19-Year Croakies® Veteran Retires, George Schott Appointed New Head of Sales for Hilco Vision Outdoor
Croakies, Leader Swim, and Jonathan Paul Fitovers Eyewear brands appoint new sales leadership
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PLAINVILLE, Mass. (July 17, 2018) – Hilco Vision Outdoor, a division of Hilco Vision and home to industry-leading brands, Croakies®, Leader® Swim, and Jonathan Paul® Fitovers Eyewear, announces that longtime industry veteran Bob Kelley has retired as Head of Sales.
Kelley lead the Croakies brand for over 19 years following a successful career driving Ray-Ban® sales. During his tenure leading the Croakies sales organization, Kelley was an instrumental part of the company’s global growth as well as Croakies’ January 2017 acquisition by Hilco Vision.
“Bob has earned a phenomenal industry reputation, well respected by peers and customers alike,” states Ross Brownlee, CEO, Hilco Vision. “His experience with consumer brands has brought sustained value to Croakies, and his tireless energy and passion have helped ensure this powerful brand is set up for success in the years ahead,” explains Brownlee.
With the departure of Bob Kelley, Hilco Vision announces that former Native Eyewear co-founder, George Schott has been appointed Sales Director for Hilco Vision Outdoor, leading the Croakies® Leader® Swim, and Jonathan Paul® Fitovers Eyewear brands. In this role, Schott will be responsible for driving the future growth of these industry-leading brands in the outdoor and sporting goods channels and other consumer-oriented retail environments.
“George brings a winning combination of entrepreneurialism, strategic thinking and experience across the Outdoor/Sport channels of trade, and we are excited as to what lies ahead for our consumer brands as the next chapter of their story unfolds under George’s leadership,” states Brownlee.
Schott is joined in the Hilco Vision Outdoor sales department by Keith Swenson, formerly of FGX International, who was hired as Sales Manager for Hilco Vision Outdoor back in January.
“It’s a tremendous opportunity to be joining an organization with such a strong mix of industry-leading brands,” explains Schott. “I’ve been involved in eyewear and accessories for quite some time and can honestly say, it’s exciting to be surrounded by talented people with a shared vision of driving future growth for our brands. I’m eager to get in the trenches and work alongside our dedicated sales force and family of authorized dealers,” Schott continues.
To learn more about Hilco Vision’s collection of industry-leading consumer brands, please visit hilcovisionoutdoor.com.
Often imitated but never duplicated, the original Croakies were invented in 1977 by a local ski patrolman from Jackson Hole Mountain Resort in Wyoming. Today, Croakies is still proudly based in the mountains of the American West, with most of its production in Bozeman, Montana. With Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks as a backyard, the brand’s inspiration remains unchanged: to create best-in-class retention products that inspire everyday adventure and provide comfort, style, durability, and functionality to active people of all ages. For more information about Croakies and its latest product line, please visit croakies.com or follow them on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter using @croakies. Croakies is part of the Hilco Vision portfolio of brands.
About Leader Swim
For over 40 years, Leader® has offered a full line of innovative sports eyewear and accessories of the highest quality. Whether your customers are at the beginning stages of their athletic journey or at the peak, Leader products are respected worldwide for providing unparalleled performance and durability, delivering performance aquatics eyewear for the active lifestyle. For more information about Leader Swim, please visit leaderswim.com Leader® is part of the Hilco Vision portfolio of brands.
About Jonathan Paul® Fitovers Eyewear
Founded over 20 years ago in Australia, Jonathan Paul® Fitovers Eyewear originated as a solution to the intense Australian sun. Effective, comfortable, and affordable, this revolutionary new fashionable and functional fit over sunglass with its innovative wrap-around styling quickly caught on. Delivering optical versatility and on-the-go, lifestyle performance, JPE continues to lead the charge in the fitovers category, delivering best-in-class optical performance and frame designs to service prescription eyewear users and their versatile lifestyles. For more information about Jonathan Paul Fitovers Eyewear, please visit fitovers.com. Jonathan Paul is part of the Hilco Vision portfolio of brands.
About Hilco Vision
For over 60 years Hilco Vision has served as an industry leader in delivering world class eyewear and eye care products to its customers all over the world. Alongside an extensive line of innovative optical products, Hilco Vision has quickly ascended to be a premium supplier of eyewear products and accompanying lifestyle accessories for the sport and outdoor industries, thanks to a growing portfolio of well-known brands such as Croakies, Leader swim products, and Jonathan Paul Fitovers Eyewear. Whether keeping your shades afloat on your next stand-up paddle expedition or providing premium optics for your next open water swim, day at the river, or rematch on the court, Hilco Vision’s sport and outdoor brands share a commitment to delivering world-class products to meet the ever-changing needs of the active consumer.
Director, Consumer Brand Marketing, Hilco Vision