The Harley-Davidson Motor Company has hired Wayne Curtin, former Vice President of Government Relations for the Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF), as its Manager of Government Affairs. This newly created position within Harley-Davidson will report directly to H-D Vice President of Government Affairs, Tim Hoelter. Mr. Curtin will begin working at the Motor Company's Milwaukee, Wisconsin headquarters on February 7, 2000.
In his new position at Harley, Mr. Curtin will be responsible for promoting Harley-Davidson's domestic government affairs agenda as it relates primarily to the Motor Company's products and services, and he will assist in developing and maintaining positive working relations with key allied groups, including rider organizations such as MRF. Mr. Curtin will also manage the Motor Company's political action committee.
Mr. Curtin served as the MRF Vice President of Government Relations from 1988 through early 1998. In this capacity, Mr. Curtin became the first full-time lobbyist for motorcyclists in Washington, DC. During his first years in Washington, Mr. Curtin, working in conjunction with state motorcyclists' right activists and with the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA), established strong relationships with members of Congress and their staff. Under Mr. Curtin's leadership, the MRF played a key role in the removal of all mention of motorcyclists from the Gang Control Act of 1991. Also in 1991, the MRF was able to lessen the initial impact of federal legislation intended to force the individual states into passing mandatory helmet laws, and to ensure that motorcyclists were given access to high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes. The development of a strong legislative strategy focused on state's rights and on building an effective network of motorcyclists' rights activists nationwide then enabled the MRF to play a major role in overturning the federal blackmail legislation in 1995.
Never one to rest on his laurels, Mr. Curtin then helped to pass legislation in 1996 regarding health insurance discrimination against motorcyclists. Mr. Curtin also laid much of the groundwork for pro-motorcycling legislation included in 1998's Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21). All of this success on the part of the MRF and Mr. Curtin was noticed, as the American Society of Association Executives recognized the MRF with two awards for government relations work in the 1990's. Mr. Curtin also served on the AMA Board of Trustees from 1992 to 1995, and has served on the AMA's political action committee since 1991. Mr. Curtin left the MRF in 1998 to pursue his educational goals. At present, Mr. Curtin is nearing completion of his Masters in Public Administration.
Commenting on Mr. Curtin's hiring, MRF President Mark Buckner said, "We at MRF wish Wayne all the best in his new position, and are very excited about what the future holds. We also find it very encouraging that Harley-Davidson has created this new position, and has hired a person of Wayne's ability to fill it."
MRF Vice President of Government Relations Steve Zimmer added, "Harley-Davidson is to be congratulated for recognizing the importance of creating this position. In particular, we look forward to having the opportunity to continue working with Wayne on a variety of important issues. This should prove highly beneficial to motorcycling for years to come."
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