Rage Fitness announced that the rapidly expanding fitness equipment company has tapped industry veteran Douglas Kelly to lead the organization as CEO. The company also owns Gibson Athletic.
Kelly has an distinguished track record in sporting goods business, staring his career with Converse and, at the age of 33, becoming the CEO of Easton Sports and Mizuno Sports. After 14 years with the Easton brand, Kelly went on to become the President and COO of Pro Player Licensed Apparel. Under his leadership, the company grew to over 10,000 retail accounts generating over $270 million in revenue and securing license deals with the NBA, NFL, NHL, MLB and CLC. In 2000, he was recruited by the Blackstone Group and Chase to become CEO of Imperial Home Décor Group, a company in Chapter 11 at the time. He managed the turnaround and brought the company out in just 11 months. Kelly was then recruited to be CEO of Russell Athletic/Spalding generating over $680 million in revenue.
At Gibson, Doug is focused on the opportunities in front of the young company, hoping to develop stronger partnerships with key retail partners.
“We’re at a place in our evolution where Doug’s experience and leadership will help us scale our business and integrate processes that will continue sustainable growth,” said Brian Smith, owner and president of Gibson Athletic. “Doug is the right guy at the right time to steer the ship, and we’re excited that he has joined our team.”
Brian Smith, and his wife, Tamara Smith, have served multiple roles at the company since they purchased it in 2008. Tamara Smith, as an owner and CFO, handles all financial aspects of the company. Brian Smith, owner and president, will focus on new product development, sourcing and international strategies that are instrumental for the company’s planned growth.
Helping Kelly execute are a number of new professionals who have also joined the company in recent weeks. Tony Klocke, the company’s new director of operations, brings a wealth of inventory management, supply chain, warehouse and production experience and product testing and development from his previous positions at Communications Testing Design Incorporated, Imperial Headwear and Crocs.
Ed Kane is the new brand manager for Rage Fitness, responsible for overseeing and managing all aspects of the Rage Fitness brand. Ed most recently developed product lines at The Coleman Company that generated more than $95 million in annual sales.
The new key accounts sales manager, most recently with Garb and Imperial Headwear, is Katie Dougherty. Across the company, she will manage key retail accounts.
The customer service team is also expanding with the addition of Leticia Villalpando, a former professional soccer player and personal trainer. Administratively, Sandy Long, formerly with Sherwin Williams/Comex Group and USA/Kwal Paint has joined the organization as the executive administrative assistant.
“I’m excited to work with this incredible team and make a number of key changes quickly to get 2015 off to an energizing start” said Doug Kelly, CEO. “Internally, we’re restructuring to put talent in the right seats and we’re bringing in key resources to focus on expansion. If you weren’t familiar with our products or brands before now, you will be shortly.”
From within the existing ranks at the company, Rich Alvarado has been promoted to sales manager for the Performance and Affiliate division. LaRae Marsik, in addition to her role as director of marketing and brand strategy for the overall enterprise, will lead the Moving Mountains brand management and development in the therapeutic equipment space. On the operations team, Todd Halderman has been promoted to director of sourcing and OEM and Ryan Bailey has taken on the role of inventory manager.
“We have a great and growing team, and momentum is on our side,” added Brian Smith, owner and president. “We have a great group of brands and retail partners and we’re looking forward to an exciting future.”
Recognized by Inc. Magazine as one of the 500/5000 fastest growing privately held companies in the United States, Gibson Athletic and Rage Fitness provide high quality functional fitness and gymnastics equipment and accessories to retailers, gyms, clubs, dealers and consumers all around the world from the company’s headquarters in Denver, CO.
The most prominent brand in the portfolio, Rage Fitness, is a leading creator and distributor of functional fitness equipment. Gibson has been providing inspiring equipment for gymnastics, dance and fitness studios since 1974, celebrating its 40th Anniversary this year. Mainly distributed through dealers, gyms and online channels, Gibson is actively expanding its account base and retail presence as gymnastics movements and equipment are increasingly being integrated into broader fitness trends.
Moving Mountains is a therapeutic equipment line, serving clinics, centers, families and clients working on sensory processing, balance and core body movements. Moving Mountains is expanding its account base, currently available online and via Amazon.com.