Two important supporters of the powersports industry, Karen and Tom Umphress, were presented with Motorcycle Industry Council Chairman’s Awards at the 2011 National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council Annual Meeting. Now in its sixth year, the Chairman’s Award series honors groups and individuals who have made special contributions of time and effort to preserve, protect and promote the powersports community.
“It is a privilege to honor Karen and Tom Umphress with Chairman’s Awards. Karen and Tom are a husband and wife team who individually and as a pair have been champions for off-highway vehicle recreation in Minnesota, and nationally, for many years and have been counted on by the industry time and time again for their tireless efforts,” said Larry Little, chairman of the MIC Board of Directors and CEO of The Little Group.
Karen and Tom have served as Co-Government Relations Officers for the Amateur Riders Motorcycle Association in Minnesota since 1999. Both are Motorcycle Safety Foundation DirtBike School Coaches and serve as officers for the Twin Cities Trail Riders.
Karen is the project coordinator for NOHVCC. She also serves on the board of directors for American Trails, a national trails non-profit organization, the Coalition of Recreational Trail Users, the Minnesota Motorized Trails Coalition, and is secretary for the Twin Cities Trail Riders.
Tom sits on the NOHVCC board and serves as secretary. He is also vice president of the Coalition of Recreational Trail Users.
“Karen is a great ambassador for women who ride,” said Kathy Van Kleeck, senior vice president, government relations for the MIC. “And through her work with NOHVCC and her many volunteer efforts with other clubs and associations, she is a relentless advocate for all riders.”
“Tom has been and continues to be a reliable activist for the industry and for riders,” said Paul Vitrano, general counsel to the MIC. “He was recently particularly helpful in getting key decision makers engaged in efforts to stop the ban on youth all-terrain vehicles and motorcycles.”
“There is no doubt that riders in Minnesota and across the country benefit from Karen’s and Tom’s advocacy, and their accomplishments and affiliations are far too long to list, “said Duane Taylor, director, federal affairs with the MIC. “Put simply, they have never turned down an opportunity to advance the sport of motorcycling,”
The Motorcycle Industry Council exists to preserve, protect and promote motorcycling through government relations, communications and media relations, statistics and research, aftermarket programs, development of data communications standards, and activities surrounding technical and regulatory issues. As a not-for-profit, national industry association, the MIC seeks to support motorcyclists by representing manufacturers and distributors of motorcycles, scooters, motorcycle/ATV/ROV parts and accessories, and members of allied trades such as insurance, finance and investment firms, media companies and consultants.
The MIC is headquartered in Irvine, Calif., with a government relations office adjacent to Washington, D.C. First called the MIC in 1970, the organization has been in operation since 1914. Visit the MIC at www.mic.org.