(click on small images below to view the larger photos)

We walked towards the entrance of the futuristic looking building. Very impressive! (Editor’s note: We would tell you the secret location of this event, but if we did, we were told we would become lifeless, mindless, zombie-like robots, incessantly rambling unintelligible statements such as “It’s not like it’s rocket surgery”. Definitely not worth spilling the beans to you about the location!) Then we were greeted by staff that made us feel right at home. In front of the building’s entrance were various Kawasaki machines, including James Stewart’s championship winning KX 125.

The doors opened at 6:30pm. We walked inside the building, wondering what we would see next. The interior design was something out of this world too – very high-tech industrial. In the giant lobby, wait staff were on hand, serving us champagne and tasty appetizers.

At 7 we were ushered into the theater/presentation area, complete with stage, lights, music, and large overhead video screen. It was like going to a movie premiere!

Mr. Keith Code was the Master of Ceremonies. Then Bob Moffitt spoke, and championship rings were given to Jet Skiers Chris MacClugage and Dustin Motzouris, Drag Racers Jim Carroll, Ryan Schnitz, and Chip Ellis, Off-Roader Fred Andrews, and Motocrosser James Stewart, Jr. All of them won championships in 2002 on Kawasaki’s.

The ‘Man’ at Kawasaki, Bob Moffitt, is retiring after 27 years with the company. He’s retiring so he can ride his motorcycles more! Bob was acknowledged on stage for so much of what he’s done in motorcycling, and presented with a beautiful painting (see photo). Jeff Ward, 7 time AMA champion, was a surprise special presenter to Bob.

Next up, the 2003 Motorsports teams were introduced:

  • Jet Ski Racing – Manager Joe Heim, riders Chris MacClugage and Dustin Motzouris
  • Drag Racing – Manager John Hoover, riders Chip Ellis, Ricky Gadson
  • Muzzy Drag Racing – Owner Rob Muzzy, rider Ryan Schnitz
  • Road Racing – Manager Michael Preston, riders Eric Bostrum, Tommy Hayden, Tony Meiring
  • ATV Racing – Manager Reid Nordin, riders Heidi Landon, Mike Penland
  • Off- Road Racing – Supervisor Jason Smigel, riders Destry Abbott, Fred Andrews, Shane Esposito, Chuck Woodford
  • Team Green Motocross – Supervisor Craig Martin, riders Gavin Gracyk, Jessica Patterson, Ryan Villopoto, and 50 others
  • Team Pro-Circuit Kawasaki – Manager Alley Semar, riders Mike Brown, Justin Buckelew, Eric Sorby, Matt Walker
  • Team Chevy Trucks Kawasaki – Manager Bruce Stjernstrom, riders James Stewart, Jr., Ezra Lusk

Finally, it was out to the Limelight Lounge – an outdoor patio party complete with food, adult beverages, dessert, coffee, pool tables, a DJ, an indoor basketball court, and a Drag Bike Racing Simulator!

We talked to Jacquelyn McCurdy and Matt Freeman, who helped organize this beautiful event:

Matt: We are honoring our 2002 Kawasaki champions and presenting our 2003 motor sports teams to the media, sponsors, and important industry personnel.

Jacquelyn: This year we probably pulled off most of the preparation in about a month’s time. We try schedule this around the AMA banquet, so the athletes are in town, and we don’t take much time out of their busy schedules.

Earlier today we spent time doing media training with the athletes. We had our professional media trainer helping them with on-camera interviews and working with the media. By the time they got here today they had already had a seven-hour workday.

To put this entire event together takes two or three people from every department within Kawasaki. There are people who bring display products, such as our race replica bikes out front for everyone to see, there’s somebody from Information Systems doing the Power Point presentations, various executives preparing their portions of the show, team managers and their athletes, and more. We also hire a special Master of Ceremonies. The FCB advertising agency pulls together all the video for the presentation, Freeman McCue public relations pulls together all the media and invites. And this year Freeman McCue took on more of an event planner role. All in all, it’s probably a good section from each department within Kawasaki and the agencies that are contracted with them. It’s become a big production.

Matt: This year we went with a ‘Limelight theme’, which has a nightclub atmosphere. So we have the pool tables, bar, and couches outside. This is something different for us, especially since we are here at (the secret location). It’s such a unique place, with it’s industrial architecture look that you might see at a nightclub.

Definitely a lot of sleepless nights for a lot of people to put it all together. My role was to help write the program that was handed out tonight. The actual presentation took so many people to do. Jacquelyn, Sheryl, Mary, Damien. Everyone in the marketing department at Kawasaki, and so many other people.

Jacquelyn: One of our goals with all this is to create a ‘feel good’ event where we honor our champions from last year and present the championship rings to them. So it’s kind of a ceremony as well. And it’s also an opportunity to publicly and formally announce our 2003 teams, even though we’ve done it through press releases and the media already. This is also a time where we get to invite our sponsors, KMC employees and agency employees to show our appreciation. Everyone gets to meet and share, and have a good time.

Good times were had by everyone!

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Walking towards the entrance

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You may enter

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Bruce Stjernstrom

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James Stewart’s championship 125 on display

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Overhead shot of Eric Bostrum (don’t ask!)

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Mr. Ezra Lusk

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The ‘secret location’ has an indoor basketball court!

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Bob Moffit, 1979!

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A beautiful painting, celebrating Bob Moffit

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James has a championship ring!

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Matt Freeman helped organize

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Good times were had by all!

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Kawasaki’s 2003 Off-Road Team

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The Drag Bike Simulator was a hit

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Cecilia Muriello, Lou Heimann, Sheryl Bussard

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This is Drag Racer Ricky Gadson – World’s Fastest Supermodel too!

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