After 50 years under the direction and ownership of its founder, Steve O’Meara, Kokatat has been purchased by the company’s Director of Operations Mark Loughmiller.

“Before joining Kokatat Mark was a local businessman, and I’m pleased to be entrusting the company that means so much to me and our employees into his hands,” said O’Meara.

Loughmiller joined Kokatat in 2013 after 12 years as the executive director of Arcata Community Recycling Center.

“Kokatat is not only a cornerstone brand in paddlesports but also in our community,” said Loughmiller. “Steve has created an amazing brand that will forever be tied to Arcata, and we look forward to building on this foundation for another 50 years and beyond.”

2021 marks the 50th anniversary of Kokatat. O’Meara started Kokatat, then Blue Puma, in 1971 to help get people out on the trails and waterways of Humboldt County.

Following the purchase, Loughmiller will become the company’s CEO and O’Meara will retain a minor stake in the company.

The terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Photos courtesy Kokatat/Mark Loughmiller