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Wisconsin 275
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John Burke

Trek Bicycle Corp.  |  Waterloo

In 1984, John Burke began working at Trek Bicycle Corp., the Waterloo-based bicycle manufacturer and distributor that his father, Dick, founded almost a decade earlier. He took the helm of the company in 1997 as its president.

During his tenure, Trek has become the largest bicycle company in the country, selling about 1 million bikes annually and employing about 3,500.

The brand’s profile has grown over the years thanks to the famous cyclists who ride its bikes. In 1999, Lance Armstrong won his first Tour de France riding a Trek 5500.

TIME magazine named Trek among its 100 Most Influential Companies list in 2022 for its recently released sustainability report that quantified the environmental impact of producing and shipping its bikes. The company is now working to reduce its reliance on air freight.

Burke has authored three books, “Presidential Playbook,” “12 Simple Solutions to Save America,” and “One Last Great Thing,” a memoir about Dick Burke. He has said he has considered running for president as an independent candidate. His sister, Mary Burke, ran unsuccessfully for governor in 2014 against Scott Walker.

Burke served as chairman of President George W. Bush’s President’s Council on Physical Fitness & Sports. He is also a founding board member of the Bikes Belong Coalition.

Education: Bachelor’s, Boston University

Hobby/passion: Burke is an avid cyclist and runner. He’s finished the Ironman Wisconsin and Boston and New York’s marathons.

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