PICKERINGTON, Ohio -- The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) is proud to announce that Stan Simpson is the 2008 AMA Motorcyclist of the Year. Simpson, who is the current AMA Board of Directors Chairman, was honored with the inaugural AMA Motorcyclist of the Year distinction in conjunction with the quarterly meeting of the AMA Board of Directors in Irvine, Calif.
The AMA Motorcyclist of the Year is the person who has had the most profound impact on motorcycling in a single calendar year. Rather than recognize a lifetime of achievement, the award recognizes an individual's influence on motorcycling and its future.
The AMA Motorcyclist of the Year announcement, and the story of the man who earned it, is commemorated with a feature-length article in the January 2009 issue of American Motorcyclist, the official journal of the AMA. The January issue arrives in member mailboxes the second week of December.
"This inaugural selection may seem self-serving, yet Stan Simpson is the clear choice for this distinction," said AMA President and CEO Rob Dingman. "Stan has had a greater impact on the AMA and motorcycling than any single person in America in 2008.
"In recent years, the AMA had become mired in professional racing controversy, and the Association had lost the focus that a strong, unified national association must maintain," Dingman said. "Stan recognized that, and he led the bold moves necessary to fix the AMA once and for all. Under Stan's leadership, many of the AMA's professional racing properties were sold to an organization very capable of elevating the sport, the menu of member benefits continues to grow, our magazine has improved significantly, we are beefing up our Government Relations Department, and our fiscal house is in order.
"Most importantly, Stan Simpson's leadership has put the AMA in a better position to focus on our core mission of protecting the future of motorcycling," said Dingman.
Simpson has been a dedicated off-road and street rider for decades. He competed in the National Enduro Championship in the 1970s and participated in the International Six Day Trial. After enjoying a lifetime of motorcycling because of the programs and efforts of the AMA, with the urging of friends, Simpson decided that it was time to give back to the AMA and motorcycling's future.
Simpson was elected to the AMA Board of Directors, representing the individual members in the South Central region, in 2005. He also held a seat on the American Motorcycle Heritage Foundation (AMHF) Board of Directors, which guides the AMA's Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum, and eventually served as chairman. In late 2007, Simpson was thrust into the position of AMA Board Chairman when the previous chairman resigned after an internal audit revealed he had submitted fraudulent travel reimbursement claims.
In addition to his service on the AMA Board, Simpson -- who accepts no reimbursement from the AMA for his travel -- contributes a great deal of his time and money to both the AMA and the AMHF.
"The AMA and all of motorcycling is better positioned for growth and prosperity because of the vision and perseverance of Stan Simpson," Dingman said. "There is a lot of work to be done, but thanks to Stan, we are now able to tackle that work with the urgency and diligence that our membership deserves."