Ayer, Massachusetts – Jeffrey DeSantis and Bill Hearn have bought Walden Kayaks from Hardigg Industries. DeSantis and Hearn are devoted to the mission of Walden Kayaks: helping people discover the pleasures of kayaking while preserving the outdoors for future generations. Production is continuing at the Walden Kayak manufacturing facility in Ayer, Massachusetts.
Jeffrey DeSantis, new president of Walden Kayaks, has extensive experience building technical businesses while directing and organizing revenue efficiency. He has worked with a number of technical companies in the scientific healthcare industry and later with submarine guidance systems. Bill Hearn, new director of sales and marketing at Walden Kayaks, has design and production experience including kayak and paddle manufacturing. Hearn started paddling as a youngster with his family, and competed internationally on the US Whitewater Team for ten years. His sister and brother, Cathy and David, are whitewater slalom World Champions and Olympians.
The new enterprise is a family affair – Bill Hearn is married to Tiffany, who is Jeffrey DeSantis’ daughter.
The new owners intend to remain true to the Walden vision of building affordable recreational kayaks to get people on the water, DeSantis said. Walden Kayaks is noted for its extensive use of recycled plastics in manufacturing, its commitment to recycling its waste material, and its extensive support of environmental causes both regionally and nationally.
“We had been looking for a company that our family could be involved with and Walden Kayaks is the perfect match,” said DeSantis. “We see tremendous opportunity in Walden, making kayaks while conserving natural resources, and continuing to promote paddlesports. Today, it is important to create opportunities for peaceful reflection with nature, and Walden Pond’s Henry David Thoreau reflected, ‘He enjoys true leisure who has time to improve his soul’s estate.'”
“Canoe and kayak paddling is a lifetime, family sport,” said Hearn. “Walden Kayaks offers me the opportunity to share the joys of paddling with others, and contribute my expertise to Walden’s product development. We will enhance our dealer relationships, as our sales network is essential to building a strong Walden Kayak family.”
Walden Kayaks designs, manufactures, and markets a full line of recreational and touring kayaks using recycled materials. Walden also features paddles, spray skirts, personal flotation devices, roof racks, dry storage bags, and Waldies footwear.
Walden Kayaks supports conservation organizations striving to preserve rivers, lakes, ponds, and coastal habitats. Walden Kayak updates and events are coming soon to the Walden website at www.waldensports.com.
The article was originally published on Canoe & Kayak
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