Roark hired active lifestyle industry veteran Jason Steris as CEO to help the brand grow as an omnichannel business in men’s, women’s and performance Run/Active divisions.
Steris will work with company Founder and Chief Brand Officer Ryan Hitzel, who will focus on the brand, creative, product design, and marketing.
“Simply put, there’s no one I would trust more than Jason as our CEO,” said Hitzel. “I’ve known him since he was my boss at the surf shop 30 years ago and have had the opportunity to watch him achieve great things in his career through hard work, intuition, intelligence, consistent values, and authenticity. I’ve always admired these qualities and can’t wait to see him apply them to Roark, along with his extensive knowledge base.”
The company said in a release that “Steris’s experience as an apparel brand leader and operator provides Roark with a strong base as the company enters a new growth stage.”
“I am thrilled to be joining forces with the talented Roark team that has built a premium brand with a solid foundation,” said Steris. “While the industry continues to evolve, the attraction of the surf and adventure lifestyle is undeniable, and I am privileged to return to my roots and reconnect with this community of specialty retailers and creative brands.”
Steris joined action sports brand Volcom in its early years and spent 23 years at the brand, holding various positions from national sales manager to COO, president and CEO. From there, he was the CEO at the motocross and mountain bike gear brand Troy Lee Designs.
“There are so many reasons to be excited about Jason joining the team. The partnership will allow me to focus on what I love—leading the brand, design, marketing, and creative, while he leads the business and operations,” concluded Hitzel. Jason’s experience running mid-size and large omni-channel companies gives him a great vantage point to help Roark continue to develop its wholesale, ECOM, and company-owned retail while enhancing the premium product offering across divisions.
Steris starts his role as CEO on December 4, 2023, reporting to Roark’s Board of Directors.
Photos courtesy Roark