2015 American Made Outdoor Gear Awards finalists announced

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ARCATA, CALIFORNIA, (November 28, 2014) – The American Made Outdoor Gear Award, which annually celebrates the stories of companies with a commitment to American manufacturing and sourcing in the outdoor market, announces the finalists for the 2015 American Made Outdoor Gear Awards. The winners will be announced at a ceremony on Thursday, January 22, 2015, in Salt Lake City, UT, during the Outdoor Retailer Winter Market.

Under 10 Employees:

10 to 50 Employees:

50-100 Employees:

100+ Employees:

The Grand Prize winner, selected from the category finalists, receives one-year ownership of ‘Sassy,’ a hand carved, 3-foot-tall, redwood Sasquatch from Humboldt County, CA. Category winners receive miniature versions of the award, and all entrants receive a certificate of participation.

Over 110 of the most innovative domestic manufacturers in the outdoor market participated in the third-annual “Sassy” award program.

“With each award cycle the number of participants has grown steadily as has the quality of the applications,” said Jeff Turner, Kokatat sales and design manager. “These twenty companies have such amazing and inspiring stories to share it will be a difficult decision to select for each category let alone one overall winner.”

The American Made Outdoor Gear Award was founded in 2013 by Kokatat, the paddlesports apparel and gear company known for its longstanding commitment to American manufacturing, to recognize the leaders in American made quality, craftsmanship and creativity in the outdoor world.

Judged by a group of outdoor industry peers, the American Made Outdoor Gear Award application includes more than 30 questions regarding the size, scope and success stories of domestic production.

Past grand prize winners include Liberty Bottleworks (www.libertybottles.com) in 2013 and Benchmade Knife Company (www.benchmade.com) in 2014.

Kokatat’s creation of the awards is rooted in its own history, as the brand’s founder and president, Steve O’Meara, recognized from the start that keeping production local was necessary in order to control quality and continually develop the finest and driest paddling apparel in the world.

“I began Kokatat at a time when there was no such thing as domestic manufacturing; all manufacturing was domestic,” O’Meara said. “In today’s global economy, companies have many choices for suppliers and manufacturers and it’s fantastic to see so many of them choosing American first and keeping manufacturing from becoming a myth like our friend Sassy.”

For additional information about the 2015 American Made Outdoor Gear Award visit www.americanmadeoutdoorgearawards.com. For more details about the program email hello@palemorning.com.

About the American Made Outdoor Gear Award:

Founded by Kokatat and shared with the Outdoor Industry, the American Made Outdoor Gear Award is a celebration of American manufacturing. First awarded in 2013, the American Made Outdoor Gear Award recognizes companies with compelling domestic manufacturing stories. Finalists are announced annually on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, and the winners are recognized at an awards ceremony during the Outdoor Retailer Winter Market. The company with the best “made in America” story receives one-year ownership of the ‘Sassy’ travelling trophy -- a hand carved, 3-foot-tall, redwood Sasquatch from Humboldt County, CA -- and all category winners receive miniature versions of the award. Along with highlighting company stories, the program tracks domestic manufacturing trends and insights in the outdoor industry. Learn more at www.americanmadeoutdoorgearawards.com and follow us on Twitter at @AMOGAward.

About Kokatat Inc.:

Kokatat has been manufacturing paddling gear in Arcata, California for more than 40 years. At a time when many technical apparel brands were moving manufacturing offshore, Kokatat continued to invest in infrastructure in the United States. Kokatat founder Steve O’Meara was committed to the development of the finest and driest paddling apparel in the world and recognized the need to control and continually evolve the development of our dry wear. In the early days, Kokatat worked closely with W.L. Gore & Associates, makers of GORE-TEX®, to refine the sewing and sealing techniques required for full immersion suits and tops. Today, our hands-on approach to manufacturing continues to set the standard in paddling apparel. Into the water with Kokatat! Please visit www.kokatat.com and follow Kokatat on Facebook and Twitter “@kokatat”.

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