Ed Kiniry, Outdoor Industry Leader, is New VTOF CEO
Vermont Organic Fiber Company has hired entrepreneur Ed Kiniry as CEO to drive the growth of the company’s O-Wool® brand. Matthew Mole will continue as VTOF president, responsible for materials sourcing and developing new products.
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Middlebury, VT â€“ Vermont Organic Fiber Company (VTOF), the nation’s leading manufacturer of fabrics, blankets, and hand knitting yarn made with certified organic wool, has hired veteran outdoor industry entrepreneur Edward (â€œEdâ€) Kiniry as CEO December 1, 2008. Kiniry will be responsible for driving the growth of the company’s popular O-WoolÂ® brand of products made with wool grown and certified to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s organic standard. Formerly, he was president of Winterquest, LLC, the parent company of Tubbs and Atlas snowshoes, selling the company to K2 Inc. in 2003. Kiniry is credited with the re-invention of snowshoeing as a $100 million worldwide market.
Matthew Mole will continue as VTOF founder and president, responsible for materials sourcing and developing new products.
Kiniry, an avid outdoorsman and long-time fan of wool, was attracted to VTOF’s commitment to providing high quality organic wool products as well as the company’s sustainability mission.
â€œBy making organic wool products, VTOF has taken nature’s best fiber and applied sustainable practices and processes to make it that much better,â€ said Kiniry. â€œWhether for wearing, wrapping up in after a long day in the outdoors, or knitting, organic wool is the fiber of choice.â€
He was also intrigued by the opportunity to drive the inclusion of organic wool as part of the dramatic growth of the multi-billion organic fiber industry, currently dominated by organic cotton.
â€œWhen we reintroduced snowshoeing to the American market it was at the height of the hiking boom. Interest in fitness, the outdoors, and a healthier life style were all evident,â€ notes Kiniry. â€œToday, providing products made from organic wool produced in a healthy, humane, and sustainable fashion once again gives the market what is being demanded by today’s more conscious consumer.â€
Immediately prior to joining VTOF, Kiniry was a board member of the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund (appointed by the Governor in 2007). The Fund provides seed funding and technical assistance for economic sectors exemplifying the best practices of sustainable development including renewable energy, forestry and forest products, solid waste and pollution abatement, sustainable agriculture and environmental technology.
Kiniry also worked with several Fortune 500 companies. He was president of a regional business brokerage company, vice-president of international operations at Allied Van Lines, and held several operating positions with Wilson Sporting Goods. He has an MBA from Loyola University in Chicago, IL, and a B.A. in economics from the University of Vermont.