Jackson Ramps Up Factory for Big '08

Sunday, 26 August 2007
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Jackson Kayak Team Jackson Kayak, already a powerhouse on the river with more national and international freestyle competition titles over the past four years than all other whitewater teams combined, is setting its sights on earning the same reputation at the factory that produces the leading brand of whitewater kayaks.

"We want to be known as the powerhouse of quality and delivery," said Jackson Kayak founder, president and namesake Eric "EJ" Jackson. "Our two main goals for 2008 will be one-week turnarounds and achieving a level of quality never before seen in the paddlesports industry."

To achieve these ambitious goals, Jackson has added horsepower to the factory management team that has been under the helm of John Ratliff the past three years. Joining Ratliff will be Chief Financial Officer Dave Olson who will lead operations with a big helping hand from industry veteran John Shepherd, formerly of Wilderness Systems and co-creator of Confluence. Don Holden moved up from Atlanta, to take over duties as controller. Tony Lee, is adding rotomolding management to his duties as research and development manager.

Jackson admitted to concern over some production missteps earlier this year that led to some models of boats being sold out early in this summer's selling season and quality slippage during a massive ramp-up this spring. Not willing to repeat such problems, Jackson said he is confident the team he has created will help his company mitigate growing pains and stay ahead of the curve when it comes to quality and delivery, two issues that are so critical to both retailer success and end-user consumer satisfaction. With 2008 projected to be a major breakthrough year for Jackson Kayak, in both whitewater and recreational kayaks, the timing of the formation of this "dream team" could not have been better. Jackson also states that "most of our dealers are depending upon us in 2008 to be their primary supplier, this is a responsibility we don't take lightly. We have one shot at proving that partnering with Jackson Kayak is the most dependable and profitable way to go and we expect to maintain that trust."

Founded in 2004, family owned and operated Jackson Kayak is the leading manufacturer of whitewater kayaks. The company began producing recreation kayaks with the debut of the Day Tripper series in Spring 2007. For further information visit JacksonKayak.com and JacksonRec.com.

David Johnston

David Johnston

David Johnston has been introducing people to the sport of sea kayaking for the past 15 years. He is a senior instructor trainer with Paddle Canada and teaches for several paddling schools in Ontario, Canada. Full Bio.

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