In May 2005, SNEWSÂ® ran a feature story "outing" a company known to only a few at that time as UTW -- click here to read story. Since then, Portland-based UTW has changed its name to Nau Inc., a Delaware registered corporation.
According to Ian Yolles, Nau's communications director, Nau is a Maui word for welcome, that translates literally to mean, "come to me."
In February, the company told SNEWSÂ® that co-founder Eric Reynolds had resigned from the company as an employee, board member and chairman of the Board. Although Reynolds' responsibilities and control of the company's direction ended immediately, he continues to hold nearly all of Nau's common stock.
With Reynolds' resignation, the board unanimously voted to establish Stephen Gomez as its new board chairman. Gomez, a Founders' round investor, had been on the Nau board since its creation in 2005. Gomez assumed his responsibilities in February.
Yolles told SNEWSÂ® that the company has added other key members, including Dean Porter and Richard Hayes, former CIO for VF's Outdoor Coalition. As of February, the Nau team totaled 21 employees.
For Reynolds, he's off developing yet another idea.
"I am moving on to my next project at a time when the foundation for Nau's success has been established and an extraordinary and dedicated team is in place," said Reynolds.Â "My relationship and shared interests with the company will continue long into the future."Â
Chris Van Dyke, Nau's president and CEO, stated, "The Nau team is together today because of Eric's passion and vision for what a profitable business might do to contribute to positive social and environmental change. His idealism and creativity is at the core of the Nau concept. The purity of his ideas and his intent are an integral part of our DNA."
Reynolds' next project, SNEWSÂ® has learned, is likely connected with furthering his goals of pushing and inspiring the outdoor industry to adopt universally sustainable standards.
As for Gomez, he is yet another member of the Nau team with a platinum-level corporate pedigree. According to Van Dyke, Gomez held the position of corporate vice president and general manager of Nike's global apparel division when many who are working at Nau were then working for Nike. Under Gomez, SNEWSÂ® was told, Nike's apparel business grew from $600 million to $3 billion in five years.
"In managing this growth, Stephen established a solid industry reputation for his special talent of building great teams while balancing creativity with operational excellence. For many on Nau's management team, Stephen is recognized as one of Nike's greatest leaders and personal mentor," said Van Dyke.
Since his retirement from Nike in 1998, Gomez has opened his own fine dining Italian restaurant (Serratto in Northwest Portland) and has served on numerous boards.Â