Concord, Mass. – Vibram has named PJ Antonik as marketing manager. Antonik joined the company in 2011 as a customer service representative and was promoted to pr and communications associate within 6 months. This month he was recognized with a promotion to marketing manager. Antonik’s duties will include managing the marketing team and creative agencies. He is responsible for overseeing and executing all aspects of the marketing plans for FiveFingers, Vibram soling and Vibram Disc Golf. Additionally, Antonik will identify opportunities for growth; analyze market research to determine the value of marketing communication programs and manage additional projects as assigned by the CEO.
Portland, Ore. – As Leatherman Tool Group, Inc.—parent company of Leatherman multi-tools and LED LENSER—enters into new markets such as Action Sports, they have promoted 22-year Tool Group veteran and engineer Benjamin Rivera to President of Leatherman Tool. In his time with the company, Rivera has played an important role in the design and development of the Leatherman multi-tools.
Sheboygan, Wisc. – Wigwam, makers of performance socks, has brought on John Strong as the new western director of sales. Strong's background in sales management includes Nike, Sketchers and more recently Donald J. Pliner's DMSX shoe line. His territory will include everything west of the Mississippi and is comprised of seven independent rep agencies. Started in 1905, Wigwam is family owned and operated in Sheboygan, WI. The business is looking forward to boosting its presence in the West with Strong joining the family.
Washington, D.C. – Led by Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.), the Senate Finance Committee has unanimously approved the nomination of Mike Froman to be U.S. Trade Representative. The nomination will now move to deliberation in the full Senate. Froman’s approval by the Senate Finance Committee comes at a time when the United States is negotiating an ambitious trade agenda.
Boulder, Colo. – Outdoor equipment and apparel company Sierra Designs has hired Michael Wedding to a newly-created National Sales Manager position. Wedding will lead the company's North American sales team, and will oversee the sales for a complete product line redesign for Spring '14. The line will be 95 percent new product.
Portland, Ore. – Starting July 8, Mike Abbot will take over as president of Keen, the shoe manufacturer best known for its toe-covering sandals. Abbot will fill the role following a year-long vacancy. Former President and CEO James Curleigh stepped down last summer to take a job as executive vice president of Levi Strauss & Co. and Levi's brand president. Curleigh had been with the company since 2008.
Boulder, Colo. – Cocona executive positions have shuffled after Chief Operating Officer (COO) Bill Post stepped down to pursue other opportunities. Taking over Post’s position will be Chris Leyes, the company’s current Chief Financial Officer (CFO). Leyes will continue in the role of CFO as he takes on the title of COO. Jim Hind will report to Leyes in the role of Vice President of Global Sourcing. Lastly, Cocona’s Chief Scientist and the inventor of its core intellectual property, Gregory Haggquist, is now Chief Technical Officer (CTO).
Boulder, Colo. - Starting June 3, Christie Hickman will take the reins as the Outdoor Industry Association's Vice President of Market Insights. There, she will analyze market and social media trends and share that data with OIA members.
Hickman said that consumer behavior is radically changing, especially in the outdoor industry. She said she sees her job as a chance to bring detailed market insights to small specialty brands and retailers.
Freeport, Maine – The privately owned company, L.L. Bean, has once again continued its tradition of passing down the family business. Leon Gorman stepped down from his position as CEO, after more than 50 years at the helm of Maine's largest outdoor retailer. The company got its start in 1912 when Leon Leonwood Bean reached out to a community of hunters by informing them of his rubber-soled hunting boots.