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Dane, Emily Jackson Join Dad as Patagonia Ambassadors

Pro whitewater kayakers turn Patagonia's Ambassador Program into a family affair.

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ROCK ISLAND, TN – Patagonia’s Ambassador program recently became a family affair as two rising kayak stars joined their world-famous father on Patagonia’s roster of sponsored athletes.

Dane and Emily Jackson, 12 and 16 years old respectively, join renowned kayaker Eric “EJ” Jackson as Patagonia Ambassadors. EJ Jackson has been an ambassador for the past three years. The new Patagonia contract that includes his children has a five-year term.

The Jackson family is a perfect fit for Patagonia’s Ambassador program. “They personify Patagonia’s core values by reflecting the soul of their sport, leading an uncommon lifestyle, providing insight for innovative product designs and being activists for the environment,” said Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard. “Eric and his family constantly strive to improve upon their own standards of difficulty, style and ethics, and in so doing, raise the bar for everyone – similar to Patagonia’s own design philosophy.”

Among their Ambassador duties, the Jackson family will promote Patagonia’s Common Threads Capilene Recycling Program during their annual Jackson Kayak Fun Tour, While making stops at some of the best whitewater festivals in North America and Europe, the Jacksons will also gather feedback from Patagonia dealers and customers to be used in future product development. Hopefully, that will include kids paddling gear, said Jackson, whose children are well on their way to following in his footsteps as world-class kayakers.

Jackson said representing Patagonia fits well with the vision he has for his own manufacturing company, Jackson Kayak. The Olympian and reigning World Freestyle Kayak Champ said “Let My People Go Surfing,” a best-selling book by Chouinard, inspired him to look for more ways to be a better corporate citizen. A subsequent meeting with Chouinard led Jackson to bcome the first whitewater kayak manufacturer to join 1% For the Planet, a worldwide alliance of businesses committed to leveraging their resources to create a healthier planet. Jackson designated American Whitewater, an advocacy organizations, as beneficiary of his company’s contribution of at least 1% of annual net revenues.

“We’re proud that the Jackson Kayak network of dealers join with us in our desire to leave the world a better place,” Jackson said. Patagonia is a long-standing member of the program.

Another green business decision occurred when Jackson first founded his company three years ago and opted to build his boats with the more costly Cross-Link High Density Polyethylene plastic. Jackson explained that Cross-Link is more durable, meaning it lasts longer. When the time comes, rather than take up space in landfills, Jackson encourages his customers to ship their old boats to him, which he then forwards for reprocessing as an ingredient in asphalt.

JACKSON KAYAK. Founded in 2003, Jackson Kayak is a family-run kayak company based in Rock Island, TN. The company was the first to introduce performance kayaks for kids, in addition to a full line of whitewater boats for adults interested in creeking, playboating, downriver and slalom. Details of Jackson Kayak’s environmental initiative as well as a dealer locator can be found at <> .

PATAGONIA. Patagonia, with sales last year of $260M, is noted internationally for its commitment to product quality and environmental activism. Its Environmental Grants Program has contributed over $20M to grassroots environmental activists since the program began in 1985, and its Environmental Internship Program allows employees to work for environmental groups while receiving their full paycheck. Incorporating environmental responsibility in to product development, the company has, since 1996, used only organically-grown cotton in its clothing line, and its most recent launch of synthetic fiber-to-fiber recycling – taking back its worn-out clothing and reincarnating it as new products, forever capturing the petroleum used in making virgin fiber. Known for a unique corporate culture, the company has been recognized for many years by Working Mother magazine as one of the “100 Best Companies for Working Mothers,” and is a regular recipient of recognition by Fortune and Human Resources Management magazine as one of the “100 Best Companies to Work for in America. ”