WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, NC – The Board Retailers Association (BRA), a non-profit organization representing more than 600 independent owned surf, skate, snow and wake retailers is pleased to announce that it has elected a new chairman, Bruce Cromartie of BC Surf and Sport, for the 2017 term. Having previously served as Co-Chair from 2011-2014, Cromartie is primed to take the reins of the organization.
Cromartie opened the original BC Surf & Sport in 1977. In 1986, he and a partner opened a store in Littleton, Colorado just as snowboarding started to gain popularity. Since that time, BC has grown to 15 stores, primarily located in the Rockies and Florida. As a multi-sport industry veteran, Cromartie has the industry relationships and experience to connect with members, develop new partnerships and unify retailers.
“Being a member of BRA has been a great experience for me,” says Cromartie,“and I look forward to working with our Board of Directors to help keep our initiatives moving forward. There have never been more challenges in our industry, and we all have a lot to gain by working together to be sure the surf, skate and snowboard business stays strong.”
In addition to this change, the Association also shared the news that Mike Duncan will step down from his position as President at the end of 2016. After founding the organization with Surf Expo’s Roy Turner, Duncan has run the Association for over 13 years. He will remain a key resource for the organization and join its Board of Directors.
“It has been an honor and a privilege to be a founding member and serve as the President of this remarkable organization” Duncan said. “In the past 13 years, the Association has united retailers in a way that simply did not exist at the time of its inception. Individuals weren’t sharing information and working together. Now, they’re more than industry peers, these members have formed lifelong friendships.”
“Mike Duncan has been an integral part of BRA’s success,” says Cromartie. “He’s been there from the beginning and is constantly open-minded about the evolution necessary for an organization within the board sports industry. I am grateful that he will be joining our board and will continue to influence the direction of BRA.”
The transition in leadership occurs after several years of successful programs with industry partners, including Surf Expo, Agenda, Magic, SIA, SIMA and IASC. Always the organization to promote open discussion, BRA’s newest Industry Roundtable initiative has proven to be a productive platform for retailers and manufactures to come together for open dialogue and new ideas. With Duncan’s exit as President, he opens the door for new leadership to join the organization and offer fresh insight and new partnerships.
In the coming years, BRA plans to continue to grow its education program, enhance its exclusive member services and to establish new ways for retailers to thrive. The re-establishment of open forum discussion between retailer members to discuss issues affecting individuals or the larger group will be an integral part of BRA’s future. The Association will continue to find new ways to encourage the flow of information between independent retailers and manufacturer representatives, encouraging the sharing of experiences, while yielding new ideas and inspiration for the industry.
Cromartie and his board have already begun a search committee to secure Duncan’s replacement. With plans to nurture their current industry relationships, BRA plans a year of continued membership growth and will focus on nurturing its long-term partnerships.
Additional information regarding the search will be made available throughout the year as it becomes available.
About Board Retailers Association (BRA)
The Board Retailers Association (BRA) is a non-profit trade association representing over 3,500 action sport storefronts across the country. The association serves as the preeminent voice for independent retailers on a grassroots level with manufacturers, trade show representatives, and other associations. BRA also works to provide educational resources and exclusive discounts and savings from vendors on the day-to-day costs of business.