Outdoor Research names Cascade Designs VP Ken Meidell as new president

After a dozen years at Cascade Designs, Meidell will travel a mile down the street to help lead Outdoor Research's day-to-day operations.

Outdoor Research didn’t have to go far to find its new president and chief operating officer.


The Seattle-based outdoor brand looked a down the road to Cascade Designs and saw Ken Meidell, vice president of sales, marketing and product development, as the perfect fit.

"We’re a mile apart, so I already knew a lot of people at Outdoor Research, and Dan and I have talked for years," Meidell told SNEWS in an exclusive first interview. "I wasn’t looking to leave Cascade Designs — they’re in great shape — but this was an opportunity to help another great brand grow."

Meidell, who will start his new job Sept. 6, will take over day-to-day operations at Outdoor Research, while CEO Dan Nordstrom, who previously held the president title, will focus on broader brand-building and long-range planning initiatives.

"My time is best spent working with retailers, buyers and customers,” Nordstrom said. “I love to be on the road working with floor staff and sales training. They’ll see more of me and there will be deeper brand story telling. Ken will keep the trains running back home."

Systems and processes are Meidell’s strengths, something he worked on for a dozen years at Cascade Designs’ family of brands, including Therm-a-Rest, MSR and Platypus. At Outdoor Research, he’ll only have one brand to concentrate on, but that doesn’t make the job any easier, he said.

“The stakes go up when it’s a single brand, because every product has to deliver on the promise, history and expectations of the brand," he said.

Outdoor Research’s four vice presidents — Jordan Wand (product and marketing), Alex Kutches (sales), Clark Campbell (operations) and Audrey Hicks (finance) — will report to Meidell, who in turn will report to Nordstrom. Kutches served a brief role as Outdoor Research president starting in 2011, before returning to his VP role earlier this year.

Meidell doesn't plan on any immediate changes at Outdoor Research. The company is looking for organic growth. The biggest challenge will be learning new patterns and rhythms and then seeing where there might be room for improvement, he said. Meidell will also have a new commute in Seattle — one less mile.

--David Clucas


John (left) and David (right) Burroughs. Courtesy of Cascade Designs.

Cascade Designs names David Burroughs new president

Keeping it all in the family, son of Cascade Designs founder takes the helm. Years after packing Therma-a-Rest stuff sacks in his room as a child, David Burroughs, 53, son of Cascade Designs founder John Burroughs, has been named the brand’s latest president. He takes over for ...read more


Keen names former Burton, Specialized Bicycles exec as new president

After a yearlong search, Keen has a new president. The Portland,Ore.-based outdoor footwear company announced Monday that Mike Abbott will help lead the brand into its second decade of business. Abbott comes from Specialized Bicycles, where he served as chief operating officer ...read more


Seattle-based Cascade Designs moving 100 manufacturing, distribution jobs to Reno, Nev.

Seattle-based Cascade Designs (parent to MSR, Therm-a-rest, Platypus, and numerous other outdoor brands) plans to shift all of its distribution and part of its American manufacturing to a new facility in Reno, Nev., company officials tell SNEWS. The decision, announced to ...read more


SIA names former Burton exec as incoming president

SnowSports Industries America announced Thursday that Nick Sargent, a former Burton Snowboards exec will be its new president, replacing David Ingemie, who will step down from the position following the 2016 SIA Snow Show. Sargent, 45, who headed up Burton’s strategic ...read more

OR Team Photos

Outdoor Research promotes Dave Mahoney to VP of Sales

SEATTLE, Wash. (Dec. 10, 2013) – Outdoor Research this week promoted Dave Mahoney, its Director of Commercial Sales for the past five years, to VP of Sales. In his new role on the company’s executive team, Mahoney will direct all commercial sales efforts in North America, as ...read more

Cascade Designs® Promotes Ken Meidell to Vice-President of Outdoor

SEATTLE, Wash. – Cascade Designs, a Seattle-based manufacturer of premier backpacking, recreation and medical rehabilitation products, is pleased to announce the promotion of Ken Meidell to Vice-President of Outdoor. Meidell will step into his role immediately, building on the ...read more


Drew Keegan Named Vice President of Product Development and Marketing Services for Cascade Designs®

Cascade Designs, the Seattle-based manufacturer of high-performance outdoor equipment, today announced the promotion of Drew Keegan from director of Stoves & Cookware to vice president of Product Development and Marketing Services. In his new position, Keegan will oversee ...read more


Timbuk2 CEO Mike Wallenfels resigns; Chairman Ken Pucker to lead in interim

After nearly five years, Mike Wallenfels has resigned as CEO of Timbuk2, company officials announced on Thursday. Wallenfels, the former Mountain Hardwear CEO who joined San Francisco-based Timbuk2 in 2009, will remain through the end of March to help advise the company’s board ...read more

OIALogoColor_For WEB

OIA names industry leaders to search committee for new executive director

After the abrupt departure of its longtime president and CEO Frank Hugelmeyer two weeks ago, the Outdoor Industry Association named members to a search committee tasked to help find his replacement. OIA officials added that they “will shortly identify an interim executive ...read more