The annual award is given to the individual who has had the greatest influence on motorcycling and its future. While giving the award to the AMA’s own chairman may seem self-serving, AMA President and chief executive officer Rob Dingman defended the decision.
“This inaugural selection may seem self-serving, yet Stan Simpson is the clear choice for this distinction,” says Dingman. “Stan has had a greater impact on the AMA and motorcycling than any single person in America in 2008.”
Under Simpson’s leadership, Dingman says the AMA sold its professional racing properties to Daytona Motorsports Group, revamped its official publication, American Motorcyclist, increased the number of member benefits, and improved its Government Relations department.
“In recent years, the AMA had become mired in professional racing controversy, and the Association had lost the focus that a strong, unified national association must maintain,” says Dingman. “Stan recognized that, and he led the bold moves necessary to fix the AMA once and for all.”
“Most importantly, Stan Simpson’s leadership has put the AMA in a better position to focus on our core mission of protecting the future of motorcycling,” says Dingman.
Simpson was elected to the AMA Board of Directors in 2005, representing the South Central region. A former National Enduro Championship competitor, Simpson was named AMA Board Chairman in November 2007 following the resignation of his predecessor Dal Smilie. Simpson also serves as the chairman of the American Motorcycle Heritage Foundation’s Board of Directors.
“The AMA and all of motorcycling is better positioned for growth and prosperity because of the vision and perseverance of Stan Simpson,” says Dingman. “There is a lot of work to be done, but thanks to Stan, we are now able to tackle that work with the urgency and diligence that our membership deserves.”