Moscow, Idaho’s Northwest River Supplies (NRS) is making moves with big internal developments including promotions in senior leadership, expansion of the product development team and growth of the national sales team. It’s also hired more women than ever before to leadership positions, promoting six internal female candidates to senior roles and hiring two women from outside the company for senior positions.
The moves are aimed at continuing the 50-year-old, 100-percent employee-owned company’s tradition of service to customers and community. “With the accelerating growth we have experienced in recent years, combined with an increasingly complex global business environment, we felt it was time to recalibrate our organization to ensure we can continue to deliver on our brand promise,” says Bryan Dingel, NRS CEO. “These changes will equip us to better serve our stakeholders, including our retail and outfitter partners, end consumers, and the larger outdoor community.”
NRS Re-Structures Senior Leadership
“We’re excited to expand the NRS family with promotions, new hires and the growth of our sales and product development teams,” says David Blue, NRS Chief Operating Officer. “NRS finds itself at a watershed moment as we enter 2022. We’re coming off two of the most challenging and successful years in company history, and we couldn’t be more excited about the team we’ve assembled to help us write the next chapter in the evolution of NRS.”
Blue, formerly NRS Chief Marketing Officer and a 23-year veteran of NRS, is one of eight internal candidates assigned to new roles in response to rapid growth. Blue has been tasked with coordinating across internal departments to improve operational effectiveness while overseeing sales and product development.
Mark Deming moved into Blue’s former role as NRS Chief Marketing Officer after 6 years as NRS Director of Marketing and 12 years in the company. Deming will now oversee global marketing, public affairs and customer experience. “As we enter our 50th year in business, we’re doubling down the values that brought us to where we are today. This next chapter will be about deepening our commitment to customers, community, and building the best possible product.”
After 27 years with the company, Todd Benson shifted from Chief Procurement Officer to Chief Planning Officer. In this newly created role, Benson has been tasked with managing purchasing, global logistics, and domestic manufacturing. “NRS was built on a commitment to service. We’re taking steps to modernize our operations to continue delivering on that promise with improved delivery and inventory management.”
Karen Woodard moved from Marketing Project Manager to Director of Art and Advertising. With more than ten years of experience in the NRS marketing department, Woodward will oversee global brand communications across print, digital and in-person touchpoints. “It’s been a rewarding experience to watch NRS grow, year after year, and I’m so proud to be a part of this company and its culture,” says Woodard.
After seven years as NRS Digital Content Manager, Ashley Peel moved into a new role as Director of Content and Media. “With all the new hires and physical expansion of NRS, the energy going into a new era for the brand is unlike anything of years prior, and I’m so excited to be working with such a talented team,” says Peel.
Shelby Wirkus moved from Assistant Customer Service Manager to a new position as Customer Experience Manager. Shelby will continue building on NRS’s long-standing reputation as an elite customer service provider while managing the Customer Experience and Customer Support (warranty service) departments, as well as the NRS flagship retail store. “The Customer Experience that NRS offers has changed the game for me, especially as a consumer myself. Our high standard of customer service is a reflection of our awesome team, and I’m stoked to continue the development of both,” says Wirkus.
Natalie Zamora assumed a new role as NRS Sales Operations Manager. Natalie began her career in the NRS warehouse in 2010 and has since gained experience in various positions including inside sales and, most recently, Northeast Commercial Accounts Manager. “I look forward to leading my own team of incredibly talented inside sales folks, as well as working with other departments to make NRS more efficient and better serve our customers,” says Zamora.
With more than 16 years experience in NRS warehouse operations, Kyle Brown will take the helm as NRS Shipping Manager. In this role, Kyle will manage outbound shipping from the NRS distribution center in Moscow, Idaho.
Mack Anderson will take on a new position as NRS Vendor Compliance Manager. A US Marine Corps veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and former river guide, Mack has proven himself a strong leader with a talent for navigating the complex shipping requirements of large national accounts during his career at NRS.
Expands Product Development Team
Danny Mongno has taken on a new role as Product Manager. Danny moved into this role after managing NRS’s Northeast wholesale accounts and serving as NRS Athlete Manager since 2017. “I started in this industry and started paddling when I was 16,” says Mongno. “I feel like my lifetime as a paddler shaped me for this role. I am humbled by both those that came before me and by the potential for what is in store.”
Mike Dolmage joined the product development team as Hardgoods Product Manager. Mike’s previous experience includes serving as Director of Product Development at Buck Knives. Mike is an avid fly fisherman and brings deep experience in hardgoods design and manufacturing. “I’m excited to be part of a talented and dedicated product team at NRS with a 50-year foundation as a leading gear provider,” says Dolmage. “I’m lucky to be surrounded by others that are just as passionate about outdoor gear as I am. There’s an excitement surrounding the vision and future for NRS products!”
Kirk Turner has been hired as Senior Industrial Designer. Kirk has spent the last decade working with both product design firms and with onsite product development teams. He joined NRS after three years as an in-house designer for Yakima Products, in Lake Oswego, Oregon. Kirk is an adventure athlete and passionate fly fisherman with a lifetime of experience in the outdoors. “I am a huge believer in hands-on prototyping and real-world testing. It’s great to join an enthusiastic and growing product development team that shares this belief. I look forward to helping with new innovation and teamwork for years to come,” says Turner.
Grows National Sales Team
Jim MacAllister has been promoted to Director of National Sales. With this change, he will leave his role as manager of the Northern Rockies wholesale territory. Before joining NRS in 2008, Jim worked as a professional fly fishing guide in Montana and Alaska and was general manager of the Crystal Creek Lodge in King Salmon, Alaska.”We have an incredibly talented and dedicated inhouse sales team here at NRS. I couldn’t be more excited to work with them to be the best possible partner we can for our dealer and outfitter customers,” says MacAllister.
Terry Feigenbutz will join MacAllister in leading the NRS sales team as Director of International Sales. Terry brings more than a decade of international sales experience to the job along with a passion for developing paddling communities around the globe. “Working with our dealer partners, commercial customers, and government accounts (along with an incredible sales and support team) around the world is a dream come true for me. I love being able to share my passion for the water with other people while supporting community building and conservation efforts on every continent,” says Feigenbutz.
Jean Nielsen, who previously served as NRS East Coast Account Manager, will take over management of the Northern Rockies wholesale territory. Before joining NRS in 2012, Jean worked on the sales team at Watershed Dry Bags.
Megan Kienenger, an avid paddler with deep ties in the paddle industry, will take over as NRS Wholesale Account Manager for the Southeast region after seven years in sales at Werner Paddles.
Cody Goss will take over management of the Northeast commercial sales territory for NRS. Cody assumes this role after eight years working on the NRS Inside Sales team and five years as a commercial river guide.
Priscilla Macy joins NRS as the West Coast Commercial Accounts Manager after serving as Executive Director of the Oregon Outfitter and Guide Association and sponsored paddler for Immersion Research. Priscilla’s previous experience includes conservation advocacy work with American Whitewater and the Outdoor Alliance as well as many years of river guiding and outdoor leadership.
Peter Erickson takes over the western Canada territory for the NRS sales team. Peter comes to NRS 20-plus years of outdoor professional experience, having previously worked as a paddlesports buyer in specialty retail and as Western Canada Sales Manager at Arc’teryx.