Raleigh America, Inc., held its annual Heron Council Meeting and Gala February 22nd-24th at the Palm Springs Westin Mission Hills Resort in California. While the focus of the event is recognizing top dealers, it also provides the dealers and Raleigh America execs a valuable opportunity to meet and discuss how the company can best serve the needs of the Independent Bicycle Dealer (IBD).

For the Heron Council dealers the event provides a mid-winter break from their stores, some fun in the sun, and a chance to meet and compare notes with other top dealers from around the country.

“This year’s Heron Council event was one of the best ever. It was a perfect balance of learning, social and business interaction with other fantastic dealers, and free time to unwind,” said Scott Cowan, owner of Century Cycles, a three-store bicycle retailer located in Ohio. “The Heron Council event sets Raleigh apart from the rest of the industry and is one more way they are showing their support of the IBD,” Cowan continued, “and it doesn't go unnoticed with our buying decisions all year long.”

Each year as part of the annual Heron Council gala celebration dinner, Raleigh America presents each of its top dealers with a distinctive hand-blown glass award, as a lasting recognition of their performance and support for Raleigh America. This year the awards were presented by Bill Austin, Steve Meineke, and Rickey Strawn, Raleigh America’s CEO, President, and Director of Sales, respectively.

“It is an honor and a privilege to spend quality time with our Heron Council Dealers,” said Strawn. “Each of these dealers has contributed to Raleigh America’s success over the last year not only with their purchases, but with their feedback and support. It is our ongoing commitment to work with our dealers around the country to grow the business and sport of bicycling by providing high quality, innovative products with industry leading value and dealer margins.”

The Heron Council is named after the famous Raleigh Heron head badge, which is still placed on the front of many Raleigh bicycles. The heron was part of the family heraldic coat of arms of the firm's founder, Sir Frank Bowden.