Why am I still at evo? This is an easy one. I'm here because I love the people. "The people" include everyone that works at evo, our customers, people we do business with and anyone/everyone else that we come into contact with through this great job. Of course building a world-class company with a collective vision to do things differently is all part of it but in the end, it all boils down to the people. If it weren't for working with and connecting with great people, forget it. For more insight into why I'm here and why I believe almost everyone at evo is here, check out "The Great 8".
Spare Time? Is that a trick question? I've really enjoyed a year of being a Big Brother and I just found out that my wife and I are having a baby! Will that cut into my spare time? We can't wait.
How did you come to work at evo? My uncle Jack took me downhill skiing at Mt. Ashland in Oregon for my first time when I was in the 4th grade. He was generous to have bought me a lift ticket and rent me some skis. I got hooked and needed to figure out how to pay for it and the rest is history. "evo" as we know it today wasn't founded until 2001 but I was buying and selling gear to pay for my passion since grade school.
Politcal affiliation? We need to focus on education and the under-privileged which for me leads to an obvious choice.
Favorite Place to shred? Alpental, Switzerland, Chile, Argentina, Japan, Haines, Alaska, biking in Squamish, Kiting down the street at Golden Gardens Park...the list goes on and on.
Why the Northwest? Why Seattle? My wife and I just enjoyed sunset and the Olympic Mountains after having spent the weekend with my family in Bend, Oregon. The healthy balance that you can achieve here in the Northwest is unique for so many reasons. Seattle has incredible skiing 45 minutes from downtown, mountains and bodies of water in every direction and forward thinking, friendly people that value a healthy lifestyle make this place tough to beat. Close 2nd's include Vancouver and Squamish, BC, San Fran and Portland but Seattle is the spot for me. I really can't imagine homebase being anywhere else.
Anything new at evo that's especially exciting? We just opened our new flagship store and we are really excited about. No question it sets the stage for the future of evo given all of the opportunity when it comes to working hard to create extraordinary experiences. Also, adding evoTRIP back into to our mix last year was a really cool addition. I love being able to create and share experiences with existing friends and new people while working with others to come up with super uniqe trips. It's a small addition now but something that we see growing over the years. Travel is a natural extension of our existing offering and it's especially close to my heart because it says a lot about our brand and values as a company. Skiing, snowboarding, surfing and being active in general while enjoying new cultures, exploring new parts of the world and doing all of this with great people...I mean c'mon. That's about as good as it gets isn't it?
Much more TBA soon!
Ski or Snowboard? Yes! I do however need to step up my SB game this season. Can't wait.
What other companies/brands are killing it right now? There are a lot of great companies and I'm always intrigued by great brands new and old as well as the people that are behind them. Off the top, I get most excited about companies that have been successful in making their companies synonymous with a cause. Patagonia is the clear leader when it comes to sending a strong message about what the brand stands for. As a brand and from a product perspective, Apple (easy answer, I know) is incredible. Nike is the gorilla but for a reason. They are really, really good. Retailers that I have a lot of respect for include Eurosport (www.soccer.com). They own soccer in the US and after meeting the founders, I really respect how they run their business. The Lizard Lounge in Portland Oregon has really strong visual merchandisers and merchants and again, they are consistent in getting behind causes that they believe in.
Words for Christine Christine Koller is not only responsible for much of what evo is today but she has also been a very, very close friend since we started working together back in 2005. Christine helped shape our brand and really carried the torch when it came to understanding what we were all about. She shared that with all at evo and all that she came into contact with. I spent more time with Christine than anyone when we first opened the store and launched the new site. She's someone that I've always trusted and cared for not only in the evo sitting but as a good friend. All that know Christine know how strong of a person she was. Her sense of style, understanding of people and love for being a great leader, beautiful smile, hilarious sense of humor, intense work ethic, care for others, crazy-sharp intellect and grounded sense when it came to being a great friend and partner to Michael all make her a person that I love and will never forget. She is already missed deeply by all of us and I don't think we've even started to understand what a profound effect her passing will have on all of us.
What gear are you rocking this year? There's a lot of amazing gear out right now. This year I'll be on K2 Sideseth skis, Pontoons and some K2 Backdrops. Depending on the ski I'll be on Marker Bindings (Jesters and Dukes) and I'll be touring on Dynafit Radical bindings with Titan boots. I'm in all Patagonia outerwear and layers which are unreal, Smith goggles, a Bern helmet and added an ABS pack this year. I'm also really loving Hestra gloves and am riding the three finger Seth glove this year. I'm sure I missed some gear as it's endless but I'm definitely excited for all of the new product.