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O2O Ep. 59 Northwest River Supplies











Host Jesse Tyler is joined by three great co-owners at 100% ESOP Northwest River Supplies, Tony Mangini, CFO/HRM, Natalie Zamora, Sales Operations Manager, and Walker Andersen, Receiving Associate.


Northwest River Supplies (NRS) was formed in 1972 when an idealistic business professor named Bill Parks set out to prove that the principles he taught in the classroom could work in the real world, he had no trouble deciding what kind of startup to launch. Bill was a river runner, and he wanted to help others enjoy the sport he’d come to love so much. Starting with $2,000 from his savings, he stocked an inventory of boating gear in his garage and typed out the first Northwest River Supplies catalog. Today, NRS has grown into a 100% ESOP with $80 million in annual revenue.


Each guest on the Owner to Owner Podcast shares personal insights on what ownership means to them; how they describe ownership when talking to family, friends, and strangers; three words they use to describe employee ownership; their EO A-ha moments; and why anyone seeking work should consider a career at NRS.


The goal of this podcast is to have owner-to-owner discussions about a wide range of ownership experiences and culture topics, and to bring more insight into the individual ownership experience.


The Owner to Owner Podcast is produced by Bret Keisling for the EO Podcast Network.















About NRS -- In Their Own Words (via its website)


When an idealistic business professor named Bill Parks set out in 1972 to prove that the principles he taught in the classroom could work in the real world, he had no trouble deciding what kind of startup to launch. Bill was a river runner, and he wanted to help others enjoy the sport he’d come to love so much. Starting with $2,000 from his savings, he stocked an inventory of boating gear in his garage and typed out the first Northwest River Supplies catalog.


Bill was drawn to rivers, to the beautiful places they carried him, to the challenge of running rapids, and to the people and experiences that made every trip a memory to cherish. Until he passed away peacefully at the age of 88, Bill was running rivers and working to help others pursue their passions on the water. And the nearly 100 employee-owners at NRS are committed to the same singular vision. What draws us to water is what drives us every day.


In the early days of rafting and kayaking, boaters had to work together to outfit trips, keep gear serviceable and, of course, get down the river safely. Bill enjoyed that aspect of boating, and he wanted to build that same kind of culture into his company.

We’ve grown a lot since Bill hand-typed the first NRS catalog four decades ago, but we’ve always remained true to his original ideals. We pride ourselves on working together to accomplish tasks, and everyone, from Bill down to the newest hire in the warehouse, shares responsibility for ensuring the highest standards of quality, service and integrity. We’ve never had a lot of managers, protocols, or official policies. Instead, we’ve tried to empower individuals to make the right decisions for the good of the customer and the company.



NRS is hiring. For more info, click here.







Logo for the EO Podcast Network

This podcast is produced by Bret Keisling for the EO Podcast Network.




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