Leslie Bohm founded Catalyst after spending years in the bicycle business, marketing his own products. He started his first company, Eclipse, at age 20, making bicycle packs and motorcycle tank bags, earning 10 patents. Eclipse grew to be a successful company, with product featured in a 1981 Playboy article, “Biking Comes of Age.”
Catalyst has helped thousands of small businesses with award-winning marketing, and through Leslie’s leadership, has created a family of unusually close employees and former employees. Leslie always envisioned the possible and then worked and inspired others to make it happen. If you knew him, you often saw a pad of paper in his shirt pocket so he could take notes, write down new ideas, or get back to you tomorrow with the answer to a question. He studied marketing and success and politics, joining the NRA just to learn the marketing tactics so he could put them to work for his clients and the industry.
Leslie believed that cycling could make a difference in the world, and was a founding member of the advocacy group Bikes Belong (now People for Bikes). “In the years since the founding of Bikes Belong, federal funding for bikes has gone from $20 million to over $1.2 billion.” John Burke, the president of Trek Bicycles, wrote recently. “The accomplishments of the movement are too many to list. The bicycle movement owes Leslie a big thank-you.” In 2008, Leslie was the driving force for bringing 1000 bikes to the Democratic and Republican conventions. These bikes were used to seed bike share programs in America. In 2011, the industry awarded him the Distinguished Service Award for a lifetime of promoting cycling in America.
Among other activities in his adopted home of Boulder, Leslie was instrumental in bringing groomed skiing to North Boulder Park and in creating the Active Boulder group of the Boulder Chamber to encourage new active lifestyle businesses. Leslie loved traveling with his family and introducing his sons and their friends to his world – mountain biking in the canyons near Moab, skiing and hiking in Colorado,and climbing in the Dolomites. He died on August 20, 2012 from brain cancer at age 59.