DATE OF INDUCTION: February 9, 2008
CAREER SPAN: 1983–2010
AGE AT INDUCTION: 59
A business tactician who guided the important business principles at Arctic Cat, Chris Twomey of Thief River Falls, Minnesota led the company’s transition from humble reemergence to industry innovator by combining solid management with a work environment that fostered creativity and passion. As President and CEO of Arctic Cat beginning in 1986, Twomey guided the company through more than a decade of unprecedented growth and success.
A leader who clearly understood the importance of answering customers’ desires with progressive product development, Twomey’s close-to-the-customer approach was as natural as it was effective. He backed it up by focusing company resources towards its prized and dedicated engineering department to respond to customers’ expectations. Likewise, his belief that racing could shape the development of industry leading snowmobiles fueled an unprecedented period of success and race influenced product development, including the 1990 EXT Special and 1993 ZR series.
Twomey was certain of the need for industry solidarity, which is why he worked aggressively with other industry leaders to create the International Snowmobile Manufacturers Association. His leadership and responsibility to the sport coupled with his understanding of land use politics helped save snowmobile use in West Yellowstone National Park during a tumultuous period beginning in 2000. In a watershed moment, Twomey gave the go-ahead to unveil a prototype Arctic Cat powered by a four-stroke engine, which helped sway government officials to preserve snowmobile operation in the park.