Mountainsmith promotes Jay Getzel to president

Since 2010, Jay Getzel essentially has been the face of Mountainsmith, now he gets the title to back it up. He talks to SNEWS first.

Here’s an example of hard work, dedication and positive results paying off.

Jay Getzel Mountainsmith

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.

Getzel, who joined Mountainsmith in 2008 and most recently served as its director of sales, will gain full responsibility for all of the brand’s domestic and international business including profitability, product and dealer relations as president.

It’s a well-deserved promotion, said Renee Pitra, president of Blackstone Investment Group’s recreational brands business, which owns Mountainsmith along with Detours, Carry Gear Solutions and Haiku. During the past few years, Getzel has helped the nearly 35-year-old Mountainsmith build a dedicated sales and marketing team and returned it to growth and profitability.

“Our goal has been to re-establish Mountainsmith as a go-to brand for backpacking,” Getzel told SNEWS on Tuesday. "We have significant opportunities for our strong and seasoned team to bolster customer relationships and build up our global footprint while ensuring our people, product and partnerships follow the corporate mantra of ‘Forged for Life.’"

Founded in 1979, Mountainsmith was well respected in its early years, but struggled to find its identity after being sold numerous times between 1997 and 2007, Getzel said. The brand has reignited in recent years under a small team of six people led by Getzel in Golden, Colo., designing and marketing its packs, tents, poles and camera bags.

Along with Getzel’s promotion, Mountainsmith is adding a seventh employee in customer relations and shifting some responsibilities.

“It will give myself and our entire team more capacity to be proactive in developing new products rather than just being reactive with day-to-day duties,” Getzel said.

Prior to joining Mountainsmith, Getzel was sales and service manager for C.A.M.P. USA, and served as a sales and marketing representative for Timberland’s family of brands. He began his 14-year industry career with a retail management position for Eastern Mountain Sports in Boulder followed by a Rocky Mountain dealer service role with Kelty.

--David Clucas