“Wilton is the heart of whatever we do. It all starts here,” Peter Woods, president and CEO of Dorel Recreational/Leisure told a crowd of about 100 people gathered Friday morning for the ribbon-cutting at the bike company's new corporate headquarters at 1 Cannondale Way in Wilton.
“This is where Cannondale and GT the brands are based," he said. "We are very proud to call Wilton home.”
Cannondale Sports Unlimited is a segment of Canadian-based Dorel Industries Inc., which also makes many historic U.S. bicycle brands, including Schwinn, Mongoose and Roadmaster, in addition to Cannondale and GT.
The headquarters is located in i.park on the Norwalk-Wilton border at 761 Main Ave. in Norwalk, but Cannondale’s office is officially considered to be in Wilton, Woods said.
The company has been at the location for about six months. It moved to Wilton after it outgrew its former headquarters in nearby Bethel, Woods said.
“We have been around Connecticut, and now we are back to where we started,” Woods said.
The bicycle company was founded in 1971 and named after the Cannondale section of Wilton.
“We are very excited to work with you on the sport of cycling, being good citizens to your towns and also to promote cycling,” Woods told Wilton First Selectman Bill Brennan and Norwalk Mayor Harry Rilling at the event.
The company wants to be involved with the Norwalk River Valley Trail and want to promote the use of bicycles by residents of both communities, he said.
“We are delighted to have such a, now, multinational company with such a big brand image throughout the world to be back in Wilton again,” he said.
Brennan also offered a customer testimonial about Cannondale bicycles. The first selectman said he still uses the Cannondale mountain bicycle that he bought 25 years ago and praised its quality.
“It is a super bike. It has never failed me,” Brennan said to appreciative laughs from his audience. “I have never had it into the repair shop. I have driven weekly rides on it. I love it, it is just a great product.”
Rilling praised the company and said it was a great addition to the Norwalk-Wilton area.
“It just goes to show that when you make a quality product people will come. This is an amazing success story,” he said. “I am pleased to have you on the Norwalk-Wilton border.”
Rilling, a former Norwalk police chief, said his department also used Cannondale bicycles.
“We used Cannondale bikes with our bicycle patrol. They were always a quality product,” he said.
The ribbon cutting occurred during National Bike Month.
In a May 8 story in bicycleretailer.com, the bike division of Dorel Industries grew revenue by 18 percent in the first quarter.
Woods was recently promoted from his position as chief financial officer. Martin Schwartz, president and CEO of Dorel Industries, praised Woods for his work in improving the division’s profitability.
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