Business suits mingled with baggy pants as investors, employees, investment bankers, and team riders got together to hear about Ride’s 1994 business results. An estimated 100 people attended the first annual shareholders’ meeting on May 5, 1995 in Bellevue, Washington.
It was typical annual meeting stuff. The Board of Directors was elected and independent public accountants approved. The company’s stock plan for directors was amended, increasing the number of options automatically granted to each Board member from 15,000 to 40,000.
The stock-option plan for officers and key employees was amended to increase the number of shares available under the plan and to approve the granting of options on 260,000 shares of Ride stock to key executives and certain other employees. An employee stock plan was also approved.
Finally, a holding company structure in which a new corporation, Ride, Inc., would hold the common stock of its subsidiaries Ride Snowboard Company, C.A.S. Sports International, Inc., and C.A.S. Sports Agency, Inc. was approved. Company management said they wanted to keep Ride Snowboards as a distinct entity to help it maintain its focus. This positions the holding company to potentially “acquire complimentary compatible businesses” as stated in the prospectus of their initial public offering. Other snowboard brands? Counter-seasonal action-sports products? C.A.S. is already distributing in-line skates.
Chairman Roger Madison continued the meeting with a brief presentation on the snowboard market, Ride’s position in it, and financial results. He characterized Ride’s three strengths as professional financial management, Jamie Salter’s connections in the distribution channels, and Tim Pogue’s “grass-roots” connections with the market. He stated that Ride was the second-largest snowboard company in the world and the only one of the top four picking up market share.
Jamie Salter, chief executive officer of Ride, discussed Ride’s marketing strategy and position with specific attention to how the company limits its distribution to targeted market segments. He indicated that Ride produces boards for twenty other companies.
Ride identified its three major challenges as being:
à'•Keeping the sizzle going.
à'•Keeping costs low in preparation for the time when growth slows or stops.
Not the usual excitement we’ve come to expect from Ride, but that’s what goes on at shareholder meetings. Maybe if there had been a keg of beer, or the Cappel models had been signing pictures …