May 20, 2011
This post is part of a series that spotlights Adventure Cycling's corporate supporters. These companies support our mission and programs and do some cool stuff of their own. We decided to ask them some questions and, as a result, have learned a few interesting things about our supporters that we'd like to share with you. The answers below are direct from the companies. We hope that this gives you the chance to get to know them a little better, too.
Osprey Packs, a gold-level member, is one of our newest corporate members, joining just after New Year's. (Check out their current "Where's Your Adventure?" Photo Contest for a chance to win a Raptor 6 pack and a free Adventure Cycling membership.) Jeff Fox, marketing manager, took time to answer some of our questions and tell us more about their company.
Adventure Cycling: Tell us a little bit about your company.
Jeff: Since Osprey was founded in 1974, every single product design bearing the Osprey name has passed through the hands of owner and founder Mike Pfotenhauer, undergoing relentless scrutiny. From stitching the first lines of custom-fitted packs, to meticulously designing innovative products with intuitive features, to forging personal relationships with the sewing operators who construct the packs, Mike has been the unbreakable thread that makes Osprey a company like no other.
Our mission is to create innovative high-performance gear that reflects our love of adventure and our devotion to the outdoors. We succeed when we meet the demanding expectation of our most discerning customers and they are proud to use our packs.
Adventure Cycling: Talk about what services or products you provide for bicycle tourists.
Jeff: Osprey currently provides bicycle tourists with a line of cycling packs that are designed to provide a super comfortable fit and convenient organization of gear. Products range from small race-oriented hydration packs to large-capacity touring packs and daily bicycle commuter packs.
Adventure Cycling: Why do you support Adventure Cycling through corporate membership?
Jeff: Osprey has a tradition of strongly supporting organizations that we believe match our core values. The Adventure Cycling Association does a great job advocating for bicycle routes as well as fueling the excitement for people to get on their bikes and ride. We believe in cycling as a viable source of transportation for many reasons, including personal health, environmental protection, and just plain fun. Adventure Cycling membership is a great avenue for Osprey to convey these beliefs and back them up with financial support. Adventure Cyclist magazine also provides a vehicle to introduce cyclists to Osprey products that they may not be familiar with.
Adventure Cycling: What are your five favorite cycling-related things right now?
Adventure Cycling: Where would you like to see cycling in America be in five years?
Jeff: Maps! I am a map junkie and can study them for hours. Having great maps and route descriptions are a motivation to get out and ride. This eliminates any excuse of not knowing where to ride.
Adventure Cycling: Have any of your staff ridden Adventure Cycling’s mapped routes? Which ones?
Jeff: Osprey has team members that have ridden the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route, the Great Park South Route, and the Northern Tier.
Adventure Cycling: As your company grows, have you had mainly tailwinds, headwinds, or crosswinds? Please explain.
Jeff: Osprey has grown very rapidly in the last 10 to 15 years, with a strong tailwind helping us along. There have definitely been the occasional gusts of headwind and crosswind, but we have been able to keep the pedals turning through them and progress in a forward motion. Some of the tailwinds have been luck, but most were created through a great team, great planning, hard work, and excellent product design backed up by an unwavering commitment to our customers.
Adventure Cycling: What cycling-related benefits do you offer your staff?
Jeff: We offer several benefits for staff, including:
“Sustainable Transportation Incentives” – money for each trip to or from work done via bike
"Bike to Work Commuter Pledge” – team members make occasional pledges to ride to/from work a certain number of days in a designated period. Everyone that fulfills their pledge gets entered into drawings for super-great prizes donated by industry friends. We have had prizes as great as complete bikes and a guided tour for eight people.
Bike parking and two showers for commuters or lunchtime riders
“Pro Deals” on bikes and accessories and free employee demos of Osprey cycling packs
Paid “outings day” to participate in a biking (or other) activity. Last year we rode the Monarch Crest Trail as a group. This year I will be leading our team on a bikepacking trip on the Colorado Trail.
Adventure Cycling:Is there anything else about your company that you really want to share with our readers?
Jeff: To celebrate its 35th anniversary in 2009, Osprey launched the All Mighty Guarantee, an enhancement of a lifetime warranty that was already one of the most robust in the industry. Free of charge, the company will repair any damage or defect in its product – whether it was purchased in 1974 or yesterday. If Osprey is unable to repair the item, it will happily replace it. The All Mighty Guarantee: any product, any reason, any era.
Mike isn’t the only one ensuring that every product meets the exacting standards worthy of this lifetime guarantee. Hired in 1990 as one of the original Navajo sewers, Marilyn Jones has had a hand in creating Osprey packs for 20 years. She is now responsible for all pack repairs. “Sometimes a pack comes in and I’ll recognize it,” Marilyn says. “I see how it’s held up over the years, and what adventures it’s been through. Then, I make sure it goes even further.”
Mike says his innovative designs and commitment to top-notch manufacturing shows in every product, even, or especially, decades later. “Osprey is, in large part, about exceptional relationships,” he says. “Between the pack and its wearer. The pack and its makers. The company and its staff. So many of our staff have been with the company for decades. It shows how fervently we believe in our process and products. The All Mighty Guarantee proves it.” No wonder there’s such a close relationship between the words “Osprey” and “quality.” You could say it’s a lifetime commitment.
Thanks to Jeff for taking some time to share his company with us! Osprey Packs does not sell direct to the public, but you can find their brands at independent bicycle dealers around the country.
MEMBERSHIP HIGHLIGHTS is typically posted every other Friday by Amy Corbin, Membership and Marketing Coordinator. Membership Highlights spotlights the various benefits of membership,our accomplishments thanks to member support, and even interviews with some of our most passionate and dedicated members, both individual and organizational.