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Released September 18, 2003


HATTIESBURG - Bruce Rossmeyer, president of Rossmeyer Family Enterprises in Daytona Beach, Fla., will be the featured speaker at The University of Southern Mississippi's annual Distinguished Entrepreneur Lecture Series.

Sponsored by the Southern Miss College of Business and Economic Development (CBED), the lecture series focuses on nationally recognized entrepreneurs whose individual spirit of determination and vision has resulted in American success stories.

The keynote presentation by Rossmeyer is set for 3 p.m., Friday, Sept. 26, in Room 116 of Joseph Greene Hall on the Southern Miss campus. He will be honored at a dinner and reception hosted by CBED at 6:30 p.m. at the Hattiesburg Lake Terrace Convention Center.

"The fact that Bruce delved into his hobby and ended up building a highly successful business while having fun embodies the true spirit of the entrepreneur. The experience and expertise he possesses is something to which we want to expose our business students," said Dr. Harold Doty, dean of the College of Business and Economic Development at Southern Miss.

Rossmeyer, a long-time Daytona Beach, Fla., resident, and owner of seven successful Harley-Davidson dealerships and a Toyota dealership, attended Southern Miss from 1961-64. He currently serves on the university's Business Advisory Council for the College of Business and Economic Development.

In 1969, 25-year-old Rossmeyer got his start in the automobile business as owner of a Dodge dealership in Washington, N.J. Years later, after alternating between successful dealerships in Florida and his home state of New Jersey, Rossmeyer settled down at last in Daytona, where he began a short-lived retirement.

With his enthusiasm and intensive hands-on style, Rossmeyer opened Daytona Harley-Davidson in 1994. With more than 20,000 square feet for the sale and servicing of Harley-Davidson products and unique merchandising concepts, the state-of-the-art dealership became the standard for Harley-Davidson franchises throughout the United States.

During the next few years Rossmeyer followed up with the addition of New Smyrna Harley-Davidson and Grand Junction Harley-Davidson in 1997, Fort Lauderdale Harley-Davidson in 1998, Fort Lauderdale Harley-Davidson Buell in 1999, and Harley-Davidson of Pompano and Aspen Valley Harley-Davidson in 2002. A new location that will cover more than 45 acres in Daytona Beach is in the works and will feature an amphitheater, a hotel, several condominiums, two restaurants, two bars and vending areas. Aggregate annual sales for Rossmeyer's Harley-Davidson dealerships in 2002 exceeded $150 million.

In February 2002, Rossmeyer added a custom motorcycle shop to his empire, partnering with Arlen and Corey Ness, calling it Arlen Ness Motorcycles.

During his tenure as a Harley dealer, Rossmeyer has achieved the coveted Gold Bar and Shield from Harley-Davidson Motor Co. (HDMC). This honor is awarded only to the top 25 dealerships in the United States. Daytona Harley-Davidson was ranked third among the elite 25 in 2001. His dealerships have achieved HDMC No. 1 rankings for new bike sales, used bike sales, parts and accessories sales and motorclothes sales. His dealerships financed more than $47 million in motorcycle purchases with Harley-Davidson Financial Services in 2002 alone, and that equates to more than 4,000 motorcycles being sold. In addition, Rossmeyer received the Distinguished Dealer Award from Toyota Motor Sales for his Daytona Toyota location.

Rossmeyer is involved in a number of community and charitable organizations. He serves on the boards of directors of the Boggy Creek Gang Camp and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Broward County. He also is involved with the Fort Lauderdale Toys in the Sun Run, an annual event benefiting the Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital.

The Distinguished Entrepreneur of the Year Award was established by Southern Miss in 2000 to recognize individuals who, through foresight and willingness to assume risks, have brought national distinction to themselves and who have made a significant contribution to the field of business. Previous honorees include David Oreck, (2001), chairman of the board and founder of Oreck Corp., and Bill Hudson Jr., (2002), CEO and president of Hudson Salvage Inc.


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April 20, 2004 4:09 PM