Thursday, May 1, 2008

New Business Group Focuses on Streamlining Customer Service and Communication and Growing Environmental Initiatives

BEAVERTON, ORE. (May 1, 2008) – Yakima, an innovator in vehicle rack solutions for boats, bikes, winter sports gear, and cargo options, today named Mike Steck, formerly senior marketing director, to the new position of senior director for customer marketing and sustainability. In this expanded role, Steck will lead the newly-formed customer marketing group and champion Yakima’s company-wide sustainability initiatives, further cementing the brand’s commitment to continuously improving its customer and consumer relations and reducing its impact on the environment.

“Mike is an asset to our brand and a key leader in developing strategies that will take us to the next level of consumer marketing, customer service and conservation,” said Jerry Heinlen, CEO of Yakima. “He has been a key contributor to Yakima’s recent business optimizations and is at the center of our sustainability programs, the results of which are evident in the way we do business today. He is the right person, leading a terrific team.”

Yakima has already been focused on developing long-term business strategies in its marketing and customer service departments and minimizing its impact on the environment. To date, Yakima: opened a west coast distribution center in Riverside, Calif. in 2007 resulting in reduced delivery times; launched Planet Payback, a company-wide program reducing waste and supporting renewable energy; installed a 24/7 online customer service tool, “Right Now”, for around-the-clock customer help; implemented a retailer website providing greater accessibility to check inventory, place orders and track order status; and established its first U.S. distributor relationship with Quality Bicycle Products of Minnesota, providing greater order flexibility and enhanced service for Yakima’s independent bike retailers.

“I look forward to working in the areas that I am very passionate about,” said Steck. “When people do business with us, I want it to be ‘sweet and easy’. When our customers and consumers think of Yakima, I don’t want there to be any doubt that the environment is top of mind. Our team is already hard at work.”

About Yakima 
Yakima is a world leader in the design and manufacture of destination hardware and gear management solutions.  Yakima’s products include: vehicle racks for bikes, boats, ski equipment and gear; and a line of cargo boxes and bags for a variety of needs. Yakima Products is headquartered in Beaverton, Oregon.  For more information, visit  www.yakima.com.


Mike Steck Promotion Announcement