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Mark Blackwell succeeds Larry Little as MIC board chair

News Release

The Motorcycle Industry Council congratulates Mark Blackwell, vice president, special projects, Polaris Industries, on being elected chair of the MIC Board of Directors, effective immediately. Blackwell has served intermittently on the board since the early 1980s and takes over for outgoing Chair Larry Little, who remains an active elected board member after having served as chair for the last 10 years. For 2013, Blackwell joins the other officers: newly elected Vice Chair Jon-Erik Burleson as well as returning Secretary/Treasurer Eric Anderson and President Tim Buche.

“It is an honor for me to serve the industry as chair of the MIC,” said Blackwell. “This is a very exciting time for the industry and for the MIC. Although we certainly face many challenges, I believe the MIC’s work in providing valuable research, educational opportunities, and government relations and marketing support are all vital to our current and future success. Also, I’d like to thank Larry for his lengthy tenure and for continuing service as a director. On behalf of the members, the other directors and the industry at large, we are grateful for his exemplary service, leadership, counsel and investment.”

Blackwell added that one of the many initiatives that he’s excited about is the recent implementation of the MIC’s new dealer and retailer class of membership. Said Blackwell: “I am excited about the many benefits MIC can provide to dealers, including the ever expanding range of marketing and statistical information, as well as educational opportunities like the new webinar series. Plus, having dealer representation across the country will add a powerful voice when the MIC works on behalf of the industry on legislative and regulatory matters and increasing other threats to our industry.”

Little did not seek re-election to the office of chair after having served in the position since 2003.  Also the vice president and general manager of the recently formed Motorcycle Group of Marketplace Events, Little requested that he not be considered as a candidate for chairman in 2013 due to time conflicts.

“Simply stated, the pace of my day job – of launching the inaugural AIMExpo this Fall – is increasing, and is requiring significantly more of my personal bandwidth,” said Little. “The role of board chair involves much greater interaction with MIC staff, and I was reluctant to try and strike a balance between my responsibilities at Marketplace Events and as MIC chair. With a year left on my current term, I remain an ardent enthusiast of the industry and look forward to continuing to serve as a fully active member of the board. Congratulations to Mark Blackwell on his new position. His commitment to the industry is well-documented, and his leadership skills make him the perfect choice to lead us as MIC continues to actively promote, protect and grow the business of motorcycling.”

Newly elected Vice Chair Burleson is president of KTM North America and has served on the MIC board since 2008. Burleson is excited to assume the new role of vice chairman this year and is enthusiastic about his new responsibilities.

“I feel very honored being elected vice chair,” said Burleson. “I have nothing but respect and admiration for the other board members, their diligence and their dedication to MIC’s mission. In my new role, I look forward to helping further the efforts of the MIC and increasing my contributions to the board’s overall goals. Finally, I want to express my appreciation to Larry for his years of leadership and commitment, particularly during the most challenging market environment of the last decade.”

This year VROOM Network President Anderson returns for another term as Secretary/Treasurer on the MIC board. He has been an active board member for the last 12 years and is eager to work with MIC as it faces the challenges of the future.

“I was originally an MIC staffer back in the 1980s,” said Anderson. “So this feels like coming full circle – I’m home. It’s my hope that my experience as an apparel expert, branding consultant, start-up entrepreneur, retail trainer and MIC board member will help grow our industry. I want to thank Larry for his years as chair. It was a pleasure to serve with him in that capacity and now I look forward to serving with him as a director as we move forward. I also look forward to working with MIC’s new generation of leadership, including Chair Blackwell and Vice Chair Burleson, who will assist us in making a huge difference as we enter a totally new era for MIC.”

In addition to Blackwell, Burleson, Anderson, and Little, the 2013 MIC Board of Directors includes Bob Gurga (Honda), Steve Bortolamedi (Suzuki), Russ Brenan (Kawasaki), Hans Blesse (BMW), Dennis McNeal (Yamaha), Frank Esposito (Kendon Industries), Steve Johnson (Tucker Rocky) and Don Emde (Don Emde, Inc.).



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