Ken Meidell is currently CEO of Dakine. Since joining the company in May 2016, Ken has utilized his creative executive leadership and motivating demeanor to expand Dakine’s presence as the action sports industry's leading provider of specialized backpacks, apparel, gloves, packs and bags, and technical accessories across the snow, surf, bike, skate, windsurf and kiteboard communities.
After graduating from Ohio State University, College of Engineering with a degree in Computer and Information Science, Ken spent the early portion of his career at Ernst & Young LLP in 1995 as a Manager in their Consulting Services business, where among other projects he implemented the Manufacturing software for Cascade Designs in 1998.
Ken joined Cascade Designs, a leading manufacturer of outdoor accessory products, as an employee in 2001 as Chief Information Officer. In this role, Ken helped lead an outdoor industry initiative to create a web-services based e-commerce standard, which was formally adopted by the Outdoor Industry Association in 2005. He also created a custom field sales force automation system recognized as a leading differentiator in the outdoor industry. During his time as CIO, Ken successfully led the integration of Mountain Safety Research (MSR) into the Cascade Designs brand umbrella. During his 12-year tenure at Cascade Designs, Ken went on to serve as Vice President of the Outdoor Group and followed as Vice President of Sales, Marketing and Product Development.
In 2013, Ken was appointed President and Chief Operating Officer of Outdoor Research, a premier provider of technical and lifestyle apparel and accessories for the outdoor market. In 2014, the Outdoor Industry Association recognized him as a leading industry advocate for his stewardship in the outdoor community. During this time, Ken also served on the Board of Directors for the Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance, the largest single-state mountain bike organization in the US.
With over 15 years experience in executive roles within the outdoor industry, Ken brings a deep knowledge and history of the specialty consumer marketplace and evolving landscape for retail sales and consumer marketing. He is focused on the strategic use of technology to deliver brand value and consumer engagement, while balancing a sustainable approach to production, manufacturing, and day-to-day business practices.
Most recently at Dakine, Ken has initiated a company-wide movement to support efforts regarding climate change, public lands policy within the US, and clean oceans, waves and beaches. Within the company, he’s promoting the use of the Higg Index to assess sustainability throughout a product's entire life cycle, from materials to end-of-life, as well as bluesign, focusing on limiting chemical use and waste for a more sustainable textile production.
Outside the office, Ken pursues his passions for good coffee, great beer, snowboarding, and mountain biking. He currently resides on Bainbridge Island with his wife and son.