Left Hand Valley Courier - All Local, All The Time

New NBA president takes the helm


February 19, 2020 | View PDF

Courtesy Photo

Eric Bergeson in his shop, Niwot Wheel Works.

After 12 years, former Niwot Business Association President Tony Santelli, has stepped aside. Eric Bergeson, owner of Niwot Wheel Works, has stepped up to take his place and, on Feb. 11, was elected in an uncontested election as the new NBA president. Bergeson was inspired to run because of his love for this interesting town many call home. "Like most people I know in Niwot, I think this place is special," he said. "I am grateful to all the leaders who have made this place what it is and I want to do my part to build on that."

The NBA focuses on bolstering and supporting Niwot businesses, both large and small. This town is unique in that it boasts plenty of resident-run restaurants, businesses, and retail spaces. Niwot isn't only a quiet neighborhood in which to raise a family or retire, but a place for those looking to start a business. The NBA has always held entrepreneurial interest near and dear and Bergeson is confident he will continue to perpetuate its ethos. He explained, "I am a small-town guy at heart, and to be given the opportunity to build on what has been created here is a real privilege. I want to do my part. I want to make a difference."

Bergeson, his wife Tammy, and their three children moved to Niwot in April of 2000. For the past two decades, they raised their family in this sleepy haven. All three children attended and graduated from Niwot High School. Prior to this move, Bergeson cut his teeth with Amgen, a biotech company based in Thousand Oaks, California. In the mid-nineties, he helped open Amgen's new manufacturing plant in Longmont, thus bringing him back to the Rocky Mountain region.

The Niwot Wheel Works owner is no stranger to running a small business. "In a way, I grew up in a small business. My father was a pharmacist and he owned an independent drugstore. I spent as much time there as I did at home. I swept the floor, cleaned the bathrooms, and interacted with customers from a young age. I also read a lot of comic books and ate a lot of candy – one perk of being the store owner's son." Bergeson watched his dad interact with customers and saw the respect and courtesy his father extended to them day in and day out. Just one visit to his bike shop and one can witness this first-hand.

This new president acknowledges the large shoes he will now need to fill and wants to step into his role thoughtfully. Bergeson said, "I have no specific plans for change within the NBA at this time. Santelli has done an incredible job for the past twelve years as NBA president and I have much to learn before I start making changes. However, I do believe that, like any organization, Niwot can benefit from fresh leadership in the NBA – I hope to bring that." He also explained that while this statement does fundamentally mean change, Bergeson will focus on building upon the strong foundation already there. Bergeson explained that Santelli offered much advice but most importantly to "value and effectively use Niwot's tremendous depth and strength of volunteerism. Volunteers are the lifeblood of Niwot's civic activities... without them it all falls apart."

As far as his overall future goals for Niwot Business Association, Bergeson stressed the importance of generating more business for all of the enterprises around Niwot. He underscored the central role of the NBA and reiterated that, "Everything the NBA does is intended to promote the business vitality of Niwot. My job as NBA president is to bring more business into Niwot, period. I will measure all of our work at the NBA by how much we can improve and increase business activity in town."

Bergeson is looking forward to this new role and will try to "channel all the passion, energy, and heart we have in Niwot toward a shared goal of expanding and deepening what the Niwot business community can offer to the whole community."


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