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TBI Award Winners Honored at the 8th Annual TBI Conference in Tempe, AZ

Author: Jan Fambro

Date: 01/29/2018


Awards recognized industry leaders, events, best article/photo/video, influential coach and fastest growing tri club

Tempe, AZ – January 28, 2018 – Triathlon Business International (TBI) announced the winners of 11 annual awards at its 8th annual business conference in Tempe, January 26-28, 2018. The awards and winners are:

  • Steve Hed Award:  Dan Kennison, founder/president, PremierBike
  • Ron Smith Award:   Kelly Burns Gallagher
  • Triathletes Choice Best-of Events

-  Large event (1,000+) - IRONMAN Lake Placid, Lake Placid, NY

-  Small event (<1,000) - Patriot Half Triathlon, East Freetown, MA, produced by Sun Multisport Events

-  Best Bucketlist Event - IRONMAN World Championship, Kailua-Kona, Hawai`i

-  Best Event for Beginners - Tri the Wildwoods, North Wildwood, NJ, produced by DelMo Sports

  • Best Published Photo for 2017:  Paul Phillips with his photo of Alistair Brownlee leading Ironman St. George 70.3 and on his way to winning the 2017 North American 70.3 Championship.  Published in Triathlete Magazine in print and on line
  • Best Published Article 2017:  Jay Prasuhn, “Against the GrainLAVA magazine, a piece about Cameron Dye who has gone against the grain – no IRONMAN and no 70.3 – and who pours his passion into only racing non-drafting, short-course events
  • Best Event Video:  2017 Escape Series Launch, IMG Events
  • Fastest Growing Tri ClubMullica Hill Womens Tri Club, New Jersey
  • Most Influential Coach:  presented posthumously to Jason Kilderry who passed away Dec. 18, 201; accepted by Stephen Del Monte on behalf of Jason’s son, Finn

The Steve Hed Award for Innovation is named after Steve Hed who was a master innovator in the field of bicycle aerodynamics.  The award is given to a person, product or company who demonstrates Hed’s ability to set multisport industry trends. His toroidal rim shape set a new standard for wheel aerodynamics; his wider rims changed the trajectory of the entire industry; his one-piece aero bars were revolutionary. Previous Steve Hed Award winners include:  Richard Byrne co-founder of Speedplay (2017); and Zwift in 2016 (inaugural award).

Dan Kennison brought his long history of manufacturing products in Taiwan and Asia into play when he developed the consumer-direct PremierBike Tactical triathlon bike. The Tactical is a high performance bike that sells for $5,500. It’s an all-in price that includes: Premier Tactical Tri Bike; Shimano Ultegra Di2; 88mm Carbon Clincher Front Wheel- Carbon Clincher Disc Rear Wheel, Pioneer Power Meter, Rear Storage, Hard Travel Case (even people without a Tactical want this case), Low Friction Chain (super low friction which lasts the lifetime of the chain, not just 200 miles), and a five-year warranty. It’s an independently tested super bike that Kennison could have charged more for, but he wants as many triathletes as possible to have the ability to complete with the best equipment possible. According to Slowtwitch publisher, bike fit guru and TBI president Dan Empfield, “Dan has treated this bike as if it was his mortal soul, working it out with that kind of care. I have never in 30 years in this business seen anyone spend so much painstaking time working out the details of a bike.”

The Ron Smith Award, named after Ron Smith, one of triathlon’s earliest pioneers, recognizes a person in the multisport world who helps advance and promote the sport of triathlon, who is a true influencer and who exemplifies a passion for advancing and promoting the sport. Previous winners of the award include: Valerie Silk (2017), Bob Babbitt (2016); Marisol Casado, President, International Triathlon Union (2015); Karen Aydelott and Luke McKenzie (2014); Jordan Rapp and Kathleen McCarthy Hearst/Julie Moss (2013); and Craig Alexander and Chrissie Wellington (2012).

Kelly Burns Gallagher is an IRONMAN triathlete and marathoner, a USAT coach and race director, a tireless fundraiser for local charities, and a passionate promoter of the sport. A quote on the nomination ballot said, “Kelly Burns Gallagher does more impactful volunteer work on behalf of race and event directors, and of women than seems possible given all that’s on her plate.  She’s a truth-telling powerhouse, a booster supporting the rights of women in endurance sport, and a coach and race director herself while holding down a full time job as an attorney.  She often donates her time to speak to race directors on how to inoculate themselves against marketplace perils.”

The 9th Annual TBI Conference will return to Tempe, AZ, January 25-27, 2019.

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