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NEW YORK — Gert Boyle and Jake Burton, two leaders in the athletic outerwear industry, have been elected to the Sporting Goods Industry Hall of Fame.
Boyle, chairwoman of Columbia Sportswear Co., is widely recognized as the tough-talking, gray-haired woman who appears in the brand’s national advertising. Boyle’s father founded the company as Columbia Hat Company in 1938. In 1970, the mother of three took over the helm of the company, after her husband Neal died at the age of 47.
Two years later, she considered selling Columbia, until she heard the asking price: $1,400. Since that time, she and her son, Tim, have built the brand and seen annual sales exceed $615 million.
Burton, founder of Burton Snowboards, is credited with grooming snowboarding into a world-class sport. The brand sponsors a bevy of top-notch riders, including Olympians Kelly Clark and Ross Powers, and organizes the U.S. Open Snowboarding Championships, as well as instructional programs for beginners.
Nicknamed the “Father of Snowboarding,” Burton is known to test as many products as possible and aims to snowboard more than 100 days a year.
Boyle and Burton, along with Patrick Galyan, who heads up Galyan’s Sporting Goods, will be inducted at the National Sporting Goods Association’s management conference at the Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa in Phoenix in May.
This story first appeared in the November 12, 2002 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.