Yakima has been renamed Yakima Products, the end result of the announcement that the holding company that owns Yakima (Arcapita) has sold the WaterMark boat division to Confluence Holdings Corp. Though Yakima will now focus its energies completely on the Yakima business, the company will use the existing Watermark trade name through a transition period ending August 31, 2005 to facilitate the handoff of essential business functions to Confluence. Jim Clark, formerly CEO of WaterMark, will assume the title of CEO of Yakima Products, effective immediately.
“Today marks the next phase of growth for Yakima,” said Clark. “With a new management team in place, a state-of-the-art facility, and a clear focus on advancing our products and customer service, we are well-equipped to take the company forward. We plan to utilize our enhanced sales, marketing and product design expertise to engineer superior products that provide an ever-expanding range of gear solutions that seamlessly connect people with their outdoor pursuits.”
Yakima recently hired three executives who bring over 50 years of industry and design experience to the company: Amy Buckalter, senior vice president of global sales and marketing, Steve Rodden, vice president of product development, and Chris Bogue, director of sales for the western region. Veteran sales director Doug Ragan will continue to manage sales in the eastern region. Yakima also recently hired two other senior executives in finance and human resources, which rounds out the leadership team.
“We have a powerful stable of talented, creative thinkers who also understand the importance of strong execution,” said Buckalter. “We are committed to providing continuous leadership to our retail partners through the development of distinctive product lines with a clear point of difference focused on providing not only effective, but imaginative, customer solutions.”
The company will launch a range of new products for Spring 06 at Outdoor Retailer Summer Market, the outdoor industrys largest trade show, this August in Salt Lake City. On the marketing front, Yakima is retooling several important customer touch points, including its website and catalog for Spring 06.
“Retailers and consumers will quickly see the benefits of these recent changes to a brand that already commands strong consumer passion,” continued Clark. “We will take great care to protect its authentic heritage and legacy of innovation, while taking it to the next level. With great new products and a service model that directly supports the changing needs of our retailers and consumers, Yakima and its retailers are poised for an exciting and successful future.”