First Hire in New CO HQ!
Wazoo's decision to move its headquarter to Colorado this year was based on a few factors. One of the main ones was to relocate to a place where we could assemble a hardworking, passionate, and fun team to help us in our continued growth as a company. One of the first positions we needed to fill was as for Operations Manager. Our hiring strategy was to hire for culture primarily. Our theory being that if you bring on team members with a can-do attitude, they can do anything! This is especially important for a small company because positions are never fixed and everyone has to be ready to take on any task-- often times one they've never done before.
We're proud to say that we found what we were looking for in Noelle! Not only does she embody the outdoor lifestyle, has previous experience with startups and office administration, but her drive to figure out solutions to complex problems makes her an appreciated asset for a small business that inevitably finds no shortage of problems popping up.
So who is Noelle?
Noelle's passion for adventure, exploration, and self-reliance have been the defining aspects of her life and career thus far. Taking on the concrete jungle, she earned a B.S. from New York University and made her way into the startup ecosystem, focusing on growing these early-stage businesses through marketing and communications. When she had enough of delayed subway commutes and longed for eye contact on the street, Noelle set her eyes on NYC's friendlier but colder, Midwest cousin. In Chicago, Noelle was the Marketing and Communications Associate for Impact Engine, an early-stage venture capital firm, whose investments focused on companies solving social or environmental issues. After finding herself traveling out of the midwest more than expected for outdoor adventures, it was time to make a new home in a place where there were endless opportunities for hiking, skiing, and backpacking (plus all the activities she'd soon pick up).
In a very quick turn of events, she found herself moving to Colorado where she earned a Masters in Tourism Management degree from Colorado State University. In completing this program, her goal was to blend her outdoor lifestyle, travel experiences, and actual skill sets into some type of long-term career.
First hike up to Horsetooth Rock as a Colorado resident.
In the two and a half years she's been here, her passion for outdoor recreation and outdoor gear has grown exponentially. Noelle has spent two summers working at a Whitewater Rafting Company on the Poudre River and has rafted on the Colorado, Roaring Fork, Yellowstone, and Snake Rivers. In the summer you can also find her taking on class III rapids in a ducky (aka inflatable kayak), camping in the backcountry, or atop one of Colorado's many 14,000ft peaks.
Duckying on the Roaring Fork River near Aspen, CO.
Rafting on the Upper Sea, a section of the Colorado River.
Crossing a ledge near 13,500ft on Pyramid Peak - ranked Colorado’s 3rd hardest 14er.
Spot the two small tents in the lower right corner. This was our campsite in The Needles District of Canyonlands National Park backcountry.
After one too many close calls in the outdoors (ie. being 5 miles into the Canyonlands backcountry and realizing you're going to run out of water in 105-degree heat), she took this as a sign to better prepare herself for any situation.
Noelle is a certified NOLS Wilderness First Responder and completed a Winter Survival Weekend course at the Colorado Mountain Survival School. Now, she has a better understanding proper medical and basic survival skills for when street smarts are useless. Whether in the backcountry or front-country, Noelle has realized the importance of always being prepared for the unexpected. Just as she was learning all these new skills geared toward self-reliance and preparedness, she happened to find Wazoo.
Chopped an Aspen to use for kindling and firewood during a Winter Survival Weekend.
Noelle believes that everyone should put themselves outside of their comfort zone, explore the outdoors, and learn about themselves and others in the process. So joining Wazoo, whose goal is to get more people educated on the importance of everyday survival skills was an easy decision! As the Operations Manager at Wazoo, Noelle oversees the companies day-to-day operations and everything in-between. That includes making sure that we don’t accidentally burn our office down testing out products. Blending her operations, customer service, and marketing skill sets, Noelle is excited to see the ways in which Wazoo’s products can start to make their way into more people’s lives everyday. Showing off how Wazoo gear blends into everyday life or stands out on multi-day adventures, is just one of the ways Noelle plans to helps Wazoo grow in the survival gear industry and as an outdoor gear brand.
Competing in the fire starting challenge at the Georgia Bushcraft Gathering.