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August 17, 2006

Who makes Jackson Kayak fly? I am a business owner who is successful because my team is running like a well tuned racing engine. Each member of the home team is responsible for more than the tasks their title suggests. They don’t ever say, “that is not my job”, but instead, it is “how can I help?”. Kristine’s mom does accounts receivable, payable, the accounting, banking, and accessories. She is 65 years old and her career is just blossoming. Get in between her and her job and you’ll see one New Yorker you’ll side step before it is too late. Goat has been shipping our kayaks to your dealers, and to random locations, one boat at a time for over two years and when I get to the factory and want to get the quick version of what’s up, I go back to where he is staging shipments, and anticipating boats that are still on the line but will ship that day. When I want to get to the real deal, where it all counts everyday, I go to the line, where our team of assemblers have been building your boats since 2004. We have some new faces, but we still have the original ones; and for that we are blessed. Built it like it is yours isn’t a slogan it is a way of life in that plant. Look at any cockpit rim trimming job on a Jackson Kayak and you’ll see a smooth, beautiful hand trimmed, hand shaped boat. What makes them so much better? Time, time, and more time, by trained, practiced, hard working, kayakers who don’t want you to cut yourself on their rim. Who is that sweet southern voice on the line when you call in? Carman Ratliff. Carman is to customer service what hot water is to coffee. She adds the service to the customer. Her husband John is my right hand man, the Chief of Operations. He is the team leader that everyone falls under, but he doesn’t have to run the plant like a classroom. People show up to work, do their job, and then some, bringing new projects to the table on their own, without having to be told to get to work.

I am very lucky to have this team of individuals that definitely fall under the “The Whole is greater than the sum of the parts.” Concept. There is no limit to what this team can do. They care like it was their own baby. I just hope that I can help them become all they want to be as part of this team, known as Team Jackson Kayak/ Home Team

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🙂 EJ