Industry News 11/10/2015

EMP: EDELRID North America Hires Sales and Marketing, Operations Team

EDELRID North America, the newly established North American distributorship for the global Edelrid brand, this fall hired Blair Williams as Director of Sales and Marketing and Paul Nanawa as Director of Operations. Williams and Nanawa are both outdoor industry veterans who bring extensive experience to their respective posts.

Most recently, Williams worked as Edelrid’s North America Safety Distributor. Prior to that, he was the Sales Director for Petzl America. In addition, Williams is an accomplished climber with wide ranging experience from big walls to alpinism.

"With first ascents in Alaska, Patagonia, and the U.S. as well as a decade plus of industry experience serving the sport and professional safety industries, Blair not only mirrors the core of the most passionate climber, but also brings a real-world and in-depth knowledge of the various markets and channels we serve,” said Carsten von Birckhahn, Brand Manager for EDELRID GmbH & Co.KG, the parent company to EDELRID North America.

Nanawa joins Edelrid from SCARPA North America, where he was the Sales Operations Manager. Prior to that he worked at Sierra Designs in dealer services and sales. In addition, he brings retail experience from Bent Gate Mountaineering and Marmot Mountain Works. Nanawa is an avid climber, skier and trail runner.

"Finding talent like Paul was no small task,” von Birckhahn, said. “As a climber and alpinist, Paul brings a field-tested knowledge of our core products and understanding of our customers’ needs. This, combined with his extensive customer service and sales operations experience, make him the perfect fit to lead as our Operations Director.”

EDELRID North America will oversee sales, marketing and distribution for the EDELRID brand in the U.S. and Canada. The company will be headquartered in a new facility in the Bend, OR, area, a location that will keep the company close to its roots in climbing. The business will have sport, safety and adventure park business divisions.

"The establishment of Edelrid North America signals a new era in the company's storied history and a significant investment into the North American market that ultimately will allow the brand to further its reach and better serve our dealers and customers,” Williams said. “These are historic times at Edelrid, and to be involved with a 152-year-old company that is still on the forefront of innovation and technology is both a privilege and honor." 

Based in Germany, where more than 60 percent of its production takes place, EDELRID builds ropes, carabiners, climbing harnesses, helmets and a variety of other climbing, recreation, safety and industrial gear. It also leads the way in developing equipment with sustainability at the forefront, including the first bluesign-certified rope and harness.

For more information, contact Blair Williams at

To contact Edelrid North America, call (844) 594-0201 or