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Wed, Oct 18




BreakOut BootCamp is a series of educational sessions to give start-up businesses the knowledge & tools to kick their business into gear!

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Time & Location

Oct 18, 2023, 8:00 AM – 12:45 PM

Bend, 220 NE Lafayette Ave, Bend, OR 97701, USA

About This Event

Bend Outdoor Worx presents the fourth edition of BreakOut BootCamp, a series of educational events to give start-up businesses the knowledge and tools to help them advance to the next level.

Sessions will focus on key principles for launching and running a successful business. Panelists include top industry experts with experience across finance, marketing, digital, product management, and more.

BootCamp Session #1: How to sell it (8:00 a.m.-9:15 a.m.) Learn how to capitalize on your brand’s equity, be competitive in the digital world, and stand out in conventional marketing channels.


Robin Skillings is a transformational Marketing Executive, specializing in fueling growth, enhancing profit margins, and architecting strategies for successful product launches. With experience across marketing, product management, and customer acquisition, Robin has managed high-performing global teams to discover their strengths and find their purpose across a multitude of industries and brands, spanning family-owned start-ups to Fortune 500 which include KEEN, Johnson Outdoors, Allsop, and Honeywell. She recently led her team at KEEN to win the 2022 Bronze Effie Award in the direct-to-consumer category for the successful Fits You Better campaign which leveraged a data-driven digital activation across a myriad of platforms from OTT, podcasts, social media, and display ads driving e-commerce growth and maintaining efficient CAC. Robin’s specialty is helping to reinvent and differentiate brands to win within their market by defining the target audience, developing products to meet their needs, creating relevant, impactful content to increase engagement from first to last touch, and leveraging data to continually learn, test, and grow.

Jared Peterson: Jared has worked in the Outdoor industry for 8+ years, co-founding Cairn in 2014 with Rob Little. Together, they built Cairn into the leading subscription box company in the outdoor industry. Through the growth of the business, Jared led all commerce, marketing, and product efforts.

Cairn was acquired by Outside, Inc. in 2021. Jared spent another 2 years with Outside leading their commerce initiatives. After parting ways with Outside, Jared has turned his focus to consulting and advising other DTC companies and start-ups.

When not helping others build their businesses Jared can be found enjoying all Bend has to offer with his wife and three daughters.

Georell Bracelin is the owner & strategist of the Relativity Agency, a full-service branding, advertising, and creative agency that helps clients build authentic, innovative, and compelling brand experiences. Considered a valued and trusted marketing industry leader, Georell has successfully launched several businesses and partnered with many large and small brands to create meaningful relationships with their customers. A true connector, she is passionate about connecting people to brands, and also about building relationships that make our communities an even better place to live and do business.

Relativity is well known in the region for innovative brand discovery and development processes that result in strategy and design that showcase businesses' charisma. The agency works with a diverse variety of industries, including outdoor, lifestyle, finance, healthcare, recreation, cannabis, consumer packaged goods, non-profit organizations, and more.

Adam Schweitzer currently serves as Partner and Operations Lead at Algofy, a 360° performance marketing agency motivated by growing digital marketers and e-commerce businesses. Since joining Algofy at its founding in 2018, Adam has used expertise in D2C marketing and a process-oriented approach to develop Algofy’s services and internal operations.

After a decade of living outside of his home state of Oregon, his goal of combining work with his roots came to fruition when Algofy chose Central Oregon as its U.S. hub in 2020. Since then, Adam has been focused on growing Algofy and developing relationships in Central Oregon while enjoying everything the area has to offer.


With a background in marketing and a Business degree from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, Susan Strible has spent over 20 years leading creative teams in consumer products companies. Her career has spanned the golf, wellness, and outdoor industries and she spent the last few years as the Director of Marketing for Ruffwear in Bend, Oregon. Currently, Susan is Head of Marketing at Revant Optics in Portland, Oregon, and is serving as President of the Board for the Oregon Outdoor Alliance.

BootCamp Session #2: How to pay for it (9:45 a.m.-11:15 a.m.) – Come for a frank discussion about the highs and lows of raising capital for your business.


Scott Davidson: For over two decades, Scott has served as outside general counsel to a number of leading start-ups and later-stage ventures across a broad spectrum of Pacific Northwest industry groups. Scott leads the firm’s consumer brands practice group and frequently works with clients on key strategic issues including equity financings, debt financings, and strategic partnerships. Additionally, Scott has extensive experience in corporate law, mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance, complex technology transfers, and intellectual property matters. Scott is a member of the Oregon and Idaho state bar associations and serves as a frequent presenter to industry and trade groups on topics related to entrepreneurship, angel and venture investing, corporate leadership, and building effective management teams.

