>> Big Agnes has a change in the company’s ownership structure. New investors and longtime outdoor enthusiasts Rich Hager and Len Zanni have joined Bill Gamber, co-founder and company president, to form a new ownership group. Specific details of the transaction were not disclosed. Gamber will oversee all aspects of sales, product development and operations. Hager and Zanni will help manage company growth as vice president of operations and vice president of sales and marketing, respectively. Additionally, Zanni will direct sales and marketing efforts for energy bar and gel company EN-R-G Foods/Honey Stinger, which is separately owned but operated from the same headquarters. Both companies will continue working with public relations firm Backbone Media.
>> Tubbs Snowshoes was honored as Exporter of the Year by the Vermont International Business Council, during the 2003 Vermont Business and Industry Exposition held on May 21-22 in Burlington. The award, which was created in 1997, is presented to a company to recognize “the hard work, innovation, and vision displayed by companies competing in the global marketplace.”
>> Tom Scholz, the founder of the popular rock band Boston, has announced that the band will donate $1 from every ticket sold on their upcoming nationwide summer tour to the Sierra Club. The donations will be used by the Sierra Club in its efforts to protect America’s communities by fighting for clean air and water, fighting to clean up toxic waste sites, and safeguarding America’s public lands.
>> Bell Canoe Works has launched its redesigned website, the latest collaboration between Bell and design partner Windham Design Group. The website features numerous improvements that enhance its functionality and user-friendliness — www.bellcanoe.com. According to the company, “An overall goal of the Bell web initiative was to create a useful tool for all canoeists regardless of their level of experience, ability or type of paddling. Bell is a company focused on canoeing. But the new website is not solely a Bell resource — it serves others who love the sport and want advice and information on hull designs, canoe selection, care and maintenance, etc.”
>> Moonstone Mountain Equipment is sponsoring an attempted first ascent on the south face of Mount Logan in Canada’s Yukon Territories. The climb will begin sometime this week, depending on weather conditions. Brent Bishop, a product and marketing consultant to the company and respected climber, will join Joe Josephson and Rich Searl in this effort. Moonstone will supply all of the team’s apparel and sleeping bags.
>> REI is introducing a series of Stewardship T-shirts to promote and support five groups that organize volunteers to care for popular outdoor recreation areas. REI developed five distinct shirts featuring artwork highlighting five recreational destinations — Yosemite National Park, Rainier National Park, Rocky Mountain National Park, Appalachian Trail and the Boundary Waters Wilderness Area. For each shirt sold REI will donate $2 to each of the following non-profit groups to support their volunteer stewardship projects benefiting the parks and outdoor recreation areas featured on the shirts: Yosemite Association, Continental Divide Trail Alliance, EarthCorps, Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness, and the Appalachian Trail Conference. The shirts retail for $24.50 and each sale triggers a donation from REI, separate from the cost of the shirts. REI is projecting a total donation of $86,000 to the organizations.
>> In April, Unifi Inc. (NYSE: UFI) announced the elimination of 400 current domestic positions, bringing the number of positions eliminated through cost reduction layoffs and job reductions since January 2003 to approximately 600, or 15 percent of the company’s U.S.-based workforce. Reductions have affected every North American facility, including the Greensboro, N.C., headquarter. The company expects to lower ongoing annual compensation costs by approximately $20 million as a result of these changes. Unifi Inc. is one of the world’s largest producers and processors of textured yarns. The company’s primary business is the texturing, dyeing, twisting, covering, and beaming of multi-filament polyester and nylon yarns. For more information about Unifi, visit www.unifi-inc.com
>> Vasque has named Jack Tackle as the company’s new rep for the Rockies territory, covering the states of Colorado, Utah, New Mexico and Wyoming. Tackle has 17 years of sales rep experience and over five years of product and marketing consulting experience. Tackle is also an accomplished and well-known alpine climber and guide.
>> Three veteran agencies, True North Trading Co., Great Lakes Sport Group and independent representative John Kirchner, have joined forces to create a rep force covering the states of Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky and Illinois. While all of the reps have worked together on a limited basis over the past several years, all will now be fully integrated as one five-person agency under the name Great Lakes Sport Group. The agency represents the following manufacturers: Brunton Products, Camelbak Hydration, Niterider, Clif Bar, Hind Technical Apparel, Princeton Tec, Speedplay and Timex Sports. The group has offices in Ann Arbor, Boyne City and Indianapolis.