SNEWS Qs: Roger Spatz, president Eagle Creek

SNEWS chats with Roger Spatz, the recently appointed president of Eagle Creek, about his goals for the future and what he loves about working in the industry.

VF Corporation recently announced Roger Spatz as it’s the new president for Eagle Creek. Spatz became part of the outdoor industry when he took over Eagle Creek as interim president in July 2011 and is excited to take Eagle Creek to the next level – expanding it beyond the adventure and travel markets. SNEWS chats with Spatz about his goals for the future and what he loves about working in the industry.

What are some of your goals to accomplish within the next year?
Build on great product, and create a broader voice in the travel market. As a brand, Eagle Creek has a rich heritage rooted in the outdoor and adventure travel markets. We want to be very clear about this position but elevate our message to a broader market that values the problems we solve when travelling. Product comes first and we are delivering some new and exciting features within our core luggage and accessories business.

How has your background prepared you for this position?
I served as CFO of Eagle Creek for the past 4.5 years. During this time I had the opportunity to work with the founders of the brand as well as report back to VF. In many ways this perspective creates a bridge that leverages the legacy of the brand with the operational prowess of VF.

What is it that makes Eagle Creek different from other travel outfitters?
We think about our brand in a simple way, "We are for travelers.” In doing so, we look at providing solutions to make a person's transition from one place to another as easy as possible. This is where our Travel System concept comes into play. We are much more than luggage or accessories business as a result.

How did you first come to work in the outdoor industry?
My work within the outdoor industry started when I came to Eagle Creek. However, I have always been an outdoor enthusiast since my early days as a Boy Scout. Travel has also been a passion, and I am fortunate to be with a brand that is rooted in both areas.

What is your favorite thing about working in the outdoor industry?
It is easy to see that people within the industry are passionate about what they do. They live the lifestyle. How is that not fun?

What would you say are some of the challenges facing the outdoor industry and how can we overcome them?
We have a big challenge making sure our youth are engaged in the outdoors. There are so many distractions that consume the attention of our youth in the digital age. I really think that as an industry, we need to paint a clearer picture of how the outdoors can get you away from all chaos of the day. We certainly see travel as being a tremendous way to decompress and yet learn about a broader world around us.

--Compiled by Ana Trujillo



SNEWS Qs: Louis Stack, president of Fitter International

Louis Stack President Fitter International Why is the Bongo Board unique? My quote is, “If you like your sports on the edge, then Bongo Board is the right training tool for you. This is one fast ride!" The split-bearing barrel shaped urethane roller is designed to allow the more


SNEWS Qs, Todd Andrews, President Tasc Performance

Todd Andrews President Tasc Performance When was your company founded? Tasc Performance was brought to life in 2009. However, our homegrown, family-owned business has a 40-year legacy in the apparel industry. What were you, as the founder of the company, doing before this? I more

VF Names Roger Spatz President, Eagle Creek Travel Gear

VF Corporation today announced Roger Spatz as President, Eagle Creek. Roger has served as interim President since July 2011, and his deep understanding of the Eagle Creek business and strong financial background makes him the ideal brand leader. As President, Roger will lead the more


SNEWS Qs: Vanessa Rodriguez, author the Summit Seeker

One could say Author Vanessa Rodriguez and boyfriend Robert Shackelford live the ultimate adventure lifestyle. Last summer they purchased an RV, sold their San Diego home, loaded up their cat and dog and sought out the best trail runs and outdoor adventures this country has to more


SNEWS Qs: Brent Dehlsen, Purnell Gear

Brent Dehlsen, CEO Purnell Workwear Tell us about the history of your company: I spent most of my young adult life working for my dad's wind energy company turning wrenches on wind turbines. It was back then that I experienced first hand the limitations of the work gear we were more


SNEWS Qs, Retailer Edition: Leo Clark, president Fitness Lifestyles

Leo Clark President, Fitness Lifestyles, Inc., Asbury Park, N.J. What are some of the best-selling items at your store right now and why do you think they’re popular? This past winter it seemed that treadmills and elliptical sales were almost even. As for the smaller items, it’s more


SNEWS Qs: Mark de Grasse, Relay Fitness Group

Until just a few years ago, a lot of stationary cycles didn’t actually mimic the motion of a real bike – the way it sways and moves with the body instead of just staying in one place. But then companies like RealRyder and Relay Fitness Group launched products that did move more more


Q&A: Jim Rogers, CEO, KOA Campgrounds

Throughout the next month, SNEWS will recap its coverage of Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2012 with select stories from the O.R. Daily we published at the show Aug. 2-5. It’s an opportunity for you to catch up on stories you might have missed in O.R.D., and for us to update and more


SNEWS Qs, Retailer Edition: Joe Butler, Black Creek Outfitters

Joe Butler PresidentBlack Creek Outfitters, Jacksonville, Fla. 904-645-7003 What are some of the most popular items in your store? Kayaks, paddleboards and the accessories that go with them. We are invested in both sports with ACA certified instruction offered. We are located on more