Black Diamond Announces Key Engineering and Apparel Development Hires

July 11, 2017

SALT LAKE CITY (July 11, 2017) – Black Diamond Equipment®, a global leader of innovative active outdoor performance equipment and apparel, today announced the appointment of six new hires to its engineering and apparel development teams.

“As Black Diamond Equipment continues its growth, we’re excited to bring on talent for newly created positions in order to bolster our business platform, invest in our product engineering team and augment our growing apparel team,” said John Walbrecht, President of Black Diamond Equipment. “We continue to invest in the people and processes needed to drive our business forward and achieve our key strategic objectives.”

On the equipment side of its business, Black Diamond increased its design engineering team this year by 67 percent with the addition of four new hires. These new hires include:

  • Greg Woolston – Woolston previously worked in product design at Skullcandy. With his experience in consumer electronics, he joins Black Diamond’s in-house lighting design team.
  • Tom Santoro – Most recently, Santoro formed a design consultancy while working as a quality engineer at Stryker Medical. Prior to Stryker Medical, he served as a quality engineer at Black Diamond from 2007-2010, earned his Master’s Degree in mechanical engineering and worked at both Toyota and Tesla as a design engineer. Santoro’s new focus will be on Black Diamond’s trekking and ski pole categories.
  • Garrett Harmsen – Harmsen joins Black Diamond from Avatech, where he was the lead design engineer for the Avatech Scope. Harmsen’s efforts will be specifically dedicated to Black Diamond’s climbing category.
  • Alex Szela – Szela previously worked at Easton-Bell Sports initially as a test engineer and later within its Advanced Concepts Group. Most recently, he designed and commercialized bike and ski helmets for Giro. His focus at Black Diamond will be on the helmet category.

“These hires bring great expertise in consumer product design and will be fantastic additions to our already industry-leading hardware R&D Team,” said Brendan Perkins, Black Diamond’s senior director of design engineering. “At a time when our product line is very exciting, their energies will be primarily directed toward new product design and development.”

Black Diamond also welcomes industry veterans Laura Smith and Anna Kirner to its apparel development team. Smith’s resume includes serving as a product development manager for Patagonia’s technical outerwear division, where she led product development for the brand’s alpine and snow categories, as well as a key product developer for Spyder Active Sports. Most recently, she was a senior product developer in outerwear for REI. Kirner has a long history in technical apparel development, with many years at Sierra Designs, Cabela’s and GoLite and will play an important role in the future of the Black Diamond apparel program.

“We are assembling a team of talented individuals who represent key components of design, development, sourcing and materials innovation,” said Trent Bush, Black Diamond’s Vice President of Apparel. “They will help shape and define our business moving forward as we build on the momentum we are currently experiencing with our apparel program.”


About Black Diamond Equipment, Ltd.

Black Diamond Equipment, Ltd. is a global leader in creating innovative outdoor engineered equipment and apparel for climbing, mountaineering, backpacking, skiing and a wide range of other year-round outdoor activities. Black Diamond Equipment, and its sister brand PIEPS™, are synonymous with performance, innovation, durability and safety in the outdoor consumer community. Headquartered in Salt Lake City at the base of the Wasatch Mountains, our products are designed and exhaustively tested by an engaged team of discerning entrepreneurs and engineers. The Black Diamond Equipment culture of precision and excellence enhance the authenticity of our brands, inspire product innovation and strengthen customer loyalty. Black Diamond Equipment’s products are sold in approximately 50 countries around the world. For additional information, please visit our website at www.blackdiamondequipment.com or www.pieps.com.