Vistage Member Showcase
Chris Sugai is the 2012 Vistage Member Leadership Award winner for passion. As the President of Niner Bikes, Chris designs, manufactures, and distributes high-end 29-inch wheeled mountain bikes. Chris has passionately pursued what was once an unpopular vision: bringing a cutting-edge, custom-feeling, 29-inch mountain bike to the market. He is credited with inspiring and leading an industry-wide change to 29-inch wheels for mountain bikes.
Chris is adventurous but driven. He hires only A-players and fosters a progressive culture amongst his 27 employees. Every person at Niner Bikes is a passionate cyclist, and their shared passion is what helps Niner Bikes grow and thrive. Chris believes that the best way of showing leadership is by being authentic and showing his passion for bikes and cycling, employees will see that and feed off of it to create a positive, impactful company culture.
As a result of Chris’s hard work to bring 29-inch mountain bikes into the mainstream mountain bike market, Niner Bikes not only owns its market — it completely changed the industry. 75% of the US market and 70% of bikes sold worldwide are now 29-inch wheeled bikes. Revenues for Niner Bikes have increased from $98,000 in their first year (2005) to $14 million in 2012.
Watch to learn more about Chris’ vision for his company and why he won the Member Leadership Award for his participation in his Vistage private advisory group.