Erik Pritchard, president and CEO of the powersports industry’s leading trade and education associations — Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC), Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF), Specialty Vehicle Institute of America (SVIA) and Recreational Off-Highway Vehicle Association (ROHVA) — announced that he is pursuing new opportunities and will step down from his position at the associations on March 22, 2024.
“It has been a privilege to work with the boards, the member companies, the broader industry and the talented staff at the associations,” Pritchard said. “We were able to help the powersports industry not only survive but grow during a global pandemic, and we launched numerous strategic programs to support future success. I’m confident that powersports will continue to be an important part of transportation and recreation in America and that the associations will be there to help.”
Under Pritchard’s guidance, the MlC has grown as the voice for powersports. He led the way in establishing and enhancing key stakeholder relationships for the entire powersports industry, including with local and federal government officials, parallel industry associations and additional powersports associations. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Pritchard helped navigate the industry through global shutdowns, led the team in working with the U.S. government to ensure powersports businesses could stay open, launched campaigns to position powersports as the perfect way to social distance, and provided tools to give businesses real-time information on guidelines and available support.
“Under Erik’s leadership over the past 10 years, the MIC has been strengthened as an association that’s keenly focused on ensuring the livelihood of our industry,” said MIC Chair Derek Brooks, motorcycle product line manager, Yamaha Motor Corp., U.S.A. “The work Erik led, with the MIC government relations team, was directly responsible for keeping motorsports dealers’ doors open during COVID. He’s also led the charge to expand awareness of motorcycling and increase ridership. The powersports industry is in a stronger position because of Erik’s significant contributions.”
During Pritchard’s tenure, more than 1 million students enrolled in skills development courses with MSF, SVIA and ROHVA. He also identified the need and ensured the development of expansion initiatives at both MIC and MSF that continue to inspire, engage and integrate new and returning riders. This work led to the transformation of the MSF curriculum into 360 Rider, a comprehensive approach to rider education to meet the needs of students at every point in their rider journey.
“The entire training community and the millions of MSF students around the world have benefitted greatly from Erik’s visionary leadership,” said Croft Long, chair of the Motorcycle Safety Foundation. “He brought a high level of synergy across the associations, and he has navigated us through very challenging times, delivering the associations in a much stronger position to meet future demands.”
“Erik’s contributions to all the associations and the overall industry cannot be overstated,” said Ryan Stiver, chair of the Recreational Off-Highway Vehicle Association. “He continued to stand up for the powersports industry time and time again, helping us with government regulations, expanding trails access for OHV [off-highway vehicle] use, and truly protecting and promoting our industry. Through it all, Erik always sees and puts the people first. He will truly be missed in this position.”
“Under Erik’s leadership, we have evolved training to meet the challenges of the ever-changing landscape, as well as reinforce the training with safety messages across a variety of channels,” said Colin Miller, chair of the Specialty Vehicle Institute of America. “We achieved this in large part because Erik has a unique ability to see the broader powersports landscape and deliver added value to riders, the broader training community and powersports companies.”
Pritchard’s legal background provided an integral foundation that enabled him to oversee and coordinate the industry’s standard-setting process and the industry’s responses to government agencies. But he also understood the need for better outreach to communities at large. At his direction, mainstream media communications were ramped up to reach hundreds of millions of people with messages relaying the serious fun that powersports vehicles can bring. He ensured that the MSF was properly recognized for 50 years of rider education and training, culminating with a U.S. Senate resolution honoring the MSF. And he helped revive the American International Motorcycle Expo, the U.S. powersports industry’s trade show, after the pandemic nearly shut it down for good. AIMExpo, in its 10th year, will be delivering the largest show in its history with a completely sold-out floor.
Pritchard began his work with the industry as outside legal counsel. He was hired as the organizations’ general counsel in 2014. In 2017, he became president of SVIA and ROHVA, and in 2019, he was appointed president and CEO of all four associations.
Details about the process to identify new leadership will be communicated at a later date.