Dave Wiens named IMBA Executive Director

Mountain bike icon moves from Board Chair to top leadership role

Dave Wiens named IMBA Executive Director

Wiens is best known for his long and illustrious XC racing career. But his advocacy work at home in Gunnison County has been just as impactful.

Arguably one the all-time best known fat tire racers in U.S. history, Mountain Bike Hall of Famer and Leadville Trail 100 legend Dave Wiens has been named the new executive director of the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA).

Wiens had previously served as the advocacy organization’s Board Chairman, a post that will now be held by Chris Conroy, president of Yeti Cycles. Taldi Walter, Government and Community Affairs Manager of outdoor retailer REI, will serve as Vice Chair.

Read the Mtbr report from the 2016 IMBA World Summit in Arkansas.

In a press release issued this week IMBA noted that Wiens’ “vision and commitment to the non-profit quickly stood out to the Board of Directors and management team, and it became clear he was who IMBA needed to lead the organization into its next era.”

Wiens raced mountain bikes professionally from 1988 to 2004, a span that included two World Cup XC wins, two U.S. national championship titles, and most notably, six straight Leadville 100 wins, including triumphs over defrocked Tour de France winners Floyd Landis and Lance Armstrong.

Wiens is also the founder and executive director of Gunnison Trails, a non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing singletrack bike trails on public lands adjacent to Gunnison, Colorado, which includes the amazing Hartman Rocks trail system.

“As a mountain biker I share a passion for trails and riding with this entire community,” said Wiens, who also does PR work for German component maker Ergon. “IMBA has been an important part of mountain biking getting better and better over the past 30 years and I’m looking forward to working with mountain bikers from all over, as well as other stakeholders, while IMBA continues to help provide great places to ride.”

Yeti's Chris Conroy

Yeti Cycles president Chris Conroy is taking over as IMBA’s Board Chairman.

Dan Brillon, IMBA Vice President of Finance and Operations, became interim President and Executive Director in August 2016 when Mike Van Abel resigned after 12 years of service. Since that time IMBA’s senior management team and Board of Directors have been working closely to execute on key initiatives before turning attention to filling the Executive Director role. In the near-term IMBA will separate the duties of President and Executive Director, and Brillon will remain President of the organization to oversee internal operations and business structure.

Check out the Gunnison Growler, a race founded and run by Dave Wiens.

At its February 2017 meeting, IMBA’s Board formalized a committee structure for board members and staff to work more closely on finance and development goals. The Board and management team are continuing the process of restructuring IMBA’s Chapter Program along with refining the organization’s focus and vision.

Check back soon to Mtbr for an in-depth interview with Wiens, as he lays out hos plans to lead the country’s largest mountain bike trails advocacy organization.

About the author: Jason Sumner

An avid cyclist, Jason Sumner has been writing about two-wheeled pursuits of all kinds since 1999. He’s covered the Olympics, Tour de France, MTB world champs, and dozens of other international cycling events. He also likes to throw himself into the fray, penning first-person accounts of cycling adventures all over the globe. Sumner has also done extensive gear testing and is the author of the cycling guide book "75 Classic Rides: Colorado." When not writing or riding, the native Coloradoan can be found enjoying life with his wife Lisa and kids Cora and Tommy in and around their home in the MTB Mecca of Crested Butte.

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