Industry Press Release



Wrightsville Beach, NC (December 31, 2009) — As the Board Retailers Association (BRA) wraps up another productive year, we are proud to announce changes and additions to our Board of Directors we know will help take our organization and our retail initiatives even further in 2010. Under the continued leadership of BRA Co-Chairs, Duke Edukas of Surfside Sports and D. Nachnani of Coastal Edge, BRA is pleased to announce the addition of Bruce Cromartie of BC Surf & Sport, Coco Tihanyi of Surf Diva, Tony Butler of Sweetwater Surf Shop and Todd Canipe of Vertical Urge to the BRA Board of Directors. Each shop owner and industry leader brings a unique perspective to the association and we are honored to have them serve in the leadership of our organization.

“As we move into a new year and put the economic woes of 2009 behind us, it is now more important than ever to have a team of strong retailers at the helm of the association. We think these additions to the BRA Board of Directors do just that,” says D. Nachnani of Coastal Edge.

Todd Canipe (Vertical Urge) is joining the BRA Board of Directors as a representative and voice for East Coast skate shops. He will be replacing Todd Taylor of University Surf and Skate who has served that role honorably since the founding of the association seven years ago. As an already active member of the skate industry, Todd Canipe will be working closely with BRA Skate Chair George Leichtweis of Modern Skate & Surf to help guide the skate initiatives of the association. Bruce Cromartie (BC Surf & Sport) is a multi-chain store owner with shops in Florida, Colorado, Nebraska and Utah. Bruce will be filling the roll of Craig & Linda Sugihara from Town and Country, whose support of the association has been key to our survival and success. BRA wouldn’t be here today without Craig and Linda and can’t thank them enough for their tireless support of the industry and specialty retail in particular. Along that same line, BRA will continue to honor the memory of founding father and shop owner Greg Bennett of Birthday Suits, who passed earlier this year, by leaving his seat to his wife and active BRA Member, our dear friend Jill Bennett.

Coco Tihanyi (Surf Diva) is a welcome addition to the BRA Board of Directors. Not only have her and her sister become industry staples and made great strides for women surfers, they are successful retailers that have turned their retail brand into a successful manufacturing company. The unique perspective that Coco brings to the table in marketing, branding and private label production is an asset to our association. Tony Butler (Sweetwater Surf Shop) is representative of the majority of BRA retail members, with a single-location action sport shop. He has been in the industry for over twenty years and in addition to running a retail store with his partners, he has been instrumental in hosting a number of local contests and events.

“I am looking forward to next year as the BRA leadership is reinvigorated with new retail industry leaders. We have worked hard to identify Board Members that are diverse, like our membership, in the products they carry, the size of their shops and their geographic locations,” says Duke Edukas of Surfside Sports.

About the Board Retailers Association

The Board Retailers Association (BRA) is a non-profit trade association representing 550 action sport retailers in the surf, skate, snow, wake, kite and wind industry with almost 3,000 storefronts across the country. East and West Coast retailers formed the Board Retailers Association in February 2003. Under the direction of BRA’s Chairman and Board of Directors, the association serves as the preeminent voice, for independent retailers on a grassroots level with manufacturers, trade show representatives, and other associations. The Board Retailers Association also works to provide educational resources and exclusive disc