Dennis McNeal Named New Chair of Motorcycle Industry Council
Board Elects 2014 Officers and Welcomes New Directors
IRVINE, Calif. – Dennis McNeal, vice president-motorcycle operations at Yamaha Motor Corporation, U.S.A. is the new chair of the Motorcycle Industry Council board of directors. Jon-Erik Burleson, president of KTM-North America Inc., will continue as vice chair, and Larry Little, vice president and general manager of Marketplace Events Motorcycle Group, was elected secretary/treasurer at February’s board meeting in Irvine, Calif.
“I’m honored to be elected as the chair of the MIC, just as the organization begins its second century of vital work preserving, protecting and promoting motorcycling,” McNeal said. “This is an exciting time for the industry’s trade association, with great potential ahead, and an excellent team of veterans and fresh talent on the board and among MIC staff assembled to take on challenges and opportunities.”
McNeal thanked the outgoing chair of the MIC board of directors, Mark Blackwell, who served in that role during 2013 and is retiring from his position as vice president, special projects at Polaris Industries.
“Mark Blackwell was, and will remain, a tremendous asset to the MIC,” McNeal said. “His vast industry experience, genuine enthusiasm and leadership skills were greatly appreciated over the past year, particularly as the MIC embarked on expanded initiatives such as the new class of MIC membership for dealers and retailers nationwide.”
“Serving the industry, dealerships and, ultimately, riders everywhere, the MIC is continuing, in its next 100 years, to represent motorcycling before legislators, with regard to land use and technical and emissions regulations,” Burleson said. “We want to help keep two-wheelers and other powersports products accessible, usable and desirable.”
Market research and helping members expand the market remain key aspects of MIC efforts, Little said. “An ongoing mission includes understanding the wide variety of American consumers and enticing more of them to ride, whether it’s for transportation or recreation,” he said.
The 2014 MIC Board of Directors is now set with recently elected and appointed members Steve Menneto, vice president, motorcycles, Polaris Industries Inc.; Sarah Schilke, marketing and public relations manager at Schuberth North America; and Little, a past MIC chair who is serving his 18th year as a director. All are beginning two-year terms.
They are among 12 MIC directors, six elected and six appointed by motorcycle manufacturers and distributors that pay MIC dues based on market share. Continuing to serve on the board for 2014 are: Hans Blesse, vice president, BMW Motorrad USA; Steve Bortolamedi, senior communications manager, Suzuki Motor of America, Inc.; Russ Brenan, senior advisor, government relations and public affairs at Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A.; Don Emde, owner/president of Don Emde, Inc.; Frank Esposito, president at Kendon Industries, Inc.; Robert Gurga, vice president, motorcycle division, American Honda Motor Co., Inc.; Steve Johnson, of Tucker Rocky Distributing. They are responsible for the review and approval of MIC policies, positions, programs and fiscal operations.
The Motorcycle Industry Council exists to preserve, protect and promote motorcycling through government relations, communications and media relations, statistics and research, aftermarket programs, development of data communications standards, and activities surrounding technical and regulatory issues. As a not-for-profit, national industry association, the MIC seeks to support motorcyclists by representing manufacturers, distributors, dealers and retailers of motorcycles, scooters, ATVs, ROVs, motorcycle/ATV/ROV parts, accessories and related goods and services, and members of allied trades such as insurance, finance and investment companies, media companies and consultants.
The MIC is headquartered in Irvine, Calif., with a government relations office in metropolitan Washington, D.C. First called the MIC in 1970, the organization has been in operation since 1914. Visit the MIC at mic.org.