Former Vice President of Business Development
for Harley-Davidson Motor Company
Clyde Fessler is widely recognized as the brand architect in the dramatic turnaround of the Harley-Davidson Motor Company. His powerful presentations demonstrate the genuine passion surrounding the much-admired Harley brand, the experience of motorcycling and the attributes of freedom, adventure and individuality.
Fessler served in key executive positions at Harley-Davidson for 25 years, playing an integral role in the evolution of the company into a global community-building lifestyle brand with an extraordinarily loyal following. His dynamic presentation relates the Harley-Davidson turnaround story, detailing how the brand developed its own mystique by bringing together seemingly disparate combinations of products, people, processes and experiences in unique and often surprising ways. It is a story that resonates with business audiences across a wide range of demographic segments.
Fessler joined Harley-Davidson in 1977 as Advertising and Promotions Manager and was soon promoted to Director of Marketing. In that position, Fessler led the establishment of the Harley Owners Group, or H.O. G., which remains the largest sponsored enthusiast clubbing the world with more than one million members.
As General Sales Manager, Fessler established new dealer incentives, policies and programs – many of which are still in effect today. As Director of Licensing, he propagated the Harley brand across a wide variety of third-party merchandise which added over $200 million in annual revenue.
As Vice President of General Merchandise, Fessler built the Motor Clothes line from $20 million in annual sales to over $100 million over a period of five years. As Vice President of Motor Accessories, he developed the strategy that doubled Harley’s accessory business in three years and tripled it in five.
In his final role, as Vice President of Business Development, Fessler helped refine the strategic direction of the company, creating the global rental program and the Rider’s Edge safety training program. He was also involved in the 2-1 program to develop a tilting 3-wheeler.
Fessler is the author of the 2012 book ‘Rebuilding the Brand: How Harley-Davidson Became King of the Road’, which is available on Amazon and through www.clydefessler.com.
He is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and has served on the Board of Trustees of the American Motorcycle Association and the Motorcycle Safety Foundation. Fessler also played a key role in Harley-Davidson’s relationship with the Muscular Dystrophy Association, which has generated over $70 million in donations as the primary charity of H.O.G.
When he is not busy sharing his vision, creativity and strategic thinking with clients and audiences, Clyde can be found exploring the world on one of his five Harley-Davidson motorcycles.