Who is this Don Clady anyway??
Don Clady's Page
Motorcycle Events Promoter
Who is this Don Clady anyway????
When I first started this site I started putting information in it from what I knew... so on the links page I of course put a link to Marcus Dairy Super Sunday... WELL.. not long after I did that did I receive an email asking me to CORRECT the link to CYCLE SUNDAY due to a violation of copyright issues... OMG!!!! WELL, I got all flustered.. (can you imagine.. me.. flustered?) and was horrified that I was IN TROUBLE.. so I called Joe from Trantolo and said "Joe, who is this Don Clady guy?"... he said there is a copyright and trademark issue over Super Sunday just change the link and let him know.. I said "Ok..no problem" .. so I changed the link... np problem... Then in one of my travels to see Dennis at Laurel & Harley ... (pretend owner of CT Bikers Guide so when you call there 203-378-1960.. ask for the OWNER of CT BIKERS GUIDE)......... I asked him "Who is this Don Clady guy"... he proceeded to say well he is an Event promoter and has been doing a lot of things for the motorcycle community and you should definately give him a call" ... so I did... and he has been a tremendous help to me and the site .. and I look forward to working with him to help do what ever it is we at CT Bikers Guide can do for all the Motorcycle enthusiasts who visit our sites!!!
THANK YOU DON!!
The Man Behind Super Sunday
copyrighted 9/98 by Peachesz (Patricia Glass Zukowski)1998(C)
Manic, crazy, unique, energetic, incessant-these are several words that come to mind when attempting to describe Don Clady. Try to put a whirling dervish in a box. It can’t be done. Don, virtually defies a methodical description. Don also defies the "professional approach", that others consider the proper way. He has an indefatigable personality.
Clady is the promoter for many popular east coast motorcycle events. For the last 12 years he has held Super Sunday at Marcus Dairy, Connecticut. He coordinated his most recent event September 11th-13th, the "Second Annual Motorcycle Worlds Fair" at Monticello Raceway in Monticello, NY.
Don can be compared to the infamous soft ice cream legend, Tom Carvel. Using the worst advertising imaginable, Carvel focused on the product the consumer received. The customer's satisfaction was paramount. Clady prefers to give the motorcyclist and vendor alike the biggest value for their dollars. So what if his flyers are not artistically rendered. 69,000 gate passes were given away complimentary. They are not free, free has no value. Clady insists on using the term complimentary. Passes are offered to anyone on his mailing list and anyone that asks. With a full year to request them, he does not feel the few that pay at the gate lose out. They are getting more for their $12 admission than they would anyplace else. The majority appear to agree. With one of the most extensive mailing lists in the industry, it’s hard to argue with Clady’s logic.
"We need you in the office.", Andre Jankauskas, is head of security for Don, and Chairman of the Connecticut Chapter of Rolling Thunder said. He laughed recounting, "We usually get someone to follow Don around who has a headset on." Clady finds headsets annoying and unreliable. His entourage trailed behind him taking notes, asking questions, and seeking his direction. Risking heart attacks they endeavor to keep pace with him. At his events Don is the center of the universe. Having an extraordinary memory he does not take notes. He surrounds himself with competent personnel. They seem to understand his personality quirks and work diligently despite the chaos around them. Don attempts and usually accomplishes twenty things simultaneously. They are not always done the way he expects or wants, but if anyone should get an A for effort, it is Clady.
Back in his office there are sixteen people waiting for him. A virtual non-stop marathon man, he has the ability to asses situations. "He is the only one that knows what’s going on.", said one of his assistants, Jill Comando. She calls Don, "Map Boy". Indeed, Clady has a schematic in his head. Seemingly disorganized, he is actually conscious of the small details and how it relates to the big picture. Solving problems rapidly with success is his job. Sometimes it is beyond his control.
Questioned about his involvement he answered, "My wife asks me the same question."
