Our Women in the Powersports Industry series, highlighting the struggles and achievements of women in a male-dominated industry, was originally intended to be a year of monthly articles, that started on International Women’s Day on March 8. That was two years ago. Since then, the series has continued, on an occasional basis, because there are many more stories to tell, and much more inspiration to be found.
At BRP, we always pride ourselves on enhancing the rider’s experience. This winter, our Ski-Doo brand has contributed to this goal by improving the safety and well-being of snowmobilers.
Welcome to a new year and a new Women in Powersports profile! In this latest article, we talk to Jessika Häggling, Manager of multi-brand powersports dealership Northbike’s 6000 square-metre store in Umeå in northern Sweden. She is responsible for a team of 30 people, including eight sales people that advise customers on Ski-Doo, Sea-Doo and apparel purchases, as well as leading motorcycle brands.
To say, Vicki Gray is an adventurer, would be an understatement. The subject of our latest Women in Powersports profile has driven herself to take risks, aim for the highest peaks, and get off the beaten track for her entire adult life. At 19, she was travelling Canada training merchandisers. At 23, she was winning awards for the highest profit increases in the sales territories she managed. And then she sold everything and moved to the Caribbean island of St. Maarten to ride all year long and continue to teach others, expanding her passion for motorcycling.
Like all our products, Can-Am vehicles have their riders at the heart of their design. Those who choose Can-Am seek freedom above all, whether alone, with friends or as part of a community. Especially, we all want to express our personality and our pride, and we also do this through the aesthetics and performance of our vehicles.
For fans of mud and marshy terrain, our Outlander X mr Can-Am ATV is a favourite vehicle. Its Visco-Lok technology, which automatically locks the front differential, ensures they don’t get stuck, even when caught out by an unexpected type of mud or by obstacles hidden beneath the surface. With these ‘mud-riders’ in mind, our research and development engineers pushed the technology even further for our 2021 models.
Our occasional series, “Women in Powersports”, spotlights our female colleagues in every area of the industry, and at all levels. This time, we’re turning our attention to the organization of sporting events, talking to one of the only women to head up a winter racing event, and not the smallest one at that! Véronique Lizette is General Manager of the Grand-Prix de Valcourt, the largest winter powersports event in the world, with six disciplines in one weekend: snowmobile and motocross on an ice oval, motocross and ATV on an iced road circuit, snocross and drag racing.
In our series Women in powersports, we shine a light on the different roles women occupy, how these roles evolve, and how these women contribute to that evolution. Today, we meet Megan Brodeur, from Coaticook in Canada, who races snowmobiles in the extreme sport of Snocross, round a rough off-road circuit. Despite her young age – she is 22 years old – Megan has been in the racing world for over a decade. She was the youngest women’s Snocross racer to win the North American championship, at 18, and she’s won three more championships in a row since then.
Since 2014, BRP and Can-Am On-Road have been sponsoring the Road Warrior Foundation (RWF), an organization with a mission to empower military veterans by honouring their service through “adventure therapy.”
We spoke with one of the RWF founders, Craig Anders, who shared what he loves about this partnership and what it means to veterans.
We have been self-isolating for close to 9 months in an uninsulated 20m2 trappers cabin built in 1930- with no running water or electricity.
We are 140 km from any store, running water, hot pizza, Netflix, fresh fruits and vegetables, our family/friends, a washing machine and comforts of regular life. We have not had a shower for close to 9 months.
March is Women's History Month, and what better way to celebrate what’s been done and what’s yet to come than by highlighting the determination, leadership and commitment of the many exceptional women making a difference in our industry!
Our Women in Powersports series features interviews with 14 female BRP employees, dealers and ambassadors. For the 15th article, we consolidated all the precious advice these ladies shared with us. Whether you’ve seen them or not, their game-changing tips are worth reading over and over again.
Jan is a development engineer for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, and is part of the advanced engineering project team. He’s charged with bringing together all the parts of an alternative electric drive system: power inverter, electric motor, fuel cell, ensuring the highest levels of safety for the vehicle. He also works on the test bench to determine the parameters of an electric motor and make it suitable for the drive system.
Alexander’s role in the development of electric vehicles at BRP is multiple. He’s responsible for the system architecture to ensure functional safety, as well as being the embedded software architect and embedded software developer for several modules. He came to BRP from an automotive powertrain manufacturer, where he was a developer of safety-related deeply-embedded software for a number of different projects. Although he began his career in computer architecture, his studies in mechatronics (the design of computer-controlled electromechanical systems), specializing in integrated circuits, started him on the path of this EV adventure.
What gives BRP vehicles such outstanding performance, even in the Dakar Rally?
The heart of all our vehicles is an engine designed by the engineers at BRP-Rotax, building on a century of expertise that is constantly being refined. The Maverick X3 our number-one-selling vehicle, and the vehicle of choice for the majority of drivers in the Dakar Rally – is no exception. To learn more about what goes into a top-performance engine like the Maverick X3’s, we met Michael Simmer, Project Manager, Product Development, at BRP-Rotax, who led the development of the powertrain (the engine and transmission), including optimizing its functionality and performance.
Our series Women in Powersports has set out to meet ladies from a variety of areas in our industry. In this interview, we meet Elizabeth Munguia, Director, Quality, for the Querétaro plant. Elizabeth is a trailblazer as the first-ever Mexican female director at BRP in Mexico, where the percentage of women on the management team is now 10%. With 145 people reporting to her, including two Quality Managers, she is responsible for quality assurance on the engines and machined parts manufactured in Querétaro, as well as the Sea-Doo watercraft. Elizabeth trained as an electronics engineer and began her career in this field, switching to quality when she moved to Querétaro – a manufacturing hub – for her husband’s job. In 2012, her desire for a better work-life balance, more time to spend with her young son and family, led her to BRP.
