Yakima Creates New Customer Marketing and Sustainability Team - SNEWS

Yakima Creates New Customer Marketing and Sustainability Team

Company Veteran Mike Steck to Lead New Business Group Focuses on “Sweet and Easy” Customer Experience and Growing Environmental Initiatives
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BEAVERTON, ORE. (May 1, 2008) – Yakima, an innovator in vehicle rack solutions for boats, bikes, winter sports gear, and cargo options, today named Mike Steck, formerly senior marketing director, to the new position of senior director for customer marketing and sustainability. In this expanded role, Steck will lead the new team and champion Yakima's company-wide sustainability initiatives. The group will focus on aligning sales, marketing, customer service and sustainability under one functional area. The new group will report to Ron Ten Berge, vice president of sales and business development.



“The formation of our Customer Marketing and Sustainability team strengthens our support for customers, making doing business with Yakima easier than ever,” said Jerry Heinlen, CEO of Yakima. “Combining marketing, customer service and sustainability under a single leader will help us deliver a consistent and focused message to the marketplace as we execute a powerful array of initiatives that are driving growth, business improvement, and conservation efforts.”



Yakima has already been focused on developing long-term business strategies in its marketing and customer service departments and minimizing its impact on the environment. To date, Yakima: opened a west coast distribution center in Riverside, Calif. in 2007 resulting in reduced delivery times; launched Planet Payback, a company-wide program reducing waste and supporting renewable energy; installed a 24/7 online customer service tool, “Right Now”, for around-the-clock customer help; implemented a retailer website providing greater accessibility to check inventory, place orders and track order status; and established its first U.S. distributor relationship with Quality Bicycle Products of Minnesota, providing greater order flexibility and enhanced service for Yakima's independent bike retailers.



“Mike is an asset to our brand and a key leader in developing strategies that will take us to the next level of consumer marketing, customer service and conservation,” said Ron Ten Berge, vice president of sales and business development for Yakima. “He has been a key contributor to Yakima's recent business optimizations and is at the center of our sustainability programs, the results of which are evident in the way we do business today. He is the right person, leading a terrific team.”



About Yakima

Yakima is a world leader in the design and manufacture of destination hardware and gear management solutions. Yakima's products include: vehicle racks for bikes, boats, ski equipment and gear; and a line of cargo boxes and bags for a variety of needs. Yakima Products is headquartered in Beaverton, Oregon. For more information, visit www.yakima.com.



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