Adventure 16 packed the house following the Winter Market industry
party on Day One (yawn) to celebrate the retailer's 40th anniversary.
Though no official count was available, it appeared that at least 50
former alums, many of whom are now working in leadership positions for
other industry companies, were in attendance, including SNEWSÂ®
co-publisher Michael Hodgson. Several hundred others also joined the
crowd. Mic Mead addressed the crowd with an emotional speech. The
following is an excerpt from that speech -- words SNEWSÂ® believes are
ones to live by for industry members:
"We survived, as you must in the future in the face of severe
competition, by winning the trust and friendship of those who might be
customers. We gave folks the confidence to go do what they might not
have otherwise. Do the technology bit well, but always focus on helping
people (customers and would-be customers) enter the sport, trust it,
enjoy it, because that will do more, going forward, than any
technological innovation ever will.
Wayne (Gregory, and others) may yet build a better pack, using lighter,
stronger, softer fibers â€“ or helium â€“ but you still have to win the
hearts of people.
The largest market out there is made up of a multitude of ordinary
folk, wanting to trust your leadership â€“ huge groups of people
wondering how to get started. This company's longevity, as an
independent, is because we kept straight books, an impeccable
relationship with the bank, did not seek to possess each other, and
indeed reached out to make friends.
I'd like to believe that you would all survive and continue to prosper
in this industry because you understand and you take care of newcomers
â€“ they want to trust you. Your future lies beyond being business
managers. Your future lies almost entirely in getting people into â€“ and
enjoying â€“ the outdoor sports."