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BIZ: NBA Hall of Famer Bill Walton Recruits John Wilson to Connect SDSI Board

June 15, 2010

NBA Hall of Famer Bill Walton Recruits John Wilson to Connect SDSI Board

Bill Walton, executive chairman of CONNECT San Diego Sport Innovators (SDSI), announced today the addition of former Reef President, John Wilson, to the SDSI board of directors.

Building on CONNECT’s 25 years of world-renown success cultivating innovation, CONNECT SDSI, is dedicated to the active sports and active lifestyle innovation cluster offering innovative programs and services for start-ups, mature companies and service providers.

“John and I worked together at Reef, where he had a well deserved reputation as ‘a retailer’s friend’,” said Bob Rief; SDSI board member and COO of C4 Waterman and Boardworks Surf.  “John's extensive experience with the reality of selling in the U.S. specialty market served the company well; John rose to be president of Reef.  Not only will he be a great addition to the SDSI board, but John will have great insight for the up-and coming companies trying to grow and make sales in this challenging economy.”

John Wilson brings to SDSI 24 years of experience in sales, brand marketing, financial and operational planning in the action sports industry.  Wilson began his career at Clairemont Surf in San Diego where he worked as a buyer and store manager.   While at Clairemont, Wilson was offered the Southern California sales rep position with Oakley. In addition to sales, Wilson also initiated grassroots marketing events, local athlete sponsorship, in-store merchandising and staff clinics and was promoted to brand manager in November of 1996. Wilson left Oakley in May of 1999 to join Reef as the director of U.S. sales, where he was then promoted to vice president of U.S. sales in 2002. In 2006 Wilson was promoted to president and was responsible for global growth initiatives, brand positioning, product direction and distribution strategies. Along with, SDSI board member, Jeff Kearl, Wilson currently heads Stance Inc., as president, COO and co-founder.

“I was attracted to SDSI's mission to provide acceleration to businesses in the action sports industry. Whether it's capital, mentoring, education or providing access to service providers, SDSI has a wealth of resources for start-ups as well as mature companies,” said Wilson. “In addition, I was excited to be a part of a very talented team of business leaders which make up the SDSI board of directors.”