earlier version that mistakenly said Blumenthal was the founding president of Bikes Belong. We apologize for the mistake.

BOULDER, Colo. (BRAIN) — In a transition that has been planned for about two years, PeopleForBikes president and CEO Tim Blumenthal announced his retirement on Tuesday. He will be replaced by Jenn Dice, who has been the organization’s chief operating officer since last year.

Blumenthal joined Bikes Belong as president in 2004; in 2012 that organization was renamed PeopleForBikes. (Rich Olken was the founding president of Bikes Belong, serving in that position from 1999-2004.)

Prior to Bikes Belong, Blumenthal was executive director of the International Mountain Bicycling Association. He also is a former editor of VeloNews and Bicycling magazines and a writer and advisor for NBC Sports. 

Blumenthal departs PeopleForBikes at a time of heightened interest in cycling and uncertainty in the industry. The organization relies, in part, on supplier dues tied to annual sales.

“I can’t believe I’ve been in this job almost 16 years, and now I’m getting ready to leave, and ... things are not crumbling, but it’s a super, super tough situation,” Blumenthal told BRAIN. “We’ve got more going on than ever before and we are going to need to add a few people at a time when a lot of businesses are contracting.”

He said the organization was being very conservative with spending this year.

“The best case is that we maintain a balanced budget, the worst case has us losing a half million dollars,” he said. One upside, he noted: the pandemic ended most planned staff travel, saving almost $250,000 this year.

Blumenthal hired Dice in 2001 at IMBA, where she was a government relations expert. She joined PeopleForBikes in 2013. 

“She will bring so much to the job,” Blumenthal said. “She’s a really hard worker, she’s bold and she’s not afraid, and I’ve seen that in a bunch of different ways. …  the other thing is that she is so enthusiastic about bike riding, and that’s contagious.”

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In a release Tuesday, Dice said, "Tim first hired me at IMBA in 2001 to create the government affairs program for mountain biking and then lured me away 7 years ago to do the same thing for the entire bike industry at PeopleForBikes," said Dice. "I've learned so much from his leadership and mentorship. He empowered me to create programs, build teams and we have innovated every step of the way."

During Blumenthal's tenure, PeopleForBikes grew from two employees to 25, increased its annual budget from $1 million to $10 million, launched the PeopleForBikes Foundation and developed a grassroots network of support that includes 1.4 million people.

The organization announced Tuesday that it has created the Tim Blumenthal Legacy Fund to continue honoring Blumenthal and his dedication to making biking better for everyone during the last 40 years. Donations to the fund will help the PeopleForBikes Foundation address the significant challenges our society currently faces with the solutions that bicycling can offer.

"We should all be grateful to Tim for all he has done to create better places to ride, to bring disparate communities together around common goals and to set an example of what leadership looks like," said Chris Speyer, vice president of merchandising product and co-op brands at REI, who was recently elected as the chairman of the PeopleForBikes Coalition board. "He has been a mentor of mine, and I feel honored to partner with Jenn Dice and the PeopleForBikes team to support and advance the amazing foundation he has laid. Thanks for everything, Tim."

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