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February 2024 - President's Message

Published on | Andrea Lehmkuhler | News & Updates

Greetings from our new Board President
Andrea headshot

Dear RIA Members,

I am excited to address our membership for the first time as the 2024 President of the Running Industry Association. I have a great deal of enthusiasm as I step into this role, buoyed by the talent on this year’s board and their desire to engage to the betterment of our channel. 

I am also pleased to announce our new 2024 board officers: Harry Chandler from Charlotte Running Company will take on the role of Vice President, Lindsey Mulder from Playmakers will serve as Treasurer, and Jen Brummit from Gazelle Sports (formally board Secretary) will fill the role of Strategic Lead. 

There is a lot of work to do, and I would like to share our key focus areas for the year ahead. 

We know that improving communication and transparency with our membership in 2024 is paramount. That doesn’t mean more email blasts. It means reaching out and connecting to our members personally,  and we’ve already started that process by holding our Small Group Retailer talks. I am struck by the insights shared by our members during these conversations, and it has been a solid reminder of the dedication and resilience of our members. In the coming month, I look forward to sharing key insights gleaned from our discussions as well as how that will inform our strategic direction moving forward.

Another key objective will be to launch and build upon the Product Data Collaborative, which will go a long way toward improving ease of doing business between our brands, retailers, and associates. 

Additionally, the team at the RIA is committed to delivering a value-packed RIA Summit for a few days of connecting, learning, and forging valuable relationships. In essence, the Summit serves as a cornerstone of our efforts to foster community within the run specialty channel, and we hope you'll join us.  

On behalf of the RIA Board of Directors, I  would like to extend my sincere gratitude to each and every one of you for your support and commitment to the RIA. Together, we will continue to shape the future of the run specialty channel. 

Andrea Lehmkuhler

Board President, Running Industry Association
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