Tough brake on presidential bike ride can't stop Wood

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MICHAEL WOOD, THE CO-FOUNDER and former CEO of media company Hanley Wood, probably wanted to take a little break before starting his new gig as ambassador to Sweden. But not literally. While on a weekend bike ride a few weeks back with his buddy (and fellow Yalie) President George W. Bush, Wood apparently took a spill and broke his collar bone. At first the White House was reportedly mum about the bicycle accident, which happened at a wildlife refuge in suburban Washington. But it soon confirmed it was Wood-described as a friend of the president-who was injured during the bike ride. After the accident, Wood was taken back to the White House and then drove himself home. He sought medical attention afterward and, at press time, was resting and on the mend. Wood, who helped turn construction publisher Hanley Wood into a b-to-b media powerhouse worth $245 million, with such stellar brands as Builder and Public Works, is now chairman of Redwood Investments. Bush nominated Wood in early May to be ambassador to Sweden. Wood was confirmed a few weeks later, and sworn in in early June. Normally, we'd say, "Happy trails" but, considering Wood's biking mishap, let's just heartily wish him good luck. -Matthew Schwartz

THE AMERICAN PEOPLE HAVE SPOKEN: Juan Valdez and the Geico Gecko are their favorite advertising icons, according to results from a 2005 election organized by Advertising Week, an annual event in New York for advertising and media professionals . "More than 1 million votes were cast in last year's election, demonstrating advertising's influence on pop culture," said Ron Berger, Advertising Week chairman-CEO and chief creative officer of Euro RSCG Worldwide. The two characters were inducted into the Madison Avenue Advertising Walk of Fame last month. Advertising Week organizers unveiled banners along Madison Avenue at an event celebrating the icons' elevation. The banners will fly between 43rd and 45th streets the rest of the year. Votes for the Advertising Week 2006 favorite icons will begin in mid-June and remain open through Sept. 28. The wildly popular lizard and the coffee guy were on hand to celebrate but, once the event was over, they were seen trying to hail a taxicab. Maybe the Gecko helped Valdez save 15% or more on car insurance, so he had the extra pocket change to pay for the ride. -Carol Krol

B-TO-B AGENCY DOREMUS HONORED retiring employee Stanley Rygor, 80, with a party on May 18 to mark his 59 years of service at the agency. Rygor began working in the mailroom at Doremus in 1947, after serving on a Navy battleship in World War II. Outside of his military service, Rygor's only employer was Doremus, where he eventually rose to become senior VP-account supervisor. Rygor never took a sick day and was never late to work in 59 years, noted Doremus President-CEO Carl Anderson in a speech at the retirement party. Twice, Rygor walked to work from his home in Queens to Doremus' downtown Manhattan office during transit strikes. As a retirement gift, Doremus presented Rygor and his wife, Kathleen, with roundtrip tickets to Ireland, Rygor's favorite destination, and a check for $5,000 for traveling expenses. -Kate Maddox

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