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Moscow, ID (January 16, 2014) – NRS, leading manufacturer and distributor of innovative, rugged paddling gear and high-performance inflatable watercrafts, is excited to announce that, as of 2014, the company is 100% employee owned. NRS associates have assumed full ownership of the company after purchasing all outstanding stock from its independent shareholders.
Since founding NRS in 1972, Bill Parks, a former business professor, has led the company according to his progressive values. Moving to an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) helps ensure Parks’ legacy as he nears his 80th birthday.
“When I started NRS, I wanted to build the kind of company that treated its customers and employees they way I wanted to be treated,” says Parks. “Moving toward employee ownership is the best way for us to ensure that NRS retains that culture now and into the future.”
The new program will complement the hard work that the company’s family of employees has put into the brand over many years. In addition to preserving NRS as an equitable and rewarding workplace, the move toward employee ownership also allows the company to be more competitive as the paddling industry continues to evolve.
“ESOPs are an uncommon business model. But for NRS, with its history of long-term employees, close family-like atmosphere, high work standards and strong sense of professional integrity, this structure is a natural fit,” says NRS Vice President Bryan Dingel. “This is the logical next step toward ensuring our company’s continued growth.”
The move caps a bold year for NRS during which it announced plans to open a European distribution center, expanded its operations in Canada, launched a revamped website, and acquired the helmet manufacturer WRSI. With its new employee stock ownership program, NRS hopes to further improve its services to the paddling community and carry on its tradition of innovation.
NRS is a leading manufacturer and distributor of high-performance inflatable boats and SUP Boards, and of rugged, innovative gear for anyone seeking adventure on the water. Born in a college professor’s garage in 1972 as Northwest River Supplies, NRS has become a major force in the outdoor industry, inspiring and equipping countless paddlers in the U.S. and around the world.