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Join Visit Bentonville for the 2019 Arkansas Bike Summit! This talk show styled event will feature open conversations designed to engage, inspire, and inform those in attendance. The Arkansas Bike Summit will bring together thought leaders who will share their insights and experiences to foster the development of cycling events, infrastructure, marketing, and branding of our cycling community.
Eben Weiss- Bike Snob
Eben Weiss has been chronicling and critiquing the world of cycling since 2007 when he started the mercilessly irreverent Bike Snob NYC blog. He's also the author of four books (Bike Snob, The Enlightened Cyclist, Bike Snob Abroad, and The Ultimate Bicycle Owner's Manual), a digital columnist for Outside magazine, and the host of the Bike Snob radio show on WBAI in New York. He lives in New York City with his family.
Click here to read Ebin's blog!
Aaron Hautala is the President and Creative Director of Strateligent®, a communication and public relations firm located in Central Minnesota. In his role, Aaron and Strateligent® create destination brand identities for their clients through public relations, traditional, digital, and social media communication tools. As a volunteer, Aaron is the president emeritus of the Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Crew (CREW), a chapter of the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA). During the past 8 years, Aaron and the CREW/IMBA have successfully advocated and fundraised over $7 million to fully fund the Cuyuna Master Vision for Trails. Most recently Aaron and Strateligent® have launched Cuyuna Adventure Town USA® marrying the design, economic development, and purpose-built communication needed to fuel an international outdoor recreation destination. The end goal being to powerfully increase tourism revenue and new business development, strengthen existing businesses, and recruit and retain 21st-century entrepreneurs and their work-force.
Francis Webster- Walrus
Frances is CEO of Walrus, an advertising and media agency she co-founded with Deacon Webster in 2005. Before Walrus, Frances was CMO at Mad Dogs & Englishmen and Director of Business Development at BSSP. A graduate of the University of the South (Sewanee), Frances sits on the Advisory Board for the Babson Center of Excellence at Sewanee and is a member of the 4A’s Eastern Region Board. As an active proponent of the industry, she has presented at Advertising Week, 4A's annual conference appeared on the Ad Age Ad Lib podcast, and has been featured in publications including Huffington Post, Adweek, Campaign US, Business Insider, The Drum, and Ad Age. Frances spent her college summers mountain biking in Crested Butte, Colorado, was a member of Sewanee's Mountain Biking team and now enjoys riding with her children, Henry and France.
Paul L. Wojciechowski- Atla Planning + Design
Paul Wojciechowski is a Principal at the premier Active Transportation planning and design firm in the United State, Alta Planning + Design. He is a transportation planner and engineer with over 35 years of experience in planning and designing innovative transportation facilities, and integrating these facilities to function with adjacent land-uses. Paul has dedicated his career to public projects that enhance communities and regional systems and has contributed ideas for development projects that achieve community goals, including award-winning projects such as the regional Gateway Bike Plan in St. Louis and the City of Woodson Terrace Comprehensive Plan.
Kent Laughlin- Atla Planning + Design
Kent is a designer in the Fayetteville, AR office. He graduated from the University of Arkansas’ Fay Jones School of Architecture program with a Bachelor’s degree in Landscape Architecture. In previous employment and since joining Alta, Kent has pursued his passion for active transportation by focusing on soft and hard surface trail planning and design, on-street bicycle facility design and implementation, and recreational development around community natural and cultural resources. He brings experience in community outreach and education, on-street bicycle facility design, as well as experience in graphic support, design and project management.
Kristi Mohn- Dirty Kanza Productions
Kristi Mohn is an Emporia, Kansas native. Having moved away from her hometown after high school, she found herself returning in 1996 with her husband, Tim, to run a local music store. They have made Emporia home for the family since then, along with twins Mason and Sydney and lots of pets and friends over the years.
Tim was one of the 34 starters of the first Dirty Kanza in 2006. Kristi and the kids met him at the halfway point to support his 200-mile effort. When all was said and done, she saw an opportunity for Emporia. That feeling grew in 2007, and after the 2008 event, she approached event organizers Jim Cummins and Joel Dyke to offer help in growing the event. The rest, as we say, is history!
Kristi now works to promote all aspects of Dirty Kanza and leads the women’s initiative.
LeLan Dains- Dirty Kanza Productions
In addition to being a husband and father, LeLan is the Event Director for Dirty Kanza and is a native of Emporia, KS. After graduating from Emporia State University with a degree in Recreation Management, he spent much time traveling and working in various recreation fields. An avid cyclist for over a decade, LeLan has formerly worked as the Camp Director for Carmichael Training Systems, leading cycling excursions all over the world. When the opportunity arose to return to his hometown and bring his talents to the Dirty Kanza Promotions organization it was a dream come true! Beyond bringing life-changing adventure experiences to folks, LeLan spends every free moment with his amazing wife and daughter.
