Mountainsmith President Jay Getzel has left the company to join Nite Ize Inc. as director of its outdoor/pet/toy division.

Getzel, who brings more than 19 years of outdoor industry experience, will oversee current vertical retail channels and develop new relationships in support of Nite Ize’s expansion into the travel category. In addition, Getzel will be charged with extending the reach of Nite Ize products designed to enhance outdoor adventures and solve everyday challenges.

“This year, we will celebrate our 30-year business milestone and move into the travel category,” said Rick Case, founder and CEO of Nite Ize. “Jay’s breadth of sales, marketing and leadership experience will support our strides forward.”

Since moving to Colorado two decades ago, Getzel has worked for such outdoor and active lifestyle brands as Camp USA, Kelty, Smartwool and Timberland. He joined Golden, CO-based backpack brand Mountainsmith in 2008 as its national sales manager. He later was named director of sales and marketing and in 2013 was promoted to president.

Getzel started the job last week and hit the ground running by joining his new company in Las Vegas, NV, to work the CES show.

“Nite Ize’s energy is infectious and its product innovation is stellar,” Getzel said. “I’m incredibly fortunate to have this opportunity to combine my love of the outdoors and passion for great products alongside a known industry innovator. Look out for big things from Nite Ize in 2019. I am excited to dig in.”

SGB featured Getzel last year for an SGB Executive Q&A. In a wide-ranging interview, he spoke of helping Mountainsmith adapt to the new marketplace while also remaining true to its roots. The brand is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year.

Among the nuggets he shared with SGB for the interview was how Mountainsmith has been working to balance the development of products for its core consumers while also targeting new segments.

“Mountainsmith was founded in the backcountry, and that’s where we still expect our customers to go play, but certainly there are front country applications for our brand and front country applications for some of our gear,” he told SGB. “While our product is applicable to even the ‘Let’s get to one mile in the scenic overlook, take our Instagram shot and turn around’ person, the DNA of this brand is certainly that grittier ‘I’ve got some duct tape on my ski pants and I’m pounding a PBR in the parking lot’ person.”

Getzel, whose replacement at Mountainsmith has not been announced, lives in Erie, CO, with his wife, Julie, and two children. A devotee of the outdoors, Getzel is an avid mountain biker and loves hiking and fly fishing.

Photo courtesy Mountainsmith