Driving himself hard, his health has often been affected. Jessica Baumgardner, Clady’s niece and staff member explained, "He dehydrated and had to go to the hospital right after a Super Sunday." Don’s sister, Diane, was working behind a sea of T-shirts. She disclosed, " He often takes a hit, it’s the helping that’s most important to him." "He’s been like this since he was a kid, selling stuff at stands, … he’s always wheeling and dealing. He is a people person. He looks at others welfare first. He overextends himself.", she continued. Don was raised to help others before taking for himself. "If he had to put a price on it, it wouldn’t pay."
When asked what his secret of success was Don replied, "What's success?" His biting and often self-depreciating humor reveals his constant striving to improve. Chain-smoking, Don noticed, " I sell souvenir ashtrays and I don’t even have an ashtray." Patty, his wife, Don, and their 5 children live in a rented apartment. All help out at events, even his 3 year old labels and stuffs envelopes. Funneling cash back into his events leaves little for luxuries.
From Ulster County ABATE, Ernie Longyear describes Don Clady as manic. He stated, "He is the only person I know of that has the connections he does, without owning a bike!" Don started out many years ago as a dishwasher at Marcus Dairy in Connecticut. Struggling, he worked his way up to manager. He became friends with the bikers and enjoyed their company. Respecting them, he understood and identified. Eventually he started doing his own events as a way of returning the friendship. A humble beginning often can produce amazing results.
"Get three tables over to the trophy area, make sure there are table cloths on them." " What about the trophy’s?" Don continued, "I try to give everyone what they want, they change their minds and I try to accommodate." Motorcycle artist Wayne Mauro explained, "Don will try to work with you and make it better, other promoters-once they get your money they forget about you. Don is always open to new ideas." Harold, veteran vendor and owner of the "Jerky Hut" divulged, "I have never had a problem with him, he has always been fair to me." Biker Billy--vendor, author, and cook, repeated sentiments heard often, " He does what he says he’s going to do, some people blame the promoter but it’s not his fault when things go wrong." When the Raceway facility lost power to Billy’s booth, Don went out and rented a generator to insure the cooking demonstration had electric.
"This is not my show, it’s his show and her show and their show, that’s whose show it is. It’s the peoples show.", Don pointed to members of several m/c organizations and clubs. He offered free space for non and not-for profit organizations. Charities participate receiving a percentage of sales. "It’s hard to get everyone to work together", Don said. Jean Aldous, Vice President of Am Jam, commented on Don, "He takes his own particular flair and adds that into a motorcycle event …..a lot of energy and a little bit of everything."
The Annual Motorcycle Worlds Fair drew 21,006 people according to signed waivers. An entry fee was paid by only 2,468. Due to oversight the gates were unstaffed for two hours. Clady’s expenses were over $185,000. Obviously he isn’t getting rich. The Bike Show had 134 entrants. Clady featured the Winns Family Thrill Show, Globe of Death, Michael Bryant Trials Stunt Show, Impersonators doing Elvis and Madonna, and a tremendous variety of entertainment and special exhibits. Because the vendors were scattered all over, attendees assumed there were less in attendance. Over 150 vendors showed up for this first time event. Attending Saturday, Doreen and Jeff Hendler from White Plains, NY, had a great time and loved the variety of vendors available. They felt they were offered a wide assortment of attractions for their money, and did a lot of shopping . Vendors set up late on Friday and left early on Sunday, a common practice. Sunday participants were not all happy. Strawberry, traveling from eastern Long Island was disappointed. "There were hardly no vendors by the time we got there."
Accomplishing the impossible, defying the customary and traditional methods, he discards fancy promotional technique. Don Clady wants to make his motorcyclists and vendors happy. With strong conviction he will stand by his principles even if he loses short term. It is a matter of honor to Don. His word is his bond. To some it is a poor business practice, to most of us, it is the only way to do business.
copyrighted 9/98 by Peachesz (Patricia Glass Zukowski)1998(C)
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