For the week of April 5-11
>> For the first time, sock-maker Fox River has introduced a hiking sock made with organic merino wool. The new Organic Merino Light Hiking style is a medium-weight, super-soft sock using organic wool from sheep raised according to federal organic livestock production standards. Fox River said its organic merino wool, from the Vermont Organic Fiber Company, is produced according to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) standards and verified by independent accredited certification organizations. Only wool from sheep raised on certified organic ranches using organic livestock production standards can be called "organic." The sock is available exclusively at REI Stores and REI.com for $14.95. In other company news, Fox River donated more than $5,000 to the New York City-based The Breast Cancer Research Foundation, which supports scientists at leading medical centers worldwide whose research is focused on achieving prevention and a cure for breast cancer.
>> BusinessWeek caught up with Columbia Sportswear's Gert Boyle as she promotes her new book, "One Tough Mother: Success in Life, Business, and Apple Pies." In the Q&A, Ma Boyle relates how she took over the family company after the untimely death of her husband, growing it from a $600,000 enterprise to a publicly traded $1 billion today. And don't even think of trying to argue with her -- as if an article needs to tell you that. To read the entire article, click here.
>> Reinforcing its commitment to bring the paddling experience to consumers of all skill levels, Dagger is kicking off its 2005 Paddle with the Pros program. In its third year, the free program includes personal on-water instruction by Team D athletes, and will take place at retailers throughout the United States from April to June. The Paddle with the Pros program is designed as a training tool for retailers and a chance for paddlers new and experienced to whitewater kayaking to experience the sport firsthand. For experienced paddlers, this format helps them brush up on freestyle skills in a relaxed atmosphere with world-class paddlers from Team Dagger including: 2004 World Champion Jay Kincaid, World Record Holder Tao Berman, and Freestyle World Champion Dustin Urban, to name a few. During the first day of each two-day clinic, Team D paddlers will meet with retail staff to review Dagger product, then take the group paddling. On day two, retailers will invite the public to a designated location to participate in complimentary paddling clinics offered by Team D. The athletes will tailor their instruction to match consumers' paddling skills. Dagger will support the program through its website, where specific program details will be available, and through point of purchase displays at participating dealers. Each retailer is invited to initiate its own promotional program to draw interest to the clinics. For a full schedule, visit www.dagger.com.
>> PrimaLoft has signed on as a supporter of the Northern Forest Canoe Trail project, a 740-mile water trail, which links the watersheds of northern New York, Vermont, Québec, New Hampshire and Maine. The Northern Forest Canoe Trail Inc., a non-profit organization founded in 2000, with the goals of creating an accessible recreational water trail mapped and managed through a grassroots volunteer network; promoting economic development by attracting a wide range of visitors to the region's communities; and improving local access to and providing stewardship of regional waterways , rivers, streams and lakes. www.northernforestcanoetrail.org.
>> Peter Mortimer's new film "Return2Sender" features the big-air antics of free climbing pro Timmy O'Neill and is kicking off a 14-city tour in the West. The movie includes high-energy tales of America's "funniest" climber as he guides his disciples -- "Warren Miller style" -- on a thrill-ride up some of the tightest cracks, intense faces and amazing monoliths the west has to offer. The series of six short climbing films that make up the 90-minute "Return2Sender" is presented by Montrail and distributed by Seattle's Lenticular Pictures, which specializes in digital film production and distribution. O'Neill, a 35-year-old Boulder resident, is a cult-figure among climbers and regarded as one of the "funniest climbers to scale the comedy circuit." "Return2Sender" features some of the hottest climbers out there, including Cicada Jenerik and Michael Reardon. Starting in Boulder, Colo., on April 13, the tour includes 14 screenings in Colorado, Utah, Washington, Oregon, California, and British Columbia, Canada. Tickets are between $8 and $12 and available at climbing retailers in each city. For tour dates, visit www.return2sendermovie.com.
>> A recent NFI Research study found that over the next 12 months, senior executives and managers plan to travel domestically slightly more than during the past 12 months. Only 1 percent do not plan to travel domestically in the next year. International travel should also be up slightly from the past year, with close to half of the senior executives and managers planning to travel internationally at least once. Senior executives plan to domestically travel more than managers do in the next year. Forty-nine percent of senior executives plan to travel domestically 11 times or more in the next year, while 27 percent of managers plan to do so. Of those who plan to travel more in the next 12 months, the leading reason -- cited by 70 percent -- is business growth/new business, followed by the importance of face-to-face meetings. The leading reason for a senior executive or manager who plans on traveling less in the next 12 months is cost, while concern for personal safety was not listed as a reason for less travel.
>> Megan Storm and Brien Teasley have joined the North American merchandising team at Marmot. As part of Marmot's team of five full-time merchandisers, they'll handle visual product displays, places the array of Marmot custom fixtures and signage, assists sales reps in seasonal presentations, distributes POP materials, and reviews inventory and reorder issues with its dealers. Storm was formerly a merchandiser with G. I. Joe's and J. Jill apparel. Teasley was with several outdoor stores, including Neptune's and Marmot Mountain Works, as well as Abercrombie & Fitch and J. Crew apparel.
>> Apparel-maker Spyder Active Sports has promoted and hired for several key positions. Jake Jacobs, formerly vice president of merchandising, is now senior vice president of product. He will oversee the merchandising, development and production departments, and manage the overall brand strategy. Kate Saunders, previously director of merchandising, has been promoted to vice president of merchandising and design, and will lead internal and external designers and merchandisers. Kathy Carroll has been appointed as director of marketing after serving as a consultant since 2001. Joe Vernachio is the new face, joining the company as the vice president of development and production starting May 1. He has worked for Nike, Patagonia and roots, and will lay the foundation for new production strategies as the Spyder's product offering increases. In the past year, Spyder has added over 12 staff members to the Boulder, Colo., office, bringing the total number of local employees to about 90.
>> The American Hiking Society has a new president, Dr. Gregory A. Miller. Miller brings to this position more than twenty years of experience in conservation and natural resources program development. Miller most recently served as Executive Vice President at EnDyna, Inc., a global environmental consulting firm. For over 15 years prior, he was a division Vice President at The Nature Conservancy, where he headed development of the South America conservation portfolio. Miller has served on the boards of the global Biodiversity Support Program and The International Ecotourism Society, and was an environmental advisor for the Latin America and Caribbean Bureau of the U.S. Agency for International Development. A native of California, Miller is fluent in Spanish and holds a Ph.D. in Ecology as well as a Science, Engineering, and Diplomacy Post-Doctoral Fellowship through the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Miller can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 301-565-6704, ex. 204.