I’m reminded of this each morning when I come in and sit at the desk of Lilly Farrow. Lilly was the young widow of our founder, A.D. Farrow. She bought that desk from the Globe Desk Co. of Boston in 1918. She sat at that desk and got our business through World War and Depression. If she could do it, so, too, can we! But we must do it together.
I want to thank Stan Simpson, chairman of the American Motorcylist Association, for introducing me tonight and for his leadership of the AMA these last number of years. I want to thank all of you for being card-carrying members of the AMA, and for your efforts to urge our riders of their responsibilities to do the same!
There are those who don’t care if we are able to sustain our businesses and our lifestyle. They would, with the stroke of a pen and an Executive Order, ban us from the millions of acres and thousands of miles of trails--trails we built 50 years ago and have helped maintain. Now, only to have them say we don’t belong there. Next, it’s the homeowners association that would prefer we not be able to park our bikes in their subdivision.
The AMA is there to make sure this stuff doesn’t happen! They deserve us to be shoulder-to-shoulder with them.
I saw where two days ago the Motorcycle Industry Council is now allowing dealers to join their ranks. Good for them. It’s about time. We need a voice and a place at that table. And it was great to see on that first day, 25 dealers from 18 states (I’m sure many of us in this room) joined up. We need to work with our OEMs and suppliers and consultants and industry press to support them in the issues they champion. And they need to support us in achieving sustainable profits as Dealers.
Those 3,000 lost brother and sister dealers were not sustainably profitable. And why do we deserve those profits? Not for girlfriends or boats, but because we need to replenish our inventories, fix the shop truck, buy a new tire changer, replace the trailer, pay our people fairly and train them; put on a great event and, yes, support a charity.
Don J. Brown was an observer of our work. And a dealer advocate. He said these things and would do so again today! Together we will sustain.
It is an honor of a lifetime to be mentioned in the same breath as this man. I am so deeply appreciative. I would be remiss if I left this stage before saluting my team – they are a hard working and hard riding (a quarter million miles last season!) group! They share their passion and knowledge of our sport freely. They trust one another and they trust me. And for that I am eternally grateful.
We will survive and thrive. Together. Keep it up. Keep it up. Keep it up.
Photo on previous page by Gary Rohman