The BRP family includes not only its employees, but also its dealers and customers. In our dealerships, we see more and more women making their mark as businesswomen and powersports experts. Stephanie Hunsaker, general manager of ADS Motorsports in Utah, is one of them.
From October 22 to 25, 10 BRP delegates were among the 2,000 professionals attending the One Young World Summit in London, England. The conference covered topics surrounding the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals like climate change, poverty, gender equality, and other concerning issues affecting our planet and humanity.
Our delegation returned more inspired than ever as One Young World Ambassadors, equipped with plenty of ideas and ready to do their part. We can’t wait to see where their ideas will lead, but for now, here’s a recap of their experience.
André Denis has been working for BRP for many years and has always been a leader in his various teams. This allowed him to develop his skills, but also to better understand the environment in which BRP operates.
Éric Fournier, Manager, Industrial Design, Accessories, has 22 years of service with BRP’s Design and Innovation team, but it could be said that BRP has been part of his life since 1976, when a magazine article spotlighting the aesthetics of the Ski-Doo inspired him to become an industrial designer. Since he joined BRP, design has evolved tremendously: “The world is a lot more complex now, and so are the needs of our customers. This impacts the challenges we face, and how we create our products.” As new technologies are developed, new design jobs appear. When Éric graduated, there was only a specialization in industrial design. Today, you can specialize in transport, colours and materials, and UX (user experience), for example.
Guillaume Longpré, now Senior Industrial Designer, started with BRP 22 years ago as an intern. For him, coming to work is more like getting to play. As a young child, he had fun drawing snowmobiles, and he knew he wanted to carry on doing that when he grew up. BRP was therefore a natural choice for him to develop his talent as a designer. Today, his passion for his profession and for the products is what enables him to constantly innovate, but most of all the fun he has doing what he does every day: “If I don’t play when I’m at the studio, I can’t create. When I come here to play, suddenly, something appears. It’s like magic!”
Philippe Petit crossed the ocean to work for BRP 18 years ago. Recruited in his native France, he was completing a final year internship at Renault, the biggest French automobile manufacturer. What motivated him to move to Quebec was our products. A motorbike rider in France, he saw a multitude of possibilities to play with these toys for grownups that BRP produced. Almost two decades later, having worked on several advanced-concept projects, played with Evinrude outboards and Lynx snowmobiles, Philippe is Project Lead and Senior Industrial Designer, Ski-Doo.
Paola Saldierna, Colours and Trims Designer, has only been with BRP for four years, but she’s already had a hand in some game-changing projects. She has influenced the finishes, colours, graphics and materials of products like Ryker, and the electric vehicles (EV) unveiled in September 2019. She finds her inspiration in a wide range of sources that include the arts, pop culture and fashion, and she keeps an eye on societal, cultural, even political trends, as well as a variety of industries. To stay innovative, she believes empathizing with the customers is essential, to understand what they need and how she can improve their ride. And that’s not all: “For me, having a clear purpose, knowing why I’m doing this, helps me find different ways of doing things.”
As the winter season begins, it’s appropriate that we continue our series on women in powersports by introducing an exceptional woman who thrives in snow, Ashley Chaffin. A Ski-Doo ambassador and highly-skilled snowmobiler, Ashley is a profile in determination, leadership, and commitment to advancement of the industry.
Marc Pouliot, Project Leader, Colour and Trim, has always been creative. This personality trait, which he says is either something you have or you don’t, led him to do a degree in graphic design. But it’s curiosity that enables you to continually innovate: “You have to be prepared to go looking for information, to rummage for inspiration, to ferret things out, from everywhere,” he says. “And I’d advise any young designer to explore, to try things out, and not be afraid of getting your hands dirty, because you can really use everything in our projects.”
In our penultimate profile of an exceptional woman in the powersports industry, we get to know Iris Brown, Team Leader at BRP’s Valcourt plant. Like the other women we’ve celebrated in this series, Iris is strong, determined, and dedicated to making a contribution to the industry.
Our series “Women in powersports” showcases the determination, the leadership and the commitment these exceptional women deploy in our industry. Today, in our Xth portrait, we present Émilie St-Laurent, co-owner of BRP dealership Sports DRC in Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean, Quebec, Canada.
In our 9th portrait of an exceptional woman for the “Women in powersports” series, we’re proud to feature Corry Weller, Can-Am Off-Road racer and ambassador. The purpose of this series is to celebrate the determination, leadership and commitment of women who make a difference in the powersports industry.
Continuing with our series “Women in powersports”, we wanted to highlight the determination and boldness of Jodi Emmons, BRP Manufacturing System coordinator at our Evinrude manufacturing site in Sturtevant, Wisconsin, USA.
Now, at the peak of summer, many of us are thirsty for adventure on the water. How appropriate that the subject of the 6th installment of our "Women in Powersports" series is Andrea Dominguez, athlete, Sea-Doo ambassador, and owner of a watercraft school in Colombia.
An 7th article in the series "Women in the Powersports Industry", highlighting the determination, leadership and commitment of many exceptional women who make a difference in this industry.
To mark women’s history month in March, we are proud to highlight the determination, leadership and commitment of several exceptional women, who are making a difference in the powersports arena.
This is the second article in our series "Women in powersports", highlighting the determination, leadership and commitment of exceptional women, who make a difference in the powersports industry.
We are now at our third portrait in the series “Women in the powersports industry”, highlighting the determination, leadership and commitment of exceptional women, who make a difference in this industry.
As we’ve seen throughout our series, being a woman in the powersports industry has its daily challenges. What drives some women, therefore, to dive into the powersports world as a professional career? For Samantha Ryan, it was a combination of opportunity and determination.