Vice President, Motorcycle/Marine Division - American Suzuki Motor Corporation**
Mel Harris has been employed by American Suzuki for 26 years in positions including National Sales Manager, Marketing Director/National Sales Manager, and Vice President/Marketing Director/National Sales Manager.
As Vice President of Motorcycles, the major scope is marketing of Suzuki Motorcycles and ATVs, utilizing 1185 dealers in 33 sales districts and a sales force of 41 Regional and Sales Managers. Mel is responsible for all Sales, Marketing, and Advertising strategies to retail Suzuki Product. Additionally, he is responsible for racing activities of the five major disciplines: Motocross, Road Racing, Off-Road Racing, Enduro, and ATV
Mel holds degrees from Thompson Business School and Penn State University, and is on the Board of Directors of the Motorcycle Industry Council, and is a Trustee for the American Motorcyclist Association.
American Suzuki distributes Motorcycles, All Terrain Vehicles (ATVs), Outboard Motors and Automobiles through a dealer network of approximately 2525 dealers nationwide.
** = No longer with the company
Vice President of Marketing - Billabong USA
Graham Stapelberg started his career at Billabong as the Vice President of Marketing for USA while overseeing Sports Marketing, Brand Management, and Retail Marketing. Currently, he is head of marketing for all of North America and also part of an international marketing committee overseeing the international marketing. Billabong does business in over 65 countries and attracts approximately 48% of its sales from North America. In 2007 Billabong increased its revenue 19.7% to $1.23 billion.
Stapelberg has been involved in professional surfing for 16 years as an International Judge, Chief Financial Officer, and Executive Director/CEO for the Association of Surfing Professionals. He joined Billabong in 1998 and has been in the surf apparel business for the last 9 years while currently serving on the Board of Directors of the Association of Surfing Professionals. Stapelberg received an Honors Degree in Commerce from the University of South Africa and a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Natal-Durban. He went on to pass the Board Exam as a Certified Public Accountant in South Africa.
General Manager and Executive Vice President - FUEL TV
Olivares is General Manager and Executive Vice President of FUEL TV, the first and only action sports network of its kind launched by Fox Cable Networks on July 1, 2003. In this role, he works closely with Fox Networks Group’s advertising and affiliate sales groups to accelerate FUEL TV’s revenue growth, identifying new sources of income such as broadband and wireless content distribution, and liaising with the Fox International Entertainment Channels Group to develop localized versions of FUEL TV in major territories around the world. Additionally, Olivares oversees day-to-day operations of the programming, production and marketing departments.
Before joining FUEL TV in December 2002, Olivares served as CEO of the Broadband Interactive Group (BIG), the multi-media company responsible for “Bluetorch,” and also advised Extreme Group Ltd on their own expansion across the action sports genre. He first came to Fox as director of program development and acquisition for FSN (Fox Sports Net) in 1997, where he developed the action sports franchise “Rush Hour” programming block before joining BIG in 1999.
A graduate of University of California Los Angeles in political science, Olivares became editor of Triathlete Magazine in 1984, while also photographing sports, fashion and personalities for Nike, Oakley, Glamour, Sports Illustrated, Sportswear International and CNN. He became editorial director of Triathlete in 1988 and then director of development for Inclyne Sports, a pioneer in packaging and producing sponsor-driven television events including ABC’s Foot Locker Slam Fest and Ride of Your Life Mountain Bike Race. He became director of operations for FSN predecessor Prime Sports’ Event Group in 1996, supervising the creation and execution of 75 annual sports events and 150 hours of complementary television programming including the Bud Pro Surf Tour, Miller Lite AVP Volleyball, HPAC Surf Series and Steinlager Championship Rugby.
Olivares, a passionate lifelong surfer, lives with his wife and three daughters in Manhattan Beach, California.
founder - Hart & Huntington & freestyle Motocross Rider
Carey Hart is one of the most recognized names in all of freestyle Motocross. His father bought him his first motocross bike when he was only four years old in hopes of spending some quality time with his son. However, what had originally started as a father and son pastime quickly turned into Carey’s passion. By the time he entered his first local race as an amateur, he was hooked and by high school graduation, Carey Hart was a professional Motocross rider, racing in the AMA Supercross circuit.
