TORONTO, May 7, 2015 /CNW/ - Retail Council of Canada (RCC) announced today that Paul Dragan, owner of Reckless Bike Stores in Vancouver, BC, will be honoured with the 2015 Independent Retail Ambassador of the Year Award.
The Independent Retail Ambassador of the Year Award, sponsored by Chase Paymentech, recognizes the outstanding contributions of a local independent retailer to his or her community. The recipient is seen as a visionary, an innovator, and an integral part of the community that his or her business serves. Paul Dragan was selected this year among a number of outstanding independent retailers across Canada and will be recognized for Reckless Bike Stores' commitment to a unique customer experience, promotion of an active lifestyle, and extensive community involvement. Learn more about Reckless at reckless.ca.
After high school, Dragan spent time cycling in Europe, opening his eyes to a career in the bike business. He began selling tires out of the trunk of his car in Atlantic Canada and then moved to Vancouver where he worked at a cycling store. In 1986, he opened the original Reckless location on Fir Street. Today in Vancouver, the company's three stores continue the tradition of exceptional service and quality work. Reckless offers a wide range of bikes to appeal to all levels of cycling experience. Dragan said, "Our mission is to bring cycling to the people who aren't enthusiasts." In addition to the impressive selection of brands offered, including DeVinci, Raleigh and Marin, Reckless has also been designing and building its own bicycles since 1990, allowing the company to sell a "made in Vancouver" transportation solution.
Last summer, Dragan made national headlines, as he was near-fatally shot on the sidewalk outside his store. It is a miracle that he is alive today, as he lost almost 80 per cent of his blood volume and flat-lined twice during transport to the trauma unit. This story is a testament to how loved Dragan is in his Yaletown community; they rallied around him, hosting a community ride and a barbecue in a show of support. In lieu of donations collected for Dragan, those at the barbecue were asked to sign up to donate blood, in recognition of the blood donated to save Dragan.
"Retail Council of Canada is delighted to present the 2015 Independent Retail Ambassador of the Year Award to Paul Dragan, an entrepreneur who is not only committed to fostering an active lifestyle among his customers, but is also dedicated to his community," said Diane J. Brisebois, President & CEO, Retail Council of Canada. Reckless Bike Stores is involved in several local organizations and events such as The Vancouver Area Cycling Coalition, Slow Food Ride, fundraising rides to fight cancer and the Rotary Bike-A-Thon for the hearing impaired. The company's big blue van is often seen at such events, offering repairs and troubleshooting to participants. "Paul's involvement in local initiatives and events demonstrates real leadership. He truly is an ambassador and we've seen firsthand how his community appreciates his dedication and passion for both the retail industry and community as a whole," said Brisebois. Reckless joins a long line of outstanding Independent retailers across Canada, including Amos Pewter, That Pro Look, and Cuckoo's Nest.
Dragan will be recognized by the industry at Retail Council of Canada's annual Excellence in Retailing Awards Gala held on June 2, 2015. For further information and to purchase tickets: RetailAwards.ca
The Gala, taking place at STORE 2015, Canada's largest retail conference, will take place at the Toronto Congress Centre. Media are invited to attend STORE 2015, June 2-3, 2015. For further information: STOREconference.ca
About Retail Council of Canada (RCC)
Retail Council of Canada (RCC) is the Voice of Retail in Canada representing more than 45,000 store fronts of all retail formats, including department, specialty, discount, and independent stores, and online merchants in general merchandise, grocery and drugs. Its membership represents over 75% of all retail sales in Canada. RCC is a strong advocate for retailing in Canada and works with all levels of government and other stakeholders to support employment growth and career opportunities in retail, to promote and sustain retail investments in communities from coast-to-coast, and to enhance consumer choice and industry competitiveness. RCC also provides its members with a full range of services and programs including education and training, benchmarking and best practices, networking, advocacy, and industry information. RetailCouncil.org @RetailCouncil @RCC_MySTORE
SOURCE Retail Council of Canada
For further information: Colin Asuncion, Retail Council of Canada, [email protected], 416.467.3782