Maurice Brenninkmeijer, who spent the last eight years building up the Outdoor Research brand in Europe, has been appointed as sales manager for central Europe at Cascade Designs, the holding company for brands including Therm-a-Rest, MSR, Platypus, SealLine and PackTowl.
Brenninkmeijer is taking over from Bruno Drews, who has been with the company for many years and is retiring this week. Drews was one of two managers supervising sales agents and distributors for the brands owned by Cascade Designs in Europe. The split has been slightly reshuffled with the appointment of Brennikmeijer, who focuses on central and eastern Europe. He is reporting to James Cotter, managing director for Cascade Designs in Europe.
Brenninkmeijer has been European sales manager at Outdoor Research for about eight years. However, the U.S. brand's European set-up changed in 2015 when Outdoor Research issued a European license to Scott Sports. Brenninkmeijer continued to supervise sales for Outdoor Research under Scott Sports, and the brand's distribution was taken over by Scott Sports in the European countries where the Swiss company has its subsidiaries.
Brenninkmeijer switched Cascade Designs just as it was going through a managerial transition, with the appointment of Jerry Heinlen as chief executive. Heinlen has worked in the outdoor industry for more than three decades, in marketing as well as lean manufacturing, supply chain management and sales. He was most recently chief executive of SOG Knives and Tools, chief executive at Yakima Products and chief operating officer at Waterloo Industries. The chief executive at SOG Knives and Tools since October 2016 is Joe McSwiney, previously president and chief executive of Cascade Designs for about ten years. Heinlen also serves on the boards of Sylvan Sport and Frontier Packagings. Earlier this year the group changed its chief financial officer, with the appointment of Steve McClure in January, previously an executive in a consulting firm as well as a mountaineer and climbing instructor.
All of this is taking place in the wider framework of a generational handover, as the company announced earlier this month that David Burroughs had been appointed as chairman of Cascade Designs' board. Previously president at Cascade Designs, Burroughs took over the chairmanship from his father, the 82 year-old John Burroughs, a former electrical engineer at Boeing who co-founded the company 46 years ago. It started in 1972 with Therm-A-Rest, with the aim of making sleeping outdoors more comfortable, and went on to acquire a smattering of other brands. Most of the family-owned company's products are still made at its own manufacturing facilities near Seattle or at its Irish plant, in Cork, for the European market.
David Burroughs has already been with the company for 14 years. He joined the board of directors in 2004 and became president two years later. John Burroughs will continue to hold shares in Cascade Designs and he remains a board member.
Earlier this year Cascade Designs appointed John Twomey as European sales and marketing manager. Twomey previously worked in several companies selling consumer products, ranging from Adidas to a dairy company.