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Wrightsville Beach, NC (September 15, 2011) – The Board Retailers Association (BRA), a non-profit organization representing 600 independently owned surf, skate snow and wake retailers, is pleased to announce that it has elected two new Co-Chairs for the 2011-2013 term. Bruce Cromartie of BC Surf and Sport and Coco Tihanyi of Surf Diva Boutique will replace D. Nachnani of Coastal Edge and Duke Edukas from Surfside Sports, who have served since 2009. Both D. and Duke will retain their positions as Members of the BRA Board of Directors.
“With so much change happening in the industry we need good leaders, and I am super-stoked that Bruce and Coco have taken the reins,” said Duke Edukas. “Being Co-Chairs with D has been an awesome ride. It’s been an honor to serve. I’ve met great people, interacted with a lot of fine companies and am looking forward to the future.”
Bruce Cromartie, owner of BC Surf & Sport. Shop-eat-surf file photo.
"Duke and D brought two unique geographical perspectives as “East” and “West” Co-Chairmen, and we felt this was important to maintain," said Mike Duncan, President of BRA. "More importantly, they served as great advisors and mentors to the entire membership as did the Chairmen before them. We are confident Bruce and Coco will continue this service both as advisors and also as liasons with the manufacturers with whom they’ve built such good rapport.”
After showing surf movies up and down the east coast for his first few years out of high school, Bruce Cromartie opened the original BC Surf & Sport in 1977. In 1986, he and a partner opened a store in Littleton, Colorado just as snowboarding started to gain popularity. Since that time, BC has grown to 13 stores, primarily located in the Rockies and Florida.
As Co-owner & President of Surf Diva Surf Boutique and Surf Diva Surf School, the original all-girls surf school, Coco Tihanyi is the Coco Chanel of the surf industry. Starting out as the fourth employee at Reef, Coco is now a published author, entrepreneur and mentor. She serves on the Fashion Design/Marketing board of the Art Institute of California, and on the UC San Diego Alumni Board. Inc. Magazine selected Coco, and her twin sister and business partner, Izzy, as one of the “Top Entrepreneurs We Love” along with Richard Branson and Donna Karan.
“I’m so honored to be a part of BRA,” said Tihanyi. “The foundation that has been built by our predecessors will allow us to continue to grow and help our industry. I hope with open communication and honesty we can continue to support and nurture independent retailers.”
BRA also introduced Luis Gordillo as their newest Board Member. Luis owns action sports independent retail shop Evoluzione in Puerto Rico. He is looking forward to taking the place of Luis Santori who left earlier in the year to work for a manufacturer.
New Co-Chair Bruce Cromartie said, “Being a member of BRA has been a great experience for me, and I look forward to working with Coco and the Association to help keep it moving forward. There have never been more challenges in our business, and we all have a lot to gain by working together to be sure the surf, skate and snowboard business stays strong. I want to thank Duke and D for all the work they've done over the last couple of years and for the great example they’ve both set.”
Over the next two years, BRA plans to continue to grow its education program, enhance its exclusive member services, and to establish new ways for retailers to thrive. BRA also holds important a constant flow of conversation between independent retailers and manufacturer representatives, yielding new ideas and inspiration for the industry.
About Board Retailers Association (BRA)
The Board Retailers Association (BRA) is a non-profit trade association representing over 3,500 action sport storefronts across the country. The association serves as the preeminent voice for independent retailers on a grassroots level with manufacturers, trade show representatives, and other associations. BRA also works to provide educational resources and exclusive discounts and savings from vendors on the day-to-day costs of business. For a complete explanation and description of Retail or Associate Member benefits, visit www.boardretailers.org.