Patagonia has hired Casey Sheahan, former Kelty President, as the company’s newest Product Line Director, responsible for Patagonia’s Fishing division as well as their paddling division, Lotus Designs. Bringing his vast experience in the outdoor industry to the table, Sheahan will work to bring both the Fishing line and Patagonia’s sister company, Lotus Designs, to full fruition. Sheahan begins his new role January 2005, and will work from his home base in Boulder, Colorado, with frequent trips to Patagonia’s headquarters in Ventura.

Sheahan, a long-time industry veteran, comes to Patagonia from his post as President of Kelty, Inc. He is aligned with several environmental organizations, serving as President of the Conservation Alliance, a non-profit organization of outdoor businesses whose membership dues support grassroots citizen-action groups and their efforts to protect wild and natural areas. Patagonia is a founding member company of the Conservation Alliance.

Over the years Sheahan has worked to combine both his passion for the outdoor industry and the natural environment, a goal he believes he accomplishes by joining Patagonia. “The outdoor industry has given so much to me in my career,” said Sheahan. “Working for Patagonia creates the opportunity for me to give back, especially to the environmental activists I’ve been able to support through my work with the Conservation Alliance.”

In addition to his diverse management background, Sheahan brings a breadth of skills in the fields of writing, marketing and sales. Sheahan has previously served as Vice-President of Marketing for Merrell Footwear, Category Marketing Manager at Nike ACG, and has edited for several outdoor-inspired publications including Powder Magazine and Runner’s World.

“We’re very pleased Casey has decided to join us at Patagonia,” said Julie Ringler, Patagonia’s VP of Product and Design. “His background in the outdoor industry, his leadership skills, and his passion for the environment will contribute greatly to not only the success of these lines, but also Patagonia’s success overall; we’re looking forward to having him on board.”

Sheahan, a lifelong paddling and fly-fishing enthusiast, cites a personal affinity for water-related activities, as well as skiing, backpacking, and spending time with his family. “My passion for years has been about getting out on the water, or in to the mountains, ” says Sheahan. “It’s just another reason I’m so excited about this opportunity; it’s a great match.”

Patagonia, with sales last year of $230M, is noted internationally for its commitment to product quality and environmental activism. Its Environmental Grants Program has contributed over $20M to grassroots environmental activists since the program began in 1985, and its Environmental Internship Program allows employees to work for environmental groups while receiving their full paycheck. Incorporating environmental responsibility in to product development, the company has, since 1996, used only organically-grown cotton in its clothing line, and is noted world-wide for using recycled soda bottles in many of its polyester fleece garments. Known for a unique corporate culture, the company has been recognized for many years by Working Mother magazine as one of the “100 Best Companies for Working Mothers,” and is a regular recipient of recognition by Fortune and Human Resources Management magazine as one of the “100 Best Companies to Work for in America, ” most recently noted as 14th in the listing of the Top 25 Medium-sized Companies.