Glade Optics announced that Michael Barker has joined the company as head of product and sustainability, working directly with company founder Curt Nichols on planning and strategy.

Barker joins Glade after 17 years with legacy paddlesports brand NRS, where he spent the last eight years leading its product development process and spearheading its sustainability efforts as its first Sustainability Officer.

“Curt and I are excited to build a business that prioritizes a deep connection with the consumer,” said Barker. “From a product perspective, larger brands in our space have continually added distance and friction between themselves and the end-user of their products. Large scale operations and conglomerate shareholders create an environment that prioritizes and celebrates unsustainable growth … with messaging and products that are out of touch with the typical outdoor user’s experience.”

After three years at Topo Designs, the company also hired Drew Weingart to focus on customer happiness and creativity.

“Drew’s genuine attitude connects well with our customers and his creative mind has already been a boon for our marketing efforts in photography, graphic design and social media,” said Nichols.