Pat Loomis Retires, Keith Patterson Becomes President at Bergans USA
USA office's leadership change follows Bergans of Norway's new CEO Leif Holst-Liæker
taking charge last month
LONGMONT, Colo. - January 5, 2016 - Industry veteran and president of the North American subsidiary Bergans USA Pat Loomis, announced his retirement today. Current Vice President of sales and marketing Keith Patterson will be his replacement. Loomis and Patterson have a history of success, and together opened Bergans USA in Longmont, CO as a wholly owned subsidiary of Bergans of Norway four years ago this week, growing sales 170 percent during that time period and averaging 40-plus percent growth per year.
"Pat has played a very significant role in Bergans USA's growth in the North American market," said Bergans of Norway's new international CEO Leif Holst-Liæker. "His 37-plus years of outdoor industry experience will certainly be missed. He and Keith have successfully led Bergans USA these past four years, and have had the unique experience of working together in similar capacities previous to joining Bergans. Having had a great mentor in Pat, Keith will be a very successful president moving forward."
As previously announced in June of last year, Holst-Liæker took over December 2015 as Bergans of Norway's CEO when Ragnar Jensen announced his retirement after 23 years at the helm.
Loomis joined the outdoor industry in 1978 when he and the owners of Lowe Alpine Systems USA established Lowe Alpine Systems International in Ireland. As CEO of Lowe Alpine Systems International, Loomis was responsible for all aspects of sales, manufacturing, development and expansion of Lowe products throughout Europe, Asia, and Australia.
Under his leadership, Lowe Ireland became the most profitable and largest of the Lowe companies in 1988, at which time the company was purchased by the UK based investment company FAMCO. Loomis continued as CEO of Lowe International expanding sales and distribution in Europe and Asia, as well as expanding manufacturing capabilities in the Ireland facility and developing new sourcing relationships with the growing Asian manufacturing community.
In 1993, Loomis led a management buy-out of the Lowe Group of companies forming Lowe Alpine Holdings, UK, and was appointed its director. Also at that time, he moved to the United States and became president of Lowe USA, which had been a weak performer in the group. Within one year, Lowe USA was profitable, and during his six years at the helm Loomis grew sales from $5.5 million to more than $14 million, as Lowe Alpine Holdings' overall sales grew to over $60 million worldwide. The Lowe Group was sold in 1999 to Baird Textiles, UK, at which point Loomis resigned as CEO.
In 2001, Loomis and Patterson began their long working relationship when Loomis was chosen to launch Deuter USA as its president, and Patterson as its national sales manager. For the next seven years, Loomis and Patterson successfully helped establish Deuter as one of the leading pack brands in North America.
Loomis left Deuter in 2008, and Patterson departed the following year to take a leadership role at Salewa North America, after having risen to become Deuter's vice president of sales and marketing.
For the next few years, Loomis provided consulting services to companies of varying sizes in the outdoor industry, and Patterson worked at Salewa as director of sales and marketing where he consistently grew Dynafit sales 30 percent and introduced both Dynafit summer apparel and footwear, as well as Salewa footwear to the North American market.
"I can honestly say it has been a very enjoyable 37 years made so by the many wonderful, committed people I have met and had the privilege to work with, starting with my wife Aine," said Loomis. "As we all know, outdoor industry employment is much more than just a job. The last four years working once again with Keith and being able to see the transition of Bergans USA to Keith's leadership is a satisfying way to move on."
"Pat has been a great mentor and friend over the past 15-plus years," said Patterson. "His leadership has been instrumental in establishing Bergans in the North American market and I look forward to continuing and building on this success."
Bergans of Norway was established in 1908, when Ole F. Bergan cut and shaped a juniper branch to match the curve of his back and attached it to his heavy, loose-fitting rucksack, a design now mirrored in every anatomical backpack produced today. Over the years, Bergans expanded its product line to include premium level tents, foldable canoes, and technical and lifestyle outdoor and ski clothing and established itself as a leader in the European and Asian markets.
After offering its products to the North American market from 2002 to 2011 through a U.S. based distributor, the company chose Loomis and Patterson to establish and run Bergans USA in 2012.
Bergans and its products have a longstanding reputation with history-making expeditions and adventurers such as first conqueror of the South Pole, Roald Amundsen who traveled with Bergans equipment; Mount Everest pioneer Sir Edmund Hillary who used the Bergans carrying frame for transporting oxygen bottles; Cecilie Skog, the first woman in the world to both successfully top the "The Seven Summits", "The Three Poles", and to cross Antarctica unassisted and unsupported.
Other modern day Bergans athletes include polar explorer John Huston, jibber and X Games Freeride competitor Anders Backe, and 2013 Freeride World Qualifier Tour winner Lorraine Huber.
ABOUT BERGANS OF NORWAY
Bergans was established in 1908, when Ole Ferdinand Bergan invented the first anatomical backpack. Today backpacks, functional outdoor clothing and tents are part of the portfolio of Bergans of Norway, as well as the ALLY brand of packable canoes. Adventurers such as South Pole conqueror Roald Amundsen, Mount Everest pioneer Sir Edmund Hillary, and heroes of our time such as Polar explorers Rune Gjeldnes or Cecilie Skog trust Bergans equipment on their expeditions.
The Scandinavian brand was established in 1908 by Ole F. Bergan after he invented the anatomical frame pack. During a hunting trip, he cut and shaped a juniper branch to match the curve of his back and attached it to his heavy, loose-fitting rucksack, a design now mirrored in every anatomical backpack produced today, including Bergans award winning Glittertind. The company offers a broad range of backpacks, tents, foldable canoes, and technical and fashionably functional outdoor and ski clothing.
The headquarter of Bergans Fritid AS is situated in Hokksund, Norway, 60 km southwest of Oslo, where 90-plus employees work in development, research, design and sales. Bergans is a market leader in Norway and steadily growing in several export markets in Europe and North America (www.bergans.com).
# # #
Bergans USA, LLC
Chip Smith, o: 801.656.0472 x1, c: 801.597.7515, email@example.com
Beth Cochran, c: 406.579.7909, firstname.lastname@example.org
Bergans of Norway
Christoph Centmayer, o: +47-40 62 40 99, email@example.com