PADDLINGBUSINESSstream: Jackson Announces New VP of Sales | Adventure Kayak Magazine | Rapid Media
Jackson Announces New VP of Sales Courtesy Jackson Kayak

Industry veteran Doug Ragan takes lead sales position

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Eric Jackson is excited for a taste of a “different flavor” of sales management at Jackson Kayak. After over a decade of service, including years of volunteer work pushing the Jackson brand as it attempted to gain traction in the paddlesports industry, longtime vice-president of sales Marty Cronin has left the company to pursue new initiatives. In his place, Jackson promoted industry veteran Doug Ragan in late January, who had served as a consultant on the company’s executive since 2017, after a successful 10-year tenure with Werner Paddles.

Ragan is a “strong organizational leader,” says Jackson. “He will take a lot off our plate. We will be much more organized and provide the dealers and customers with improved communications and information.”

Ragan’s impressive resume spans nearly three decades and includes stints at Dagger, Perception, Yakima and Chaco. Upon his departure from Werner in 2017, the company credited him as “a leader…a voice of reason, a teacher, an innovator in ideas and procedures he brought to our team, an integral part of our new product development, a teammate in the trenches of sales events, but above all a friend.”

Formerly based in South Carolina, Ragan has relocated to Jackson’s headquarters in Sparta, Tennessee. He says he’s thrilled to play a big role in a brand that’s emerged as “the genuine article in the outdoor world.”

“[Jackson] products are born from users knowing what they want and making it happen,” adds Ragan. “The company culture is one of working hard to grow its team as well as profits, so everyone can have a better situation.”

Ragan notes he’s equally excited to get to work on Jackson’s newest labels, including Orion Coolers and Blue Sky Boatworks, which produces multi-hull, pedal-powered watercraft.

Jackson’s veteran jack-of-all-trades Colin Kemp also received a promotion, earning the title of sales director, to work alongside Ragan. Previously, Kemp has worked just about every position in the whitewater industry, including instructor, retail buyer, retail sales manager and team paddler as a competitive athlete on the U.S. Freestyle team. “Colin will work directly with many dealers, distributors, and our reps,” says Jackson. “His sales and relationship skills are tough to beat. He led Valley Mill Boat Shop to the number one position every year he managed that dealership in our early years and has since grown from managing World Kayak [a Jackson-based initiative to promote whitewater kayaking], our ambassadors, sponsorships and events, to managing some of our international distributors and key national accounts.”

For his part, Cronin emphasizes that he’s leaving Jackson Kayaks on the best of terms. “This decision to move on has been quite difficult and there has been no celebration for leaving, just a lot of reflection of how proud I am to have had a chance to be part of it from the beginning and interest to see it continue to succeed,” Cronin says. “At the moment, it's going to be focusing on some things [my wife] Sonia and I need to do with some rental properties we have, and to make time this summer for a couple very big dirt bike adventures I've had on the horizon. Once I get past those objectives, I will start figuring out my next steps.”

Jackson was quick to laud his dedicated service. “Marty has been part of the Jackson Kayak family since the beginning,” he says. “He has been an awesome part of the company and we’ll miss him as he takes on new challenges in his life. We wish him well and hope to see him on the river soon.”

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