The season-opener for this year’s IDEA Talks will highlight the journey of taking a business concept from Main Street to main stream. Entrepreneur, business leader, and national outdoor industry advocate Mike Wallenfels will share his story and experiences.
Mike first worked in Outdoor retail while attending San Diego State University. That retail experience grew into a 30+ year career in the Outdoor Industry. Mike co-founded Mountain Hardwear, which was eventually purchased by Columbia Sportswear. He served for 10 years on the Board of Directors of the Outdoor Industry Association, advocating for business and recreation related issues. Mike left Mountain Hardwear to work with private equity firm VMG as CEO of Timbuk2 Designs in San Francisco until planned successful exit from investment partner. From there he created Outdoor Pursuits Consulting where he advised private equity, venture funds, and companies on strategy, sales, and branding in the Outdoor, Pet, and Consumer Electronics markets. Mike moved to Bend in 2015 as VP of Global Sales for Hydro Flask and has served as President of the Oregon Outdoor Alliance (OOA) board of directors. Mike is now SVP Global Sales for Helen of Troy’s Home & Outdoor division overseeing sales teams across Hydro Flask, OXO, and Osprey brands with teams in US, Canada, Europe, and Asia.
“Mike’s familiarity with taking ideas from small test markets, like our Farmer’s Market, clear to a global scope is unique and I hope that folks will enjoy hearing about that process,” commented Kat Rutledge, Klamath IDEA Director.
The Talk will coincide with the Oregon Main Street Conference, which is being hosted locally by the Klamath Falls Downtown Association, one of Klamath IDEA’s partners! IDEA Talk attendees will be both local entrepreneurs but also conference goers who are active in revitalizing their own Main Streets.
The event will be held at the Ross Ragland Theater on October 6th from 5:15-7:15 pm. Heavy hors d’oeuvres will be served and a no host bar will be available. Food and one non-alcoholic drink ticket is included in the $25 per person price. OMS Conference goers are covered by their registration fee. Doors open at 5:15 p.m. for networking and the Talk will start at 6:00 p.m. Tickets can be purchased in advance at www.KlamathIDEA.org on the calendar page.
The 2022 IDEA Talks season has been generously supported by the Klamath Community College Small Business Development Center, the City of Klamath Falls, Klamath County, the Oregon Community Foundation’s Thriving Entrepreneur’s Program, the Ford Family Foundation’s Growing Rural Oregon program, and through Oregon State Lottery Funds administered by OBDD.