My Letter posted in Bicycle Retailer and Industry News as a Guest Editorial


February 1, 2012

Marc Sani

Bicycle Retailer and Industry News

25431 Cabot Road, Suite 204

Laguna Hills, CA  92653

Via Email:

Re: Termination of Andy Tompkins

Dear Marc:

I received the email from Andy Tompkins like many announcing his termination from Nielsen and Interbike. I felt sorry for Andy and more so for the industry. When I read your guest editorial in the January 1, 2012 issue of BRAIN, I had a big smile on my face as well as the tug in my heart.

I understand budgets and the need to create a bottom line that meets with management and shareholder expectations. Andy brought many things to the table that cannot be immediately calculated or identified on a spreadsheet. I suspect he did not survive this long in the industry without meeting the bottom line expectations as well.

Andy stood out among a group of talented people at Nielsen. He had an enviable ability to listen to every compliment, complaint or “suggestion,” no matter how it was delivered and leave the person feeling like their time had not been wasted. In the trade show industry that many are saying is dying, Andy and his team kept Interbike coming back, getting better and growing. The excitement that you feel when you attend a tradeshow when retailers want to find out what is new each year still existed at Interbike even though many other venues had popped up to steal Interbike’ s luster.

Your piece pointed out many of those skills and issues that Andy brought to his job each morning. Your piece also will provide a basis to evaluate and see where the trade show industry, Interbike and Andy are going.

The bike industry needs Interbike. Not for the big manufactures for the name brands but for the retailers who leave the big booths and walk around the walls. The new exhibitors bring the excitement, the ideas and what will eventually be the next big thing to the show. They do not have the opportunity to show their products to a nationwide audience anywhere but Interbike. For those new and upcoming manufactures Interbike is the only opportunity. For retailers, those new manufacturers are the next opportunity.

Andy Tompkins provided that opportunity, big or small, for manufacture or retailer and he will be missed. Your article did a great job of make sure the cycling industry knows it.


James H. Moss, JD

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