PATRICIA BABKA JOINS GRAMICCI AS V.P.-SALES
--Brings 20+ years experience with The North Face, Columbia, Pearl Izumi and others
AGOURA HILLS, Calif. (3/2/09)â€”Patricia Babka has been named vice president of sales for Gramicci, the rapidly growing manufacturer of durable, yet fashionable, outdoor lifestyle apparel.
Babka joins the team with more than 20 years experience in sales and general management, primarily in the technical and outdoor apparel industry. Most recently, she was general manager for the Americas at Skins USA, where she established all facets of the operations to launch Skins compression garments in North America, Central America and South America.
Prior to that, Babka was national sales manager for Pearl Izumi's cycling division, where she managed a team of 27 independent sales reps and employees who helped expand the division's sales by over 22% in a two-year period. Her experience in cycling dovetails with Gramicci's efforts with its Urban Biking product.
Other outdoor apparel experience includes her role as senior account executive and product manger at Seattle Cotton Works, where she worked on private label lines with The Sports Authority. Prior to that, Babka was national sales manager for The North Face, where she took an active leadership role in building distribution in the sporting goods channel for the brand. Earlier in her career, she was an independent sales representative for Columbia Sportswear during that company's key growth years.
â€œPatricia has been an important part of the industry's most groundbreaking and successful companies,â€ said Marty Weening, president of the Agoura Hills-based company. â€œThat quality of experience will help navigate us through our current growth surge and future brand plans.â€
One of Babka's initial duties will be to expand and complete the company's independent sales force. Over the longer term, she will help foster stronger relations with retail partners and develop new customers for Gramicci and its Greenicci collection of eco-friendly apparel. â€œWe have found another Gramicci disciple in Patricia, who is quite capable of getting the word out to new retailers what Gramicci is already doing for its existing customers everywhere,â€ said Weening.
Babka embraces her role at Gramicci, a brand for which she has great respect thanks to a strong history built over 26 years. â€œThis is a great time to be at Gramicci, as the company continues on its revitalization,â€ she commented. â€œI was involved with other companies such as The North Face and Columbia when they were in very similar positions and at the beginning of dynamic growth. With Gramicci's amazing heritage, there is endless potential. That potential is magnified by a recent history of unveiling innovative new products and a â€˜never the norm' approach to doing business. Those factors differentiate Gramicci from others in a sometimes homogenous outdoor apparel market.â€
She added: â€œI thrive on helping a brand rebuild and go forward, and couldn't be more thrilled than to be part of the team doing this for Gramicci.â€
Babka is a 1987 graduate of the Denver Institute of Technology with a degree in graphic and production arts. Her passions include flying, cycling, snowboarding and her family.
Gramicci, considered the â€˜soul brand' of the outdoor industry, is first associated with the iconic styles of the outdoor industry, including its introduction of the G-climbing pant and short over 26 years ago. In recent years, the company has evolved into a nature-inspired lifestyle apparel brand. Gramicci is now known for its advanced organic natural fiber technologies, engineered â€œfreedom of movementâ€ comfort design, and its â€œperfectly imperfectâ€ weathered fabric and garment finishes. Its lines are sold within three distinct product segments: G1 â€“ First Generation Gramicci, G Series â€“ Next Generation Gramicci, and the Greenicci all-organic/recycled collection. For more information, visit: www.gramicci.com.
Media Contacts: Outdoor trade and consumer mediaâ€”Beth Cochran, BC/OC-What's Up PR (406) 579-7909, firstname.lastname@example.org; general apparel, retail and business mediaâ€”Lisa Kreda, Parness & Associates (732) 290-0121, email@example.com
NOTE TO EDITORS: A high-resolution photo is available from What's Up PR or Parness & Associates.
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