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Outdoor Research bolsters product management team

OR adds specialists in technical sportswear, handwear, headwear, alpine and rock climbing categories.

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SEATTLE, Wash. – Growing its product development team with five new management positions, Outdoor Research, a leading, independent manufacturer of outdoor apparel and accessories, this week announced several key additions in newly created jobs.

New roles include Jason Duncan as Technical Sportswear Product Manager, Meghan Martens as Handwear Product Manager, Kendra Brandenburg as Headwear Product Manager and Jeannie Wall as Product and Marketing Consultant for Alpine and Rock Climbing. OR is also in the process of hiring a product manager who will oversee the gaiter, storage and shelter product lines.

Duncan will direct Outdoor Research’s growth in sportswear and layers, with a focus on melding technical performance with style-driven design. Martens will oversee all aspects of the company’s handwear program, including ski, ascent, ice, and liner gloves. Brandenburg will handle a similar role overseeing all aspects of OR headwear. Wall will serve in a role similar to Ski Product and Marketing Consultant Mike Hattrup. She will help direct product development, fabric and design, provide key market perspective, and more seamlessly incorporate athlete feedback in the development cycle.

The team additions will allow product managers currently overseeing those categories to focus more fully on other categories within the Outdoor Research product family, said Vice President of Product and Marketing Jordan Wand.

Wand’s VP post is also relatively new. Outdoor Research added that role – a fourth VP position– in October 2010, more closely linking product development to the company’s heritage and brand DNA. That addition also allowed the three existing VPs to focus more fully on sales, operations and finance.

Since Outdoor Research launched technical apparel in Fall 2007, it has grown to represent approximately half of the company’s commercial business, said Outdoor Research CEO Dan Nordstrom.

“Our rapid growth in apparel speaks to our success, but it also speaks to the need to plan for the future – both in apparel and in categories where we have been leading for over 30 years, like handwear, headwear and accessories,” Nordstrom said. “This investment in our product development team is about ensuring that we’ll continue to raise the bar in all our core categories.”

Duncan will focus on technical sportswear. He comes from a career at Mountain Equipment Co-op, where he was a Senior Product Manager overseeing the development of base layer, mid-layer and softshell categories. He also managed the buying of external apparel brands for MEC.

Martens comes from product development and management jobs at The North Face, Nitro Snowboards/ L1 Outerwear, and the Burton-owned snowboard brands Forum, Special Blend and Foursquare.

Brandenburg comes to the OR team from Reef, where she was responsible for line planning, product development and merchandising, among other duties.

Wall brings more than two decades of product development experience from work at Patagonia and Rab. She is also a five-time national ski mountaineering race champion and has traveled the world alpine, ice and rock climbing.

“Combine these development team additions with access to the state-of-the-art, quick prototyping ability that we have in Outdoor Research’s Seattle manufacturing facility, and the foot is on the gas in terms of the innovation people can expect to see from us in coming seasons,” Wand said.

About Outdoor Research

Based in Seattle, Wash., Outdoor Research designs and manufactures functional solutions for human-powered adventure. Outdoor Research offers technically innovative and superior apparel, headwear, handwear, gaiters, storage and shelter systems. Product testing and high-quality construction is backed up with OR’s Infinite Guarantee®. Outdoor Research enthusiastically supports the outstanding conservation, access, and educational efforts of a variety of organizations and encourages our customers to do the same. Outdoor Research – Designed by Adventure®.