Polaris honored three individuals and three dealerships for their significant long-term contributions to the company's success by inducting them into the Polaris Hall of Fame today at the National Sales Meeting held in Nashville, Tennessee.
Inducted into the Polaris Hall of Fame, which was created during the company's 50th anniversary in 2004, were two retired employees, a former executive with a key supplier and three Polaris dealerships.
"It's an honor for us to recognize the outstanding contributions these individuals made to Polaris growth and success, and the way these leading dealerships have helped built and represent the Polaris brand," said Polaris CEO Scott Wine.
The 2011 Polaris Hall of Fame inductees are:
- Jeff Bjorkman, who joined Polaris in 1990 as a Manufacturing Engineering Manager and went on to become VP of Operations before retiring in 2009. He oversaw vast expansion and modernization of the company's Roseau, Minnesota, engineering and manufacturing operations, directed company manufacturing start-ups in Wisconsin and Iowa and oversaw creation of the company's state of the art product development center in Wyoming, Minnesota.
- Norm Berg, who made invaluable contributions to the development of numerous significant snowmobile components and models as well as off-road vehicles and sub-systems. As a Sr. Design Engineer, Manager of Research and Product Development and Sr. Staff Engineer, he contributed to product development with his vision and ability to turn concepts into components.
- Hawkins Equipment, Ltd., a Polaris dealership since 1965, when Basil Hawkins started selling Polaris snowmobiles from his new lawnmower repair shop in Fredericton, N.B., Canada. He sold the business to his son and daughter-in-law, Brent and Elva Hawkins, in 1987, and they have continued to provide Polaris snowmobile and off-road vehicle owners with outstanding customer service.
- Carl's Cycle Sales, a Boise, Idaho, dealership opened by Carl Struthers and his wife Liz in 1966. They became Polaris dealers in 1982 and developed a reputation as a leading source of outstanding performance products and tuning. Following Carl's untimely death in 1996, the family kept the business running strongly. Owned and operated today by two of Carl and Liz's children, Jack Struthers and Carrie Jolliffe, Carl's Cycle Sales is widely known and respected Polaris dealership and performance shop.
- RideNow Powersports, one of the nation's leading dealership groups, serves customers by providing exactly what riders want in terms of custom and performance products. With dealership staffs comprised of avid riders, RideNow personnel understand what customers are looking for, and they have provided valuable market insights to Polaris off-road vehicle product development teams. RideNow Powersports is led by Chairman Bill Coulter, CEO Mark Tkach and COO Bill Nash.
- Masatoshi "Mako" Iwasaki, a retired executive with Fuji Heavy Industries, a Polaris Hall of Fame supplier. For 31 years Mr. Iwasaki served as the primary liaison between Polaris and Fuji, a long-time engine supplier and partner in Robin Manufacturing USA, a joint venture engine manufacturer. He helped bridge the differences in the partners' business cultures and languages, and was instrumental in nurturing the outstanding business relationship Fuji and Polaris enjoy to this day.