Fred Brodsky - Co-Founder of GGA Consulting LLC
Fred got his start in the tourism business in one of the busiest and most competitive markets in the world, Las Vegas. After 13 years of owning and operating a destination management company and a large design & décor business, he followed his passion for the outdoors to Snowmass, Colorado. In Snowmass, he served as Director of Sales as well as overseeing special events for the Snowmass Tourism office. During his five-year tenure in this ski-first destination, he led the town through a period of unprecedented growth with summer occupancy increasing approximately 105%. In 2016, Fred relocated to Denver and recently opened GGA Consulting. At GGA Consulting’s core is the belief that by taking a product-first mentality, destinations can differentiate themselves from their competitors and achieve substantial growth. Fred and his partner, work with outdoor-oriented destination marketing organizations to “productize” their assets and to develop a strategy to support these products so that destinations may effectively build a brand, support stakeholders and grow tax revenue.
Brendan Quirk- Runway Group
Brendan Quirk is a near-lifelong Arkansan, having first moved to the state in 1982. He first became aware of the wonders of cycling while watching the Tour de France on TV in 1986. It was love at first sight -- wild-eyed, fierce and frantic love! He co-founded the online cycling retailer Competitive Cyclist in Little Rock, where he served as CEO for 12 years. After a stint as Executive Vice President at Backcountry.com, he returned to his cycling roots by taking the role of North America President for Rapha Racing. He departed Rapha at the beginning of 2018 to join the Runway Group in Bentonville, where he works to guide the strategic planning and execution of the cycling vision of Steuart and Tom Walton.
Sam Benedict is a lifelong bike-addict. From BMX racing as a kid to working in bike shops as a teenager, he started mountain biking in San Luis Obispo, CA during college, cementing cycling as a permanent aspect of life. A former professional downhill racer (who admits he just didn’t really have the speed to really “make it”), Sam joined Specialized right out of school. He began as an SBCU Professor of Product, started the product marketing group at Specialized, ran the MTB Brand, the USA MTB business, and now leads the Marketing & Go-To-Market teams for the USA business. A husband and father of two, Sam still manages to ride nearly every day and proclaims himself a connoisseur of fine pancakes & maple syrup.
Kyle leads the infrastructure-based programming at PeopleForBikes - including the PlacesForBikes program and The Big Jump Project - helping cities expedite the development of comfortable bicycling networks. He spent more than a decade advocating for better biking in Memphis, TN serving as the Director of Revolutions Community Bicycle Shop, Vice President of Bike Walk Tennessee, and Bicycle and Pedestrian Program Manager for the City of Memphis. Kyle was recognized by the Obama Administration in 2015 as a Champion of Change for his work in Memphis.
Steve Parks is the Director of Sales, Walmart and Sam’s Club for Clif Bar and Company. He has over 20 years of experience in replenishment, category insights, and sales in the Northwest Arkansas area. A native of Northwest Arkansas, he has experienced the rapid growth of NWA and how the partnerships between non-profits and businesses have benefited the community. The last 2 years, he has been managing Clif Bar’s community initiatives in Northwest Arkansas, and currently serves on the American Heart Association’s Executive Leadership Team for CycleNation and Paint the Town Red. Steve holds a B.A. in Transportation and Logistics from the University of Arkansas and lives in Prairie Grove with his wife and 4 girls.
Aaron Hilton is the Vice President of National Accounts for Red Bull North America. With 17+ years of experience in Sales, Distribution & Partnerships that spans from the West Coast to Northwest Arkansas. Recently, he relocated from Southern California to the NWA area with his wife and 2 kids. While Aaron is passionate about national partnerships, he’s excited to explore local partnership opportunities to drive community initiatives within Northwest Arkansas. Red Bull’s approach to community partnerships is centered around what’s best for the community while leveraging authentic sports and cultural assets. He recognizes the best ideas come from collaborating with community partners inevitably giving “Wings To People And Ideas”.
The greatest joy for me being involved in the cycling movement is how it brings people together and creates value for the community. For me, seeing people on bikes represents freedom and quality of life. It's pure joy in every case. While you can't find me at the shop most of the time because I'm usually at the Walmart Home Office, I love to ride, watch our wonderful community evolve, and enjoy living and playing here in Northwest Arkansas. I've met so many new friends and created great memories through riding and I look forward to many more!
For information about partnerships with this event, please contact Aimee Ross, Bike Bentonville Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Need to rent a bike for the summit? Phat Tire Bike Shop has you covered. Click here to visit their website!