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- Sherpa Adventure Gear recently welcomed three members to its staff who will support the company’s product design and development and customer service teams. Gina Heard is the company’s new apparel and quality control manager; Hannah Todd has joined as product development designer; and Kimberly Cogger will serve as customer service associate. The new team members join as the company celebrates its 10th anniversary and sets its sight on expansion, both in the U.S. and Nepal, where it makes most of its apparel.
- Bomber Gear, manufacturer of technical paddlesports apparel and sprayskirts, recently named Martin Davis-Skjøth as head of design. Davis-Skjøth brings over 20 years of apparel design experience with 16 years of experience in the fitness and outdoor apparel industry in both the U.S., and abroad. Speaking five languages has helped Davis-Skjøth lead and collaborate with design teams in North America, Europe, Australia and Asia. He has worked in Hong Kong, China, London, Denmark and the United States. Davis-Skjøth began his career at the Danish fashion house, Carli Gry, and went on to work with globally recognized fitness and apparel brands like Nike International, Reebok International and online trend agency WGSN and most recently Under Armour, where he was the men’s design manager for the inline sport and combined training performance apparel.
- Live Eyewear, Inc., in San Luis Obispo, Calif., recently announced the promotion of Johnna Bramblett to customer service manager. In her new role, Bramblett is responsible for the development and management of Live Eyewear’s account managers and customer service team.
- MIPS recently appointed Johan Thiel as CEO. Thiel has been with MIPS for four years and has an in-depth understanding of all aspects of MIPS’ operations. He came to MIPS with an entrepreneurial background in consulting, focusing on business development and sales and marketing in industries such as media, IT and sports/outdoor. Sven Sandahl has been hired as senior executive vice president, sales and marketing. Sandahl comes from a long career with Recco, the avalanche detection system that sells its safety systems to outdoor and sports equipment brands worldwide.
- Columbia Sportswear Company, an innovator in the global outdoor apparel, footwear, accessories and equipment industries, and Swire Resources Limited, a subsidiary of Swire Pacific Limited and the exclusive distributor of Columbia Sportswear in mainland China since 2004, announced today that their new China joint venture – Columbia Sportswear Commercial (Shanghai) Co. Ltd. – will appoint Samson Wong as president effective January 1, 2014. Wong, 54, brings 29 years of experience with the Swire group, including the past 23 years with Swire Resources Limited, where he began in 1990 as financial controller and is now the executive director. Wong has led Swire Resources’ efforts as Columbia Sportswear’s exclusive distributor in Mainland China since 2004 and in Hong Kong/Macau since 2002.
- OTZ Shoes Inc., is returning to its roots by announcing a multi-year agreement with Artscrafts International S.p.A. (Artscrafts) to distribute OTZ Shoes in Italy. The label, whose model is based on the oldest shoe ever found on Oetzi, the 5,300-year-old prehistoric ice man found frozen in the Italian Oetzal Valley in 1991, will make a return to its homeland with a new exhibit at this week’s Pitti Uomo trade show in Florence. OTZ Shoes is headed up by Bob Rief, CEO. Artscrafts is headed up by principal Alissa Han.
- Icebreaker, the New Zealand company that specializes in the outdoor merino wool apparel category, recently announced that Cathy Quain has joined its team as the company’s first global vice president of retail. In this new leadership team position, Quain is responsible for strategically developing and directing Icebreaker’s global retail business strategy, with an emphasis on growing the brand’s own retail stores, called TouchLabs. Her initial focus will be in North America. Quain is based from Icebreaker’s U.S. headquarters in Portland, Ore. Quain comes to Icebreaker with more than 20 years of retail management experience.
- Nathan, which specializes in purposefully-designed hydration, visibility and essential performance gear, today announced the hiring of Kevin Kelly as its first tech rep. Kelly — an avid athlete and former star placekicker for Penn State University — will support Nathan’s East Coast retailers as a key resource for those trying to grow the essentials category as a whole. Via in-store clinics, events and other educational initiatives, Kelly will provide retailers with assets to highlight the benefits and features of Nathan’s products, in conjunction with the importance of hydration, visibility and individualized performance gear. Kelly holds his bachelor’s degree in kinesiology from Penn State.