Soon thereafter, Carey grew bored with Supercross and started riding with a group of guys who were interested in a more creative and expressive form of Motocross. In 1998, the Freestyle motocross movement was born with Carey leading the way. From the sport’s inception, Carey has been one of the most innovative riders in the sport. He is the inventor of the Hart Attack, and at the 2000 Gravity Games Carey etched his name in the record books as the first rider ever to complete a back flip on a 250cc motorcycle. The back flip catapulted Carey, and Freestyle Motocross as a whole, to an entirely new level. The stunt got the world’s attention; it was even featured on Ripley’s Believe It or Not!
Carey has traveled the globe on a quest to put freestyle Motocross on the map. Along the way he has jumped the trailer park in Kid Rock’s video “Bawitdaba” and saw his dream to play bass with the band Pennywise come true on the 2000 Australian Warped Tour. His popularity has helped increase exposure for the sport of Motocross. He has been featured in nationwide ad campaigns for Ford and Mountain Dew as well as in such print publications as Paper Magazine, Teen People, EXPN The Magazine, Rolling Stone, and has graced the covers of numerous Motocross magazines. Carey has also appeared on The Today Show and has starred in ESPN/Touchstone Pictures’ IMAX film, Ultimate X and has cameo appearances in Columbia Pictures’ XXX and Touchstone Pictures’ Charlie’s Angels II. Most recently, Carey was cast in the VH1 reality show The Surreal Life.
In 2004, Carey’s passion for tattoos turned into a business venture opening Hart & Huntington Tattoo Company in the prestigious Palms Casino in Las Vegas. This move lead to another TV opportunity for Carey when the A&E network decided to follow him and the workings of the shop in their own reality show: INKED. Since then, two more Hart and Huntington Tattoo shops have opened: Honolulu and Orlando at Universal Citywalk. Carey also expanded into making a quality clothing line based on the designs of the talented artists that work at Hart and Huntington Tattoo Company. The line can be found online, at all of the shops as well as some major retailers. He also opened a club in June 2008 inside the Hard Rock Casino in Las Vegas called Wasted Space.
Even with all of Carey’s business ventures, he still finds time to dedicate to act as owner to his Supermoto and Supercross team that is co-sponsored by Rockstar Energy Drink. There is no denying Carey’s dedication and passion. He has suffered his share of injuries attempting new tricks, however he continues to bounce back and he does it all in the name of progression. The Las Vegas resident is determined to ride until he stops having fun and hopefully for us, that’s not anytime soon.
Universal CityWalk Orlando Hart & Huntington Tattoo Shop opens- 2007
Honolulu Hart & Huntington Tattoo Shop opens- 2006
Host for ABC Live’s X Games Freestyle Motocross – 2005
Las Vegas Hart & Huntington Tattoo Shop opens- 2004
Silver Medal – X Games, Moto X Big Air – 2002
2nd Place – Las Vegas LXD Freeride MotoX – 2000
5th Place – Irwindale LXD Freeride MotoX – 2000
Gold Medal – Australia X Games – 1999
1st Place – Costa Mesa LXD Freeride MotoX – 1999
Bronze Medal – Summer Gravity Games – 1999
1st Place – Costa Rican Supercross – 1999
Founder - The Bungalow PR
Prior to founding her PR firm The Bungalow, Stacie Krajchir worked as a television producer for 12 years. A woman of many talents, Stacie has been a producer at Extra, launched two shows for The Style Network, and has authored multiple published books with another on the way. She is a contributing lifestyle/trend expert and has been featured in The Washington Post, New York Times, Smart Money Magazine, Pink, Real Simple, Maxim, Esquire and Vanity Fair magazines. Stacie runs a working certified eco business in Los Angeles, and in 2007 launched the lite green project at The Bungalow. The [lite green project] encourages small businesses to take action and participate in becoming more eco conscious. Her action sports clients have included Stoked Mentoring, Bra Boys, and Sliding Liberia among many others. Visit her at www.thebungalowpr.com
Senior PR Manager - Vans
As Vans, Chris manages lifestyle marketing efforts through art, music and street culture programs as well as oversees the company’s public relations including product and event publicity, product integration and product seeding. He is responsible for publicity for Vans properties such as the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing and the Vans Warped Tour. Prior to Vans, Chris worked three plus years at international public relations firm Fleishman-Hillard where he developed and implemented youth marketing programs for such clients as Sony PlayStation, Nestle, Budweiser and Yahoo! while also working on the United Airlines and Pacific Bell accounts. Before joining Fleishman-Hillard, he oversaw marketing for two professional sports teams, Minor League Baseball’s Wichita Wranglers and the Wichita Wings, America’s longest running professional indoor soccer team at the time. Chris gained his Master’s in Sports Management from Ohio State University following his graduation from Denison University, where he received degrees in Political Science and History.
