Teva Mtn Games Founder to Work For…Teva!

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In one of the best paddlesports employment pairings PL can remember to date, Teva Mountain Games founder Joel Heath is packing his bags for Santa Barbara, Calif., to take a job as Teva’s global marketing director. While he’s likely to miss the powder days at Vail, Colo., the surf’s not too bad.

“Joel is the final piece of the pie,” says Teva Brand President Pete Worley. “The addition of Joel represents a huge step in the ongoing evolution of the Teva Brand. I expect great things from this team.”

Heath replaces former global marketing director Jill Ireland, who left this fall. Teva, a division of Deckers Outdoor Corporation NASDAQGS: DECK), has made four major changes to its senior staff within the past 10 months. Heath joins a team that includes Global Product Director, Juerg Geser (March ’08), Domestic Sales Vice President, Jake Brandman (September ’08), Product Development Director, Tony Macey (September ’08) and Business Manager, Nicole Peters.

“It is an honor to have the opportunity to come inside a brand I have admired for so long,” says Heath. “A new frontier for the outdoors is on the horizon and I am looking forward to an epic journey.”

In his new role, Heath will report directly to Worley, who calls him a a natural pick for Teva.

Most recently, heath was President/CEO and Founder of Vail’s Untraditional Marketing. During his 7 years there, Heath orchestrated all company efforts, including the creation and running of the Teva Mountain Games, where he worked closely with members of Teva’s Product and Marketing Teams. Prior to that, Heath worked with the Vail Valley Tourism and Convention Bureau, where he left the organization as Vice President of Visitor Services.

Earning a BS in Business Administration from the University of Redlands, Joel graduated as the number one student in the Business School.

Heath and his family will be relocating to Santa Barbara, CA and will begin working with Teva starting in mid-January 2009.

Special PL Q&A
PLWhat will you miss most about organizing the Teva Games?
HeathWorking with a wide variety of sponsors, athletes and media was my favorite part of the job. We were able to turn on a dime with any project that we wanted to get behind. This has been an incredible journey. Now I’m looking forward to being on the inside of major brand player helping to change the industry.

PLFavorite Teva Games moment?
HeathSitting at the back of the J5 concert watching all different types of athletes come together and really have a good time. This moment was the epitome of what we were trying to achieve…taking the crunch out of the outdoors and integrating the energy of multiple sports in one dynamic environment.

PLWhat do you think of paddling’s role in the Games?
HeathThe kayaking industry seems to be behind the curve in industry-wide leadership. There doesn’t seem to be one manufacturer or individual that is pushing the sport forward. I truly believe one passionate person could make a major change in what kayaking could be. The kayaking industry has to unite and push for a major world-wide platform that can put freestyle kayaking in the Olympics.

PLYou’ll be going from wearing a bunch of different hats at the Games to wearing one kind of shoe. What are you looking forward to most about joining Teva, and what are some of your plans?
HeathI’ve joined Teva to be a part of an effort to change the industry, not just sell shoes. We cannot be an old white man’s industry. We are building national parks that the next generation may not care about. We have to move the mountains to the people and not turn our nose up at an urban adventure experience. Adventure is relative…we need to embrace the masses.