Why I Attend the National Bike Summit: It Fits Our Corporate Mission
Arvidson, who is the Executive Vice President of Duo-Gard, a Michigan company that manufactures bike shelters, said he wants to be a part of that conversation — right in Congress’ backyard. He has attended the Summit for the past six years. Last year, Duo-Gard made it on the list of 50 Michigan Companies to Watch, and has been in the streetscape business since 1984.
The company’s commitment to sustainability makes the National Bike Summit an obvious entry on their calendar of events each year. Read on to hear from Arvidson on why he’ll be making the trip to Washington, D.C., again this March.
What inspired you to come to your first Summit in 2011?
We had started designing and manufacturing a new line of products (bike shelters) starting in 2007 and I wanted to learn more about how the biking and alternative transportation movement was developing from a federal level.
How does attending the Summit fit into Duo-Gard’s corporate mission?
Many of Duo-Gard’s products and services support sustainable goals. The initiatives at the core of the Bike Summit are moving these type of sustainable strategies forward at the highest level of government. We are interested in being part of the larger circle of influence toward promoting alternative transportation and more livable communities for the future.
What do you think would help bring more manufacturers to the Summit?
It could be worthwhile to identify a group of manufacturers that would be a good fit for their products and the goals of the Summit – and then to reach out to them and provide some insight into the event. I think there are many other manufacturers who would benefit from being a part of the Bike Summit. The exposure and potential benefits to the manufacturing community could benefit from further outreach.
Is there anything specific you have learned/seen at the Summit that has really stuck with you?
The diverse group of individuals who participate in the Bike Summit and the commitment to common goals is impressive. [They] represent many advocates for biking and alternative transportation missions coming from so many backgrounds — geographies, occupations, motivations. It is truly a leadership group for biking initiatives.
Also, the interaction with the legislators is a worthwhile experience. The organization for the Bike Summit does a fantastic job facilitating the meeting agendas, informational sessions and scheduling.
Have you been able to use any of the lessons or anything else from the Summit after you left DC?
Duo-Gard has created valuable local and national partnerships/alliances from our interactions at the Bike Summit. We have passed along knowledge learned at Bike Summit internally to our team and to our sphere of influence in published articles and our internal newsletter to over 15,000 architects, designers, and corporations.
What advice would you give to someone considering coming to the Summit for the first time?
Try to talk with as many participants as you can. [There are] many local and national leaders for biking and pedestrian initiatives; there is much to learn from this group. Also I would say relax and make it a fun trip. There is plenty of veteran leadership involved who can do much of the heavy lifting.