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Big things are afoot at Big Agnes. The Steamboat Springs, Colo.-based gear maker this week announced four new hires to its product and development team, bringing the company’s total headcount to 65. The expansion comes at a moment of “aggressive” preparations for growth at the 20-year-old brand, according to company co-owner Len Zanni.
“Whether we’re talking about category extensions or entering new categories, we have plans to introduce some new products in the next few years,” Zanni told Outside Business Journal this week. “With supply chains now requiring longer lead times, we’re planning many seasons further out than we normally would.”
The new hires include Bryan Davis, Leanne Thompson, and Monica Welcker, who will join the product team, and Tim Leroy, who joins the sourcing team.
Davis will fill a newly created role at the company: director of product design and development. According to a release, Davis will use his 30 years of industry experience—most recently at Burton, where he served as a senior director of hardgood design—to lead the company’s design team, collaborate with the development and sourcing teams, and oversee all strategy for the product line.
Thompson and Welcker, who have both accepted roles as senior product designers, previously held design roles at Black Diamond and Blue Ice (Thompson) and Ruffwear (Welcker).
Leroy, who has joined the sourcing team as a manager of quality, compliance, and sustainability, previously managed quality and social compliance for PetSmart and Smartwool.
“We’re thrilled to add such a talented and creative group of industry veterans to our product development and sourcing team,” said Bill Gamber, co-founder and president of Big Agnes. “Their combined experience across a variety of industries and product categories will absolutely help us push innovative design and produce award-winning gear.”
Quick growth at Big Agnes
Earlier this year, Big Agnes signaled its upcoming expansion by debuting a backpack line—the company’s first—that will hit stores in the spring.
“We’ve been carrying our gear in other brands’ packs for 20 years now, so we felt it was time to take it to the trail on our own,” Gamber told Outside Business Journal when that news broke in August. It was a noteworthy leap forward for the decades-old company, but according to Zanni, it represents just the beginning of Big Agnes’s expansion plans.
“We’ve had tremendous global demand for our products, even predating the pandemic,” Zanni said. “Coupled with our intro of the backpack line, we decided it was time to bring someone in [Davis] to lead product design and development team. We have aggressive plans for growth.”
Zanni confirmed that this recent headcount expansion, coupled with several internal promotions, represents the “biggest wave of new hires, newly created positions, and internal promotions during the company’s 20-year tenure.”
The expansion, Zanni noted, isn’t done yet. In the coming weeks, the company will be announcing more new hires and promotions.