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CIBRA Summit 2015 Montreal Report – Solid Attendance and Great Speakers + Interviews

by John Symon

November 16, 2015 (Montreal, QC) – The Canadian Independent Bicycle Retailers Association (CIBRA) held its Summit 2015 annual conference in Montreal from Nov. 2-3. Some 114 independent bike dealers (IBDs) registered for the three-day event and took in sessions with a host of bike industry experts who offered advice on how to improve their bottom line.

CIBRA Board (l-r) Bill Yetman, James Wilson, Rick Snyder, Mike Cranwell, Pierre Grenier, John Williams, Kevin Senior, Pierre Laferriere, Lutz Brode  ©  Pasquale Stalteri

Among the featured speakers were Louis Garneau (President Louis Garneau Sports); Donny Perry, (Specialized Bicycle Components University [SBCU] Program Manager);  Brian Dabarno (Senior Credit Analyst, Sports Industry Credit Association); Pete Prebus (President, Electric Bike Report); Norm Rohn (Former Google Canada Small Business Executive); Kevin Rutherford (President NUUN); Kevin Simpson (Action Coach); and Brendan Tully Walsh (Co-Founder & CEO, Horse and Cart Agency, Montreal).

Suppliers addressing the conference included: David Bowman (President Outdoor Gear Canada); Sylvain Caya (President of Lambert); Paul Nash (Deputy General Manager of Giant); Chris Speyer (Managing Director of Accell North America); and John Williams (President Live to Play Sports). Also speaking to the conference were suppliers: Louis Boissinot (OGC); Mike Britten (Louis Garneau); Peter Creighton (Lambert); and Patrick Dennis (Live to Play Sports).

OGC, Giant, Lambert Reception  ©  Pasquale Stalteri

Summit 2015 Program co-chairs included Pierre Laferriere, owner of Sport Olympe, in Quebec City and Rick Snyder, owner Mike’s Bike Shop in Moncton, NB. The conference master of ceremonies was Annie Roberge, Marketing Director at Lambert North America. The conference was simultaneously translated in both French and English. The inaugural 2014 CIBRA conference was held in Vancouver, BC and was also a great success.

CIBRA President Bill Yetman  ©  Pasquale Stalteri

“The conference also included a Live to Play industry kick-off reception on Sunday and OGC reception on Monday night,” noted CIBRA President, Bill Yetman. “Both were an opportunity for the industry to meet informally network and share a glass…”

In the audio clips, Yetman explains what he sees as some of the main challenges for IBDs in today’s environment and why retailers should join the association; Snyder talks about on-line vs brick and mortar businesses and explains why the Summit 2015 in Montreal was a success; Roberge remarks about why suppliers need to join CIBRA and how they need to work together with retailers for the overall health of the industry; and Ferriere echoes the importance of the gathering and the bilingualism aspect of the Summit.

Interview with Bill Yetman and Rick Snyder

Interview with Annie Roberge

Interview with Pierre Laferriere

Paul Dragan (l) Brendan Tully Walsh  ©  Pasquale Stalteri

“The conference was excellent with great speakers,” one of the attendees, Paul Dragan from Reckless Bikes told us. “It was well organized. This was a chance for face time with suppliers without being in a sales environment. What we learn here can provide a rising tide for everyone for the overall betterment of the bike industry.” Dragan also wondered why more retailers weren’t taking advantage of this opportunity, especially IBD owners from Montreal.

“CIBRA’s mandate is to be the voice of the independent  bicycle retailer with the support of the supplier community,” says Yetman.  “Our focus is on advocacy on behalf of the trade as well as education and training.  CIBRA is a not for profit industry association that depends on the industry for volunteer support and membership fees to sustain the association.”

Live To Play Reception  ©  Pasquale Stalteri

The presenting sponsor of the conference was Lambert. Secondary sponsors included Giant, Live to Play, and OGC. Other sponsors included Bosch, Garneau, Horse and Cart, Raleigh, Scott, and Shimano.

For more information on Summit 2015, consult the program here.

Details for the 2016 conference have not yet been finalized. “We generally post dates and location in January,” Yetman told us. Check the website below for details early in 2016.

Visit the CIBRA website here.

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