Mark Satkiewicz, an industry veteran who formerly led SmartWool and was most recently a Co-Founder and race director at SBT GRVL, the popular Colorado gravel race, has passed away.
His passing was confirmed by a message from SBT GRVL: “It is with overwhelming sadness that we share the news of Mark Satkiewicz’s passing. Mark died of a cardiac incident while on a ride yesterday. Mark was an incredible husband, father and friend, and we are shocked and extremely saddened by the sudden loss of this beloved member of the gravel community.
“We are immensely grateful for Mark’s vision for SBT GRVL – to create an inclusive community experience. His vision and leadership were instrumental in the event’s continued success.
“His passion and drive to grow the sport of cycling will be missed everyday.
“Our hearts are with his family during this very difficult time.”
Satkiewicz spent ten years at Smartwool, joining the brand as vice president of sales in 2006 and promoted to president in 2009. He joined shortly after Timberland purchased the merino wool sock and apparel company and continued in the role of president after VF Corp bought Timberland in 2011.
Prior to Smartwool, he spent 11 years at Nike, rising to footwear sales manager for the U.S. footwear organization. In August 2016, he left SmartWool to become general manager of the Americas at Toms and left after 11 months.
In 2018, he co-founded SBT GRVL, the gravel event in Steamboat Springs, CO, along with Amy Parity and Ken Benesh. This year’s August event has been canceled and is being reimagined as a virtual event.
Satkiewicz was also an advisory board member at Thousand, the bike helmet start-up based in Los Angeles and had previously served as a board member of the Outdoor Industry Association and SOS Outreach.
Mark Satkiewicz posed with his teammates before a Smartwool Ride to Outdoor Retailer in 2017. Photo courtesy Ben Fullerton