Of all F.K. Day’s fine attributes, one of the strongest themes that defines this interview is his genuine humility.
F. K., who always goes by his initials rather than his full first name, Frederick, has far more reason to boast that most of us.
But at every opportunity during this interview to take even a sliver of credit for some fine achievements, he instinctively deflects praise to others.
Take a journey into the beginnings of SRAM, the SRAM Cycling Advocacy Fund and how the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami sparked the beginnings of World Bicycle Relief, an organisation that has delivered nearly 700,000 bikes to impoverished countries.
Back in 2010 just six years after World Bicycle Relief was founded, F.K. was ranked #12 Barron’s list of the ‘World’s Top 25 Most Effective Givers’ alongside the likes of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Bill Clinton and others.
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About FK Day
F.K. Day grew up in Chicago, USA. In 1987, Day, his brother Stan and some friends founded leading bicycle component supplier, SRAM Corporation. SRAM produces high-end bicycle components including drive-trains, brakes, suspension and wheels; brands include RockShox, Avid, Truvative, Zipp and Quark.
F.K. remains Executive Vice President of SRAM. As a privately owned company, SRAM is not required to publish financial information, but with over 4,000 staff and facilities in 20 countries worldwide, SRAM is likely to have annual sales in excess of A$1 billion.
In 2005 F.K. and his wife Leah founded World Bicycle Relief. He remains the Chairman of the Board. He mainly lives in the Rocky Mountains region of Wyoming, USA.
In addition to his work in the bicycle industry, Day is actively involved with education and environmental issues. Day is a long-standing board member of his alma mater, in Western Connecticut, The South Kent School. Day studied Economics at Wayne State University and attended Tulane University majoring in Economics and Latin American Studies. Day was awarded an honorary degree from Tulane in 2014.
Episode Summary Notes
Phil and FK Day begin this inspiring interview talking about a small company that F.K. and his brother Stan bootstrapped from scratch during their early adulthood. SRAM is now the second largest bicycle component company in the world employing about 4,000 staff. But it started with a single idea, two brothers and their friends and a total team of six staff.
Next they discuss the SRAM Cycling Advocacy Fund. Although it’s difficult to draw any claims from F.K. this fund has been one of the world’s biggest supporters of a wide range of cycling advocacy and activities. With initial seed funding of US$10 million (A$13.7 million) in 2008 the SRAM Cycling fund has since donated many millions of dollars over 13 years of wise investments.
We devote the final two thirds of this interview to World Bicycle Relief, which was founded by F.K. and his wife Leah after the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami. Once again F.K. is far keener to talk about the cause and the work of World Bicycle Relief than any personal achievements, but there have been many.