That’s a wrap!
I’m not just talking about the colorful @GearAidVan #makeoutsideyours parked out front of their Global Headquarters. I’m talking about our kickoff event- Alliance Industry Tour: Gear Aid in Bellingham that just went down on Tuesday. Gear Aid is one of the founding members of the new Washington Outdoor Business Alliance and our gracious hosts for this behind the scenes tour of their business based in Bellingham, WA.
GEAR AID: We believe in preserving outdoor gear: Repair. Renew. Reuse. Want more info? Click and read- About GEAR AID . Or just sit back and watch this:
Cheriss Faiola, GEAR AID – Marketing & PR Manager, kicks off the presentation and welcomes the group to their headquarters. We were rewarded with a visually compelling story of “who they are and what they do”. It’s a great mom & pop start up to global business story that they have to share.
Next, Clark Campbell, GEAR AID – President, gives more insight into the business behind the scenes, explaining how the market forces driving gear repair propel their business. Gear Aid are THE leading experts when it comes to REPAIR, RENEW and REUSE.
Clark passed the mic to Brian Roche, GEAR AID Product Manager ‑ Adhesives /
David Romoser, GEAR AID – Production Engineer, started as an intern from Western Washington University. David delivered as a student, so Gear Aid brought him on after graduation. But you had to be there to hear Clark tell the story- it got some laughs!
David speaks about GEAR AID’s commitment to lean manufacturing, creating efficiencies for transferring the liquids into the Gear Aid packaging. It was described as being “like a brewery” as if Bellingham doesn’t have enough already!
After the Tour, we reconvened in the GEAR AID meeting space for our CHIME IN session. We circled up and shared what we are excited about, working on and looking for help throughout the industry. It’s about making connections and deepening relationships. Our group included small manufactures Trail Boss and PNW Bushcraft to representation from the big guns of REI, Inc, Superfeet, SMC Manufacturing and Eddyline Kayaks- one of the three 2019 Great Outdoors Awards Winners present in the room!
“My husband I got to go on a tour at Gear Aid in Bellingham and it was awesome. The event was organized by Recreation Northwest and was a wonderful event where we got to meet lots of people in the local outdoor community.” Heather, PNW Bushcraft on Facebook.
Speaking below on the right is Kristi Kucera, Moondance Sea Kayak Adventures, announcing her season coming to a close after a successful season on the water. Kristi also serves as the Vice President of our organization.
Also present (put not visible) were Award Winners Prime Sports Institute founders Kerry and Erica & WMBC President, Bill Hasenjaeger as part of our Community Collaboration Award. Gina Stark, with the Port of Bellingham’s Economic Development Team was in the house as one of the Washington Outdoor Business Alliance Founding Members. We are proud to have the representation from Gina and the Port as we launch this new program.
You can listen to an interview with Gina, Clark, Bill and yours truly on KGMI: The Whatcom Report, September 8th: What Makes Recreation Tick?
Thanks to our hosts, GEAR AID, we were able to kickoff our our new initiative to to connect, protect and grow the outdoor recreation ecosystem in Washington State. We serve as the collective eyes & ears, heart, mind and voice. We’ve been working in this space and are proud to formalize our Alliance. This is just the start!
“I wanted to reach out to say thank you for all the effort put forth to make the Alliance Gatherings happen. As you said last night, it was really cool to have so many important brands in the same room. All your hard work is really starting to gain traction, enthusiasm, and meaning.” Sean Fields, Vice President – Brand, Gear Aid
Founding Alliance Members (so far)
Government Land Managers
Port of Bellingham
To borrow the words of the national Outdoor Industry Association:
Together We are a Force
Todd Elsworth is one of the many “Mossy-haired lunatics roaming the dripping peninsulas”, described in “I’m Here for the Weather” by Tom Robbins. As executive director, he works to fulfill our mission to teach the health benefits of nature, promote outdoor recreation, and steward the places where we play.