Kent Williams - FOUNDER AND Director
My passion has always been about making a difference and protecting the innocent.
How I Got Into Cycling
My love for the bike began in 2001, when my best buddy from school asked me to join him on a cycling tour from Dubbo to Sydney he was to call Tour De Kids. At that time I was fit but lycra and bikes were completely foreign. So 2 months before the inaugural Tour de Kids event in 2001 I bought myself a bike and some lycra and entered the event having zero idea of what lay ahead and where that would take me.
Tour De Kids
Tour de Kids was the first of the boutique corporate cycling events that badged itself with a charity and saw people exchange work suits for lycra and disappear from the office for a week to do good. Since it's inception in 2001 the ride has raised over $8 Million dollars for the Starlight Children's Foundation and shared it's IP with almost every successful corporate networked event that has followed.
The Tour de Kids model has basically been a:
- 7 day ride,
- max riders 40,
- riders to cover all costs and
- to fundraise for the Starlight Children's Foundation
The link between the bike and the cause was made very clear from the outset and an ethos was established during its first tour. Whilst the Tour de Kids Ride was in many ways a bike ride with your mates, fundraising and kicking goals was absolutely essential to be allowed to participate; the fundraising goal was never optional and exceeding it where you can was expected and happily understood. The only way to stay involved with Tour de Kids was to have skin in the game and that is probably what has given the event longevity and why it's still around today.
My Corporate Background
My corporate background was in people management and service excellence for the Commonwealth Bank of Australia and the Credit Corp Group. What I loved about my various corporate roles was building high performance teams, kicking goals and delighting customers. I loved what could be achieved with a diverse group of people with a shared mission and this was no different to how Tour de Kids operated.
Golden Door Health and Spa Elysia
The skill set behind me building a team and kicking goals was exactly the same in my corporate life as it was in my private life and a moment of reflection at the Golden Door Health and Spa Retreat Elysia Hunter Valley back in 2005 (courtesy of a Pranic Healing session I was talked into taking) made me realise my corporate days were over and actually had been for some 12 months prior and it was time to let go of what I was doing and to make a change. It was a moment in time I will never forget and a period I now look back on with thanks.
Entoure Was Born
Taking a bit of time off from corporate life not really having any idea what I wanted to do I reflected on my journey in Tour de Kids and the skills required to build a team that would raise money for charity. I looked at how events were being managed by volunteer committees and thought what if someone full time took all the work away and they were freed up to just build networks and bring riders. What if I did all the grunt work.
In 2008 I set up the entoure business; taking all I had learnt as a people manager and being involved in team sports and cycling events and putting it into a business model offering the corporate market a more professional alternative to the volunteer model that seemed to be drowning them. My background was not running events but it was building high performance teams, riding bikes and raising cash but most importantly it was in kicking goals and enjoying doing so.
The entoure business was initially established to offer a specific network an opportunity to ride their bikes for charity however over recent years has evolved to become a premium cycle event management specialist across the charitable sector and has helped organisations and groups to raise almost $12 Million dollars for charity in just 8 years. Our client list is something I am extremely proud of.
Our work is all referral based and normally comes to us from either participants mentioning us to mates or from existing non for profit employees moving from one charity to another.
The first thing I look for when taking on a new client is:
- what's the purpose of their event,
- what's the cause,
- how much do they want to raise,
- who is their network,
- what are they interested in, and
- what type of riding would they like to do.
and matching all those characteristics and requirements into an event that delivers for both the participants and for the client.
There is no point designing an event for a network without truly understanding who they are. The creative process for the events we manage is very different to designing a mass community event such as the Gong Ride or the Brisbane to Gold Coast Cycle Classic. It's not about designing a great concept that people would participate in, it's about designing a specific concept that a specific network who supports a charity which who can raise money would enjoy doing. The events we manage must be designed around the passions of particular networks.
The team of people I bring to an entoure managed event is what differentiates us and this is substantiated in our testimonials. I view my role a bit like a manager of a rock band; regardless of the event I basically prepare the show and when ready I hand pick a bunch of musicians and let them rock the house. Its how life worked in corporate and it's no different today; entoure is all about it's team.
Over the years I have built a large network of very talented people who can fill the roles of:
- Support Drivers
- Bike Mechanics
- Massage Therapists
- Race Directors
- Timing Chip Operators
- Website Developers
- Fundraising Processing
- Creative Designers
- and more
There is nothing we cant respond too.
I set very high standards for myself and my team and have over time created an ethos for how we perform; Ok is never OK and good needs to be great. Everyone within my team shares my passion to keep riders safe, happy and hydrated and to seamlessly deliver and support riders and charities achieve something special. If it was just about a bike ride I would never have bought a bike and entoure would never have been born.