Global PR Director - Burton Snowboards
Shana is in her fourth winter as the Global PR Director for Burton Snowboards. She oversees media relations and corporate communications in Burton’s offices in California, Vermont, Japan, Austria and the Southern Hemisphere. In addition, her team oversees agencies in Los Angeles, New York, Tokyo, Paris, London, Stockholm, Munich and Milan. Shana’s background in action sports includes her role as co-founder of No Comment PR; and National Manager of Strategic Alliances and Sponsorships for Vans. She also has over ten years of experience in entertainment and hospitality, as former Director of Entertainment PR & Promotions for the MGM/Mirage Hotel/Casinos in Vegas; and National Manager of PR and Promotions for Hard Rock America and the (first) Hard Rock Hotel/Casino.
Director of Marketing, Monster Energy
As the Director of Marketing for Monster Energy, Vipe Desai oversees all of Monster’s public facing initiatives, including event activations, Web presence and athlete promotions. Vipe and his team are responsible for ensuring recognition and respect for the M-Claw logo on a global level.
Prior to his role with Monster Energy, Vipe was director of the youth marketing consultancy, Propaganda Headquarters. Based in San Clemente , Propaganda guides action sports and mainstream brands in a range of marketing communication needs. While working at Propaganda, Vipe was responsible for a range of clients including Twin Fin Wines, Chrysler/Jeep/Dodge, the Surf Industry Manufacturers Association (SIMA) and Red Bull.
Outside of his role with Monster Energy, Vipe is a member of the Surfrider Foundation’s national board of directors and the founder of the project BLUE initiative. A global collaboration between seven competitive brands in the surf industry, project BLUE leverages the conscious shopping trend at retail to create an easy way for surfers and beach enthusiasts to support the Surfrider Foundation. Vipe’s work with project BLUE has led to him being interviewed by media outlets ranging from Good Morning America to TreeHugger.
Director - Quiksilver Foundation
After working with many different facets of the company for five years, including the Retail and Visual Merchandising departments to managing the Surf Camp program for both Quik and Roxy, Ryan is currently directing the Quiksilver Foundation. The Quiksilver Foundation is a non-profit organization committed to benefiting and enhancing the quality of life for communities of boardriders across the world by supporting environmental, educational, health and youth-related projects.
Development Director - Tony Hawk Foundation
Over the past seven years Kim has put the Tony Hawk Foundation on the charitable map, raising funds through corporate sponsorship, private donations, special events and foundation grants. Dedicated to creating public skateparks in low-income communities to benefit at-risk youth, the Tony Hawk Foundation to date has granted over $2.5 million dollars to over 395 communities across the U.S.
Prior to THF, Kim served as the Development Director for the Surfrider Foundation national office, and has consulted for a number of non-profit organizations, running board development sessions and helping them to develop long term fundraising strategies.