Todd Canipe of Vertical Urge will replace Bruce Cromartie
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 4 August, 2014 - The Board Retailers Association (BRA), a non-profit organization representing more than 600 independently owned surf, skate, snow and wake retailers, is pleased to announce that it has elected a new Chairman for the 2015-2017 term. Todd Canipe of Vertical Urge will replace Bruce Cromartie of BC Surf and Sport and Coco Tihanyi of Surf Diva Boutique, who have served since 2012. Both Bruce and Coco will retain their positions as Members of the BRA Board of Directors.
"With so much change happening in the industry we need passionate leaders, and I am thrilled that Todd will be taking the reins," said Cromartie. "Being Co-Chairs with Coco has been an incredible experience. It's been a privilege to be able to partner with colleagues and peers to effect change in the industry."
Adds Tihanyi, "There’s a new surge of energy in the marketplace focused on getting back to the lifestyle, and I know Todd will be a perfect fit to continue to move the Association forward."
BRA's focus has always been on its education programs, offering exclusive member services, and establishing new ways for retailers to thrive. "Bruce and Coco have been integral players in BRA achieving its goals through their support and passion over the past two years," said Mike Duncan, President of BRA. "More importantly, they served as great advisors to the entire membership. We are confident they will continue to serve as both advisors and liaisons with the manufacturers with whom they've built such good rapport. I know I speak on behalf of them and the rest of the membership when I say that we are excited to welcome Todd as the new voice of BRA."
As owner of Vertical Urge in Raleigh NC, which recently celebrated its 20th anniversary, Canipe is focused on ensuring a positive experience for the customer and prides himself on strong relationships with manufacturers, and peer retailers.
"I couldn’t be more excited about this opportunity. I believe I’m a very strong representative of the core BRA constituency," says Canipe. "We have one store, a small but successful website, and 100% of our graphic design, web design and social media are handled in house. We support one of the best shop skate teams on the east coast and have produced and released two shop videos. I'm eager to use my experiences to further enhance our member’s businesses while continuing to develop and add to our industry partnerships."
Canipe will officially transition into the role of BRA Chairman in September and will be focusing on nurturing the BRA goals of education - both for customers and peer retailers - and providing a voice for the specialty retailers who remain at the front lines of the industry. Over the next two years, BRA plans to continue to grow its education programs, enhance its member services, and attract new members and partners to its community. BRA also fosters a constant flow of conversation between independent retailers and manufacturer representatives, yielding new ideas and inspiration for the industry.