Motorcycle Industry Council turns 100

Publish Date: 
Jan 8, 2014

IRVINE, Calif. - The Motorcycle Industry Council is 100 years old.

"We've certainly come a long way," said MIC Board Chairman Mark Blackwell. "This is not only a proud moment for everyone who's been a part of the MIC, it's also significant for the motorcycling community as a whole. As we celebrate this milestone, it's important to remember that from the very beginning, the MIC's mission has been to preserve, protect and promote motorcycling and we look forward to continuing with that mission into our next century."

The Motorcycle Manufacturers Association was incorporated on Jan. 8, 1914, in New York, N.Y. In 1917 the organization changed its name to the Motorcycle and Allied Trades Association, which it kept until 1965 when the name was expanded to the Motorcycle, Scooter and Allied Trades Association. Four years later it merged with the California-based Motorcycle Safety Council to form the Motorcycle Industry Council with Paul McCrillis as its first executive director.

In 1970 the MIC relocated its headquarters to Washington, D.C. It created an associate membership program for dealers and established a Safety and Education Committee. Over the next decade more emphasis was placed on advocacy and land use; the organization also dissolved the associate member class for dealers. The dealer limited membership class was re-established in early 2013.

The association moved to Southern California in the 1970s and changed its structure to employ a long-term corporate president rather than an elected director. Alan Isley was the first MIC president and led the association for 21 years. During Isley's tenure, the MIC shared offices, presidential status and staffing with the Motorcycle Safety Foundation, the Specialty Vehicle Institute of America and the ATV Safety Institute. The MIC board of directors also increased its Government Relations Office staff.

Tim Buche became association president when Isley retired in 1996. Under Buche, the MIC launched the Annual Communications Symposium and increased market intelligence offerings through proprietary research and statistical reports. Also during that time, the MIC board grew to 12 members, with six elected and six appointed by the motorcycle manufacturers/distributors who pay membership dues based on market share. 

"The MIC is extremely grateful to our board of directors," said Buche. "It's the combined wisdom and leadership that our board members selflessly provide on an ongoing volunteer basis that allows the MIC to succeed. I can't thank them enough for not only providing direction to our talented staff, but for also helping our members appreciate the returns on their investment in membership dues. The combination of membership dues and volunteer hours makes everything the MIC does possible."

The MIC created the Americans for Responsible Recreational Access (ARRA) to help preserve and expand motorized recreation opportunities on public and private lands. The board also established the Right Rider Access Fund to consolidate management of the three associations' efforts and expand the industry's off-highway vehicle access initiatives and safety support.

Today's MIC executive staff includes Buche, General Counsel Paul Vitrano, Senior Vice President of Government Relations Kathy Van Kleeck, Senior Vice President of Member Relations Scot Begovich, Vice President Pamela Amette and Vice President of Research Pat Murphy, along with a staff of 20.

"The MIC's 100th anniversary actually coincides with another landmark event; the 1914 transcontinental ride of motorcyclist Erwin 'Cannon Ball' Baker," Buche said. "Now, 100 years later, motorcyclists are still seeking the same freedom and adventure. And as the MIC enters its second century, we're proud to support the industry's interests and to promote all that motorcycling offers to current and prospective riders."

The MIC will officially support the May 2014 Cannon Ball Project, a re-creation of Baker's famous ride led by MIC board member Don Emde.

From a press release. Posted by Mary Slepicka