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Profiles: Frank Hwang '99

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Frank Hwang '99
Global Marketing Director, Cannondale.

Hometown: Originally from Vestal, N.Y., but now Ridgefield, Conn., is home.

Bowdoin ties: wife, Dr. Megan Lewis Hwang ’00.

How you met: Both Megan and I were biology majors (but never shared a class), played rugby and were members of Kappa Delta Theta. We started dating after I graduated or as she puts it when I "woke up."

Beginnings: Jason Moyer '97 actually referred me to this job. At first, I thought he wanted a recommendation on a good bike to do a charity event. I didn't realize that he was trying to recruit me into the job for his client.

Prior to this gig: I was a strategic marketing consultant working with a variety of clients from Fortune 500 companies to start-up snowboard manufacturers. My background is pretty diverse from working with non-profits to managing advertising campaigns for global consumer package goods companies.

Most useful lesson learned on the job so far: Flexibility, patience and hydrating! In many ways it's like working for any other company, but then you look around and realize that you're talking about things like super high-tech carbon fiber weaves and negotiating pro athlete contracts. You gotta take the time to be appreciate the cool aspects of your job.

The best thing about my job is: It sounds corny, but incorporating one of my passions with my profession. I've been searching for a while for this unique combination, and I'm very thankful for this opportunity.

Favorite ride (route): So far? The ride out to Aquinnah on Martha's Vineyard, or Stage 8 of the Tour of California (the Rock Store climb near Westlake Village).

Favorite ride (bike): Road? Our SuperSix Hi-MOD or our new CAAD10. Mountain? Our brand new, reinvented, quiver killer, the Jekyll.

I can’t live without…my wife, the Bean (our daughter, Callen), and the boys (our dogs, Casco and Lambert). But aside from the family, my surfboard.

Greatest influences: Yvon Chouinard H'08 (Founder of Patagonia), Jake Burton (Founder of Burton Snowboards), Gary Erickson (Founder of Clifbar), Mario Cipollini (Italian stud cyclist).

Goals: Pretty simple. Show the world why Cannondale makes the best bikes. Be a great dad and husband. Climb the Col du Tourmalet in July. Punt an air on my shortboard.

Passionate about: Innovative ways to market and advertise things. Surfing. Snowboarding. Riding my bike. Traveling with my family.

Song playing on my iPod right now: Jack Johnson's new album, To The Sea; Travie McCoy's "We'll Be Alright"; Muse's "Uprising"; The Killers "MGMT"; a little Kanye, and Jay-Z.

Last blog I read: Lewis Samuel's "Post Surf," Patagonia's "The Cleanest Line," and Patrick Brady's "Red Kite Prayer."

Favorite Bowdoin memory (that we can print): Basking in the warm sun after finishing my rugby game and watching the Killer B's play while sipping on a "soda."

I should set a Guinness World Record for...texting on an iPhone. Seriously.

The coolest thing I’ve ever seen is…porpoises and seals popping up in the line up with some glassy waves.

Views…
on cycling:
There's a huge opportunity in cycling to grow our sport. Right now, we've got everything from spandex-wearing road bikers to armor-clad downhillers to suit and tie commuters. The big push is on growing the number of safe roads so kids can go back to riding to school and more and more people can exercise and have fun on two wheels. On the sport side, I think the niche sports like Cyclocross and Freeriding are seeing a big boom right now. It's a great time to be involved in cycling.

on marketing: Equally as exciting, the rules of marketing continue to change. In the past, your options were TV, radio and print. Today, you have traditional media channels, digital, and now, new media outlets like Facebook and Twitter. The days of companies pushing the message onto the consumer are over. It's great to be able to create true dialog between our customers and our brand. With these new methods, I love seeing our engineers engage directly with the people riding our bikes online, real-time.

on life as a new dad: I'm constantly juggling my priorities. As a family, we threw ourselves out of the frying pan and into the fire: new baby, selling a house, new jobs, new town, and buying a house. With everything going on, we've made an extra push to continue maintaining our passions. We've integrated Callen into our lives versus adapting ourselves to her life. Of course, it's a give-and-take relationship, but we've committed ourselves to continue exploring and bringing her along for the adventure.

Home page set to: It changes, but I always check NEsurf.com, Cyclingnews.com, Bike Snob NYC, NOAA, Pinkbike.com, Facebook, and Twitter.

Personal website/blog/Twitter: hoonhwang.blogspot.com—although iI don't have much time to update it. @snwbdrhoon—fastest way to connect to me

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Posted August 12, 2010