Sunday, January 30, 2011

End of one journey and the beginning of another.

The news is out, thanks to the time difference between here and the UK...

And it is true; I am moving on from Masi and joining ASI (Fuji, Breezer, SE Racing, Kestrel, Terry Precision, & Oval Concepts). I'll be the Lifestyle/ Transportation Category Manager, dealing with bikes from Fuji, Breezer, SE Racing and a few Terry Precision models. The new role will be something of a hybrid of what I have been doing for the past 6.5yrs, blended with more of a traditional Product Manager position. I'll be chasing spec- all around the globe- and working to more directly create the best possible bikes I can for the company, as well as helping to strengthen the voice of the various brands under the ASI umbrella. It's obviously a very big change in my world and one that was not taken without tons of deliberation.

Masi has been my home, my job, my love, my passion and my obsession for the past several years- and even since my childhood in many ways. Leaving the company and my friends there was not entirely unlike the gut wrenching pain and emotional chaos of my divorces. I can not thank the great friends I have still at Masi/ Haro for all of their support and encouragement over the years as we rebuilt a once great brand that had gone quiet over the years. Masi was a much smaller and relatively dormant brand when I was given the opportunity to become the steward of the brand in October of 2004. Since that time, though still a smaller brand, Masi has grown from 8 models and domestic-only distribution to a brand with over 30 models and distribution in nearly a dozen countries... and it continues to grow.

I have been blessed to work with and meet many people who I will be friends with for the rest of my life. I have been to several countries around the world and have been able to ride a bike in many of them- seeing and feeling why the bicycle is the ultimate invention. The job has brought me more joy and happiness than any one post here can possibly detail- it would take me days, if not weeks, to write it. Suffice it to say- it's been an incredible damn ride.

Like most rides though, this one has come to an end- a joyous one at that. My recent trip to Texas to meet with and clinic folks at Sun & Ski in Houston was a very bittersweet one; knowing it was my last trip as "the Masiguy" and not saying anything about the changes coming was very hard for me- the folks at Sun & Ski have become friends over the years I have been working with them. The consumers who have purchased Masi bikes from them are special to me as well. Needless to say, I had some very conflicted and powerful emotions during the trip. But, I also knew that something incredible lay just over the horizon.

The move to ASI represents many changes and challenges that I can not wait to attack with the same passion that helped me to drive and pursue the changes that helped make Masi so much more successful. I am still a race nerd and am very enthusiastic about the sport, but I've grown increasingly passionate about transportation/ commuting bikes over the years and have a strong desire to find ways to make bicycles a bigger part of people's every day lives. As I look at the world that my children will inherit, I see a greater need to get people on bikes more often- either for the environment or for their health. This new role will give me the chance to find ways to make that happen- either through the product or through the advocacy efforts of the company. ASI is one of the most active companies in the industry when it comes to cycling advocacy

I've built something of a reputation in the world of Social Media and alternative marketing strategies, and I plan to do the same with ASI. I'll have the chance to work with some incredibly talented people to help get the word out about all of the various things the brands in the company are doing. I am very excited to work with some incredible people at ASI- from the marketing team, to the product team, to the brand team... I'm going to be getting to work with some amazing people... again.

This new position gives me the luxury of working from home, when I am not in Asia or other parts of the country and world. I'll be on the road quite a lot, especially for the first year or so, but having the chance to see more of my family when I am home means a lot to me. It isn't to say that it won't have it challenges and difficulties, but it's something I feel that I am professionally ready to tackle as I grow and learn.

I'm so thankful for this opportunity- just as I was 6.5yrs ago when I was given the chance to pilot Masi. Masi will always remain a love of mine and the bikes of the past few years will always be "my babies". I am so very proud of the things we did there and I sincerely wish them the very best success in the years ahead. I'll be more than a casual observer... for the rest of my career in the industry.

But now a new chapter begins and I am every bit as excited and nervous as I was on my first day working for Masi- flying to Las Vegas for the Interbike tradeshow, reading catalogs and learning all that I could before hitting the show floor as the new Brand Manager. ASI is my new home and I am excited to get started. With that in mind, I will no longer be posting here... though I have hardly posted here in the past year anyway! I will now begin posting to Two Wheels and Half a Brain and I promise to make every effort I can to keep it alive as much as possible. It's a work in progress still, so forgive the growing pains as I finish building the new blog... it might get hectic and messy, but I'll eventually find something I like and stick with it. I hope.

I can't post this without thanking the thousands and thousands of people who have shared in my life and my world since I created this space more than 5 years ago. YOU have no idea how much you mean to me. I promise that I would be a different person without you all. And not as happy. All of you have impacted my life in many different and wonderful ways- I am so very thankful for your friendship, support and encouragement. I can never repay you enough. But I'll try by continuing to be who I am and to love what I do and share it all with you.

It's not good-bye, it's just a different venue. Same bike geek, new bike channel.

Thank you- from the bottom of my heart.