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The AMA Bessie Stringfield Award, first awarded in 2000, memorializes the accomplishments of AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame member Bessie Stringfield, an African-American motorcycling pioneer of the mid-20th century. The award recognizes individuals who have introduced motorcycling to emerging markets.

  • 2012: Rep. Gabrielle Giffords—Until her retirement, Rep. Giffords was the co-chair of the Congressional Motorcycle Caucus. As a rider for more than 20 years, and as a member of the U.S. House and the caucus, she worked with the AMA and the motorcycling community on a number of issues to protect and promote motorcycling. Arguably, Giffords is the most visible woman motorcyclist ever elected at the national level, and her embrace of motorcycling encouraged many other women to take up riding.
  • 2013: Mark-Hans Richer—Richer, of Harley-Davidson, demonstrated leadership in bringing more diverse new customers to motorcycling than any other entity in the United States.
  • 2014: Scot Harden—Harden, then vice president of global marketing for Zero Motorcycles helped pioneer work in the field of electric motorcycles. Harden has been instrumental in reaching out to motorcyclists young and old, experienced and novice, to gain acceptance of the newest way to get around on two wheels.
  • 2015: Delvene Manning—Manning has dedicated her life to promoting land-speed racing, which does not differentiate between male and female competitors. In so doing, she fostered an environment that introduced many women and men to the challenge, thrill and camaraderie of two- and three-wheel top-speed record attainment.
  • 2016: Jeanne Clendenon—Clendenon, a prolific motorcyclist and long-time AMA member, inspired the “AMA Get Women Riding” campaign through a generous $50,000 charitable bequest from her estate to the American Motorcycle Heritage Foundation, organized by her partner Lisa Painter and longtime friend Rita Kepner. A member of the Retreads Motorcycle Club, Clendenon earned many riding awards, including completing the U.S. Four Corners Tour in 21 days and winning the Retreads long-distance award four years in a row.
  • 2017: Michelle Kumbier—Kumbier has been instrumental in leading the transformation of Harley-Davidson’s product development process through her role as senior vice president of motorcycle operations. In so doing, she has helped the company become a leader in bringing new products to new markets, with a focus on women and the next generation of riders. Kumbier also is dedicated to activities outside of her work, including leadership for United Way activities and its Women’s Business Resources Employee Group, and she received a Safety-Training-Evaluation-Process, or STEP, award in 2014.
  • 2018: Stefan Pierer—Pierer is CEO of KTM AG. Since founding KTM Industries Group in 1987, Pierer has led the company to become the biggest European motorcycle manufacturer and the fastest growing brand in the U.S. market. For 2017, KTM reported 239,000 motorcycles sold, a 17 percent increase over 2016 during a period of industry stagnation in new motorcycle sales. The company has invested heavily in electric motorcycle and scooter technology and is collaborating with German e-mobility/electric bicycle manufacturer PEXCO to attract first-time riders. And KTM’s partnership with India’s Bajaj Auto Ltd., started in 2007, has opened up a major growth market.
  • 2019: Genevieve Schmitt—Schmitt has been a fixture in women’s motorcycling for many years. A longtime rider, she has been a print and television journalist since 1999, including the Speed Channel and the Outdoor Life Network. In 2001, she started “Woman Rider” magazine to focus on the emerging women’s market. In 2006, she launched WomenRidersNow.com, providing articles, reviews and videos from a female point of view. Schmitt also served in an advisory capacity for the 2009 and 2012 AMA International Women & Motorcycling Conferences. As a subject-matter expert, she has been quoted in numerous articles, radio shows and television documentaries, including the New York Times, BusinessWeek, USA Today, the Chicago Tribune, NPR, BBC and Fox News.
  • 2020: Wendy Crockett—Crockett is a longtime AMA member and factory-trained technician who has traveled the Americas extensively on two wheels, from to Mexico to Newfoundland, and Key West to the Arctic Circle. She specializes in long-distance and endurance riding as part of the AMA LongRider program, the Iron Butt Association and the Motorcycle Endurance Rider Association.
  • 2021: Brittany Young—Young is the founder of the B360 (b360baltimore.org) nonprofit that teaches science, technology, engineering and mathematics skills to youths using dirt bikes. She is not a motorcyclist. But when she saw the culture of young people in the Baltimore area who demonstrated their passion for riding by taking to the streets and public parks on dirt bikes and ATVs, she identified an opportunity. Young has harnessed the energy, passion, creativity and intelligence of those riders and channeled it into classroom instruction. B-360 teaches STEM—science, technology, engineering and mathematics—by using dirt bikes to demonstrate theories and their practical applications. The organization also tries to create safe, legal spaces where urban youths can ride, while creating relationships between the riders and city government. B-360 also hires some of the program graduates to train and mentor the next generation.