Sean Edwards: Sean is an experienced finance executive specializing in strategic planning, leadership, governance, business valuation, analysis of key financial business drivers, capital structures (debt and equity), and debt financings. Prior to joining VFC, Sean was a Senior Vice President with Bank of America Merrill Lynch (“BAML”) in Portland, where he advised clients on all aspects of their capital structures and business activities while in a credit management role. While at BAML and previously when he was at Bank of the West / BNP Paribas, Sean developed a deep background and understanding of various business models and industries, having underwritten over $5.0 billion in various credit transactions in the past two decades for those institutions. Village Family Capital supports the Pacific Northwest region’s best early-stage, profit-generating companies by filling an undersupplied gap with growth equity capital and value-add resources.

Nick Despotes is on the strategic development team at IMC, where he is responsible for identifying and evaluating new opportunities within the active outdoor lifestyle industry while also supporting current partner company, Fleet Feet, in their journey to build a multi-generational brand. Nick has been with IMC since 2017 in various roles and his outdoor industry experience is most heavily concentrated within running. Outside of the office, Nick is passionate about being active, trying new hobbies, and exploring the world with his wife, Madison, and dog, Odie.


Since college, Justin Rae has dabbled in the outdoor entrepreneurial world when he found himself hurling down whitewater with paying guests. He currently spends time as a core mentor at Bend Outdoor Worx, runs a wealth management business - Bruno Mountain Advisory for like-minded adventurous types, co-owns and runs an eco-lodge in Costa Rica - Rios Lodge, and spends extensive time traveling the world chasing rivers. Justin has been an active investor, business operator, and advisor to many different companies and clients throughout the years. From deals negotiated in corporate boardrooms to hotel lobbies in Costa Rica, he brings a very deep and creative perspective on raising capital and crafting creative deals.

BootCamp Session #3: How we did it! (11:30 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.) Founders of successful outdoor businesses share their personal stories and insights on how they built their brands and businesses.


Abe Shehadeh grew up in the heart of Orange County. There was not a weekend or vacation that was not spent either camping, fishing, Boarding or pursuing the outdoors. The first chance Abe got to leave the big city landed him in the small town of Bend Oregon. While navigating life, Abe took a lift ride at Mt. Bachelor, that ride sparked the idea for BlackStrap. Abe, the current CEO of BlackStrap has been growing the brand here for the last 15 years. With more than 50 employees, a new Campus in the works, and further growth of that brand in this beautiful town; Abe is excited for what the future holds.

Bronwen Lodato is the owner, founder, and CEO of Bronwen Jewelry. She’s been making jewelry for as long as she can remember. She came up with the idea in her 20s, as she was traveling around the world and adventuring. While instructing for Outward Bound School, she began fielding requests from other instructors to make delicate beautiful jewelry that was strong enough to withstand the rigors of backcountry expeditions and adventures. With the discovery of Gore-Tex thread, she outfitted many ladies, and a brand was born. Her passion bloomed into a business and now the brand supports on average 10 full-time employees, sells to over 250+ specialty outdoors stores across the country, and has a healthy online direct business and a flagship retail store in downtown Bend. She’s dedicated the business to sustainability and ethical craftsmanship. Integrity is reflected in the products and services Bronwen Jewelry provides.

Brittany Coleman is a Duke University graduate with an MS in Management from the Wake Forest University School of Business. Over the course of her career, which included leadership and analyst positions for several outdoor and active lifestyle brands, Coleman became increasingly frustrated as she noticed male-run product development and research teams not understanding women or including them in the decision-making process. Coleman founded ToughCutie in 2019, becoming the first and only outdoor sock brand with a majority women-owned value chain, and joining an estimated 1% of founders in the outdoor industry who identify as a person of color.

Chris Kratch co-founder of Robert Axel Project. Bio to come.


Kevin Perkey is a social entrepreneur and environmental sustainability leader with over 20 years of experience. He is passionate about advancing social and environmental justice through innovative business models and public/private partnerships. He is the Founder and CEO of Uphill Partners, a social enterprise that helps businesses reduce their environmental impact and create economic opportunities for low-income communities Kevin is also a strong advocate for environmental justice and is committed to using his skills and experience to make a positive difference in the world. In his free time, Kevin can be found out on the trail, on the water or on the slopes with his family and two four-legged friends enjoying the great outdoors!

BootCamp participants are encouraged to join one or more sessions. Individual sessions are priced at $50 or sign up for all three for $125 at Tickets are limited for all events and are expected to sell out quickly.

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