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Petzl America, the North American sales, marketing, and distribution center of headlamp and vertical equipment manufacturer Petzl, today announces a changing of the guard. After more than two decades with Petzl, Roody Rasmussen has decided to step down from the role of President, which he has held for the past 12 years. Beginning January 1, 2012, Nazz Kurth will take the President’s seat. Kurth is currently the Petzl America Sales Director and his succession has been in the works for some time. â€œWe were fortunate to have such a strong candidate already working within Petzl America,â€ says Rasmussen. â€œIt means we have the luxury of time to organize a smooth and graceful transition. I’ve worked closely with Nazz over the past five years and have the utmost confidence he will continue to run a great company.â€
Rasmussen will continue working with Petzl America on a part-time basis, managing special projects as Senior Vice President. He will also retain his seat on the board of the Petzl Foundation, Petzl’s non-profit arm dedicated to giving back to the communities that have made the company so successful.
Rasmussen began working with Petzl as a North American sales representative in 1988 and was instrumental in building the Petzl brand and developing the territories in the western U.S. and Canada. His role as President of Petzl America began in 1999, when the North American distribution center moved to Clearfield, Utah. Under Rasmussen’s watch, Petzl America developed a high-performance sales and distribution organization, expanded its outside sales force from 8 to 40-plus independent reps, and quadrupled annual gross sales. â€œIt has been my great pleasure to lead such a talented and passionate team,â€ says Rasmussen. â€œAnd also to work with the international Petzl Group to provide our Canadian and American customers with the highest level of service and unique and innovative products from Petzl.â€
As he transitions into the role of President, Nazz Kurth will draw from a deep well of experience. He joined Petzl America as Headlamp Division Manager in 2006. Thanks to his work ethic, dedication to the Petzl brand, and understanding of the Sport and Professional sides of Petzl’s business, Kurth soon moved into the role of Sales Director. During his tenure, Petzl America has broken multiple sales records, despite the global recession. â€œThe successes I’ve overseen as Sales Director at Petzl have been a direct result of the amazing team I work with,â€ says Kurth. â€œEvery department is stocked with invaluable players willing to go the extra mile time and time again. I’m honored by the opportunity to head up this fantastic group.â€
In addition to his track record at Petzl, Kurth brings to his new position years of work experience in sales and business development, brand positioning and marketing, and market analysis. He is also an avid climber and outdoorsman, and worked for several years as a climbing guide and wilderness program director in locations across the Americas.
Kurth and Rasmussen will continue in their current roles through 2011.
For over 40 years, Petzl has been developing innovative tools and techniques for those entering the vertical world and low-light environments. Our products have proved instrumental for those scaling the highest peaks, exploring the deepest caves, and working at height, as well as for rescue and tactical professionals. Progression is at the heart of the Petzl philosophy â€“ for our customers, who navigate challenging terrain for work or for play, and for our own products, which constantly evolve to meet the needs of those customers. Petzl solutions can be found online and nationwide in specialty shops, premium sporting goods retailers, and professional equipment supply retailers. For the latest from Petzl, visit www.petzl.com.