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It’s been five years since Jeff Weidman and Darren Bush purchased Rutabaga Paddlesports. Weidman announced today that he is reducing his day-to-day involvement as well has his share of the business. â€œI really feel like we have the business on solid ground and in a great direction. I’m looking forward to taking some real time off for the first time in a long time.â€ Weidman sold his share in his former business, and without a break, jumped right in to purchasing Rutabaga with Bush in the fall of 2002.
â€œJeff certainly deserves a major vacation,â€ said Darren Bush, who will assume ownership of Rutabaga Paddlesports LLC over the next few months. â€œHe has worked long and hard, and his help bringing Rutabaga to where it is today cannot be understated. I am personally indebted to him for his leadership and mentoring, as well as his friendship.â€
There’s no doubt that Rutabaga is in capable hands with Bush, who has been at Rutabaga as both an employee and owner for 17 years. â€œThe current management team has been here for years and has run the day-to-day business very effectively,â€ said Weidman. â€œI look forward to watching them take Rutabaga and thrive.â€
While this is a major change to the structure of the business ownership, it will not change the basic mechanics of Rutabaga. â€œThere’s no reason to change for the sake of change,â€ said Bush. â€œIt’s working well, and we enjoy stable relationships with our vendor partners. Sure, we’ll continue to refine and tweak the operations of the business, but I can’t envision anything changing that would rock anyone’s world.â€
Weidman will remain the property owner, and will be involved several days a week on a management level, and will continue to be available as needed, but a full-time commitment to a thriving retail business leaves Weidman no time for volunteer work â€“ improving the outdoor industry at an industry level and mentoring at-risk youth and getting them outside.
â€œThe Outdoor Industry is in my blood. I have projects I would love to doâ€¦like ski and sail,â€ jokes Weidman. â€œIn all seriousness, I will be spending more time with Big City Mountaineers and the Outdoor Industry Association. I love the people I work with at Rutabaga, and still want to be involved if they need me. I’m so proud of what all of us have done and look forward to seeing where they take it.â€