Brian Bennett moves from Kelty sales to Mountainsmith marketing - SNEWS

Brian Bennett moves from Kelty sales to Mountainsmith marketing

Brian Bennett has only been at Mountainsmith for a short time as the new executive vice president of marketing, but he's already accomplished big things.

Brian Bennett has only been at Mountainsmith for a short time as the new executive vice president of marketing, but he's already accomplished big things. He recently returned from a meeting with Vail resorts and Mountainsmith is now the official pack and luggage supplier for all its facilities. An exciting prospect in itself, but Bennett is also energized by the other Strategic Alliance members (official sponsors of Vail Resorts) he met during his meetings.

"The real big side benefit is that we get to network with other Alliance members -- BMW, Starbucks, Hewlett Packard, Coors, Gatorade. Here we are a small backpacking brand out of Golden and we're rubbing elbows with some of the premier brands of the world," he said. "I can't put a dollar value on the return in terms of those relationships."

For Bennett, marketing is a huge transition from his roots as a sales guy. For the last seven years, he worked his way up the ladder of Kelty from customer service manager to sales manager to director of sales. Before that, he worked with Cannondale and was an independent rep.

"I've shifted roles pretty dramatically," Bennett admits. "I think I bring a unique perspective to marketing because I think as a salesperson. The way I differentiated myself and the way I differentiated Kelty was that we really spent a lot of time positioning the company and really getting a message out about who we were , what we saw going on in the marketplace, and what we were doing to react to that. Instead of doing that from a sales position, I'll be doing that from a marketing standpoint for Mountainsmith. I think in a lot of ways, they're very similar."

In his new position, Bennett will be responsible for the strategic direction of Mountainsmith, and all of the company's marketing, design and development, and operations. Also, he'll be working closely with the parent company's sourcing arm, 105 Meridian, and offering input on sales.

Bennett is focusing on building Mountainsmith's brand image for the next three to five years and creating a campaign that gets that message out.

"The beauty of this brand is based on what's happening in this market where there's a lot of shift toward lifestyle as opposed to traditional outdoor activities. Everybody is trying to figure out how to go after that in-a-day consumer. We'll never walk away from our roots as a backpack company, but as a brand, I believe we transcend those markets better than some of the cornerstone outdoor brands who are somewhat pigeonholed by who they've been for the last 30 or 50 years," he said. "I'm excited to be here to do that with the Mountainsmith brand because if I were to use a word, I'm really impressed by their versatility. We can be a lot of things. The brand resonates across product boundaries, and we're positioned a little bit better in that respect compared to our competitors."


MountainSmith undergoes changes in staff, not direction

A little over a year after Pacifica LTM purchased 105 Meridian and MountainSmith, company vice president of sales Mike Valvano and vice president of marketing Brian Bennett have both jumped to greener pastures. Along with them, Gail Ross who worked with Youngstown technical more

Mountainsmith looks poised for strong growth

Mountainsmith has a secret weapon that makes President Greg Thomsen smile -- sourcing connections, factory relationships and international partnerships few others can match. And now, following a moderately bumpy period as the company sorted out staffing directions and other more

Pending merger triggers changes at Mountainsmith

A pending merger between Pacifica and Blackstone Investment Group has triggered changes at Mountainsmith, the first of which was made public earlier this week. Geoff O'Keeffe, president of Mountainsmith, sent out an email to his rep force that was shared with SNEWS® at the close more

Mountainsmith Strengthens Team with New Sales and Marketing Position

Jared Pangretic has joined Mountainsmith's in-house team in the new position of sales and marketing coordinator. The announcement was made by Jay Getzel, national sales manager for Mountainsmith, the Colorado-based innovator of cutting edge packs, camera bags, and luggage. The more

SNEWS® Eye On: MountainSmith

When MountainSmith was purchased in September 1998 by 105 Meridian, an Estes Park company specializing in the manufacture of luggage and packs as well as OEM services for brands such as L.L. Bean, Abercrombie and Fitch, and Eddie Bauer, more than a few retailers and industry vets more

Nautilus founder Brian Cook retires, Hammann takes reins

Telling SNEWS® he's ready to spend time golfing, traveling, and enjoying his family and his 11 grandchildren, Brian Cook -- founder of the Bowflex company, chairman of the board and former CEO -- will retire as of March 1, handing over the chairman's duties of The Nautilus Group more


Kelty Recliner

When a camp chair costs $160, there are high expectations. Obviously, it has to be way more comfortable than those bag chairs sold in sporting goods stores and the supermarket -- you know, the ones with the sandpaper fabric seat that slumps so low that the front lip cuts into more


Mountainsmith promotes Jay Getzel to president

Here’s an example of hard work, dedication and positive results paying off. Jay Getzel, who essentially has been the face of the Mountainsmith since its previous president resigned more than three years ago, is being promoted to the brand’s top position effective June 1. more

Mountainsmith Moves to New Location

Today is moving day for Mountainsmith. The Colorado-based supplier of packs, sleeping bags, tents, lumbar packs and much more is moving to a new location in the northern part of Golden located strategically on the main artery connecting Boulder to the mountains. The new space is more