Press conferences tend to be boring, sit-down affairs where stuffed suits natter on about things most of us care nothing about. Generally, the presser's host doesn't even have the sense to offer free food to the three reporters in attendance.
But that wasn't true Tuesday when Terry Precision Bicycles hosted a little gathering at its swank new digs inside Maple Street design shop JDK. Well, Terry didn't exactly throw the event for themselves. The city, repped by Mayor Bob Kiss, Jon Adams-Kollitz of CEDO and others, put on the little shindig, complete with homemade carrot cupcakes and a little bike ride, to welcome the company to town.
In late 2009, Liz Robert, former CEO of Vermont Teddy Bear Company, bought the Rochester, N.Y., cycling company and moved it to Burlington. Read more about that here. Since then, the women-specific company has been revamping its image and its inventory. It hired super-rad designers JDK to work on soft-goods design, and company founder Georgena Terry is putting more time into bike design.
During the press conference/welcome wagon Mayor Kiss read a proclamation proclaiming May 18 to be Terry Precision Bicycles Day in Burlington. Funny. They didn't do that when I moved to town. The welcome train also featured the requisite speechifying to the 30-odd Burlington cyclerati who showed up to see what Terry was all about. Here are the highlights:
"We've worked hard in Burlington to get businesses to choose Burlington. There has been a long line of business owners choosing Burlington ... Liz, thanks for being here." Mayor Bob Kiss
"I'm overwhelmed by how many people are here. There is such an incredible level of creative energy in Burlington ... It's a great place to build a purposeful brand ... This is really something that's about mission as much as it's about anything ... We want the opportunity to be the poster child, to bring great business, great brands to Burlington." Liz Robert, owner and CEO of Terry Precision Bicycles
"The thing Liz represents for the entire community is the quality of life in Burlington and part of that quality of life is access to the outdoors." Kelly Devine, executive director of the Burlington Business Association
"Outdoor recreation means dollars to our community ... Vermont has grown a number of wonderful businesses." Chapin Spencer, executive director of Local Motion
After everyone welcomed Terry to town, the crew from the press conference — bike builders and racers, cycling advocates and shop owners, general outdoorsy folk, people wearing full Spandex cycling kits — hopped on their bikes and headed for a gigantic group ride to Terry's South End warehouse. Everyone followed the rules of the road and everyone wore their helmets, except bike mechanic Matt Colby, who could be excused because he was riding a tall bike, and a helmet would ruin his steez.
From the warehouse, the group pedaled and schmoozed back to the company's offices for a lunch of wraps, lemonade and the aforementioned cupcakes. Every other press conference, take note: Cycling and free food make everything better.
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