Rex Deitesfeld

President, Co-Founder

Born and raised in Colorado, Rex has been skiing almost his entire life. He hit the slopes at the tender age of three and raced competitively for the Lake Eldora Race Team (LERT). During that time, he spent an average of 100 days each year skiing down a snow topped mountain.

After attending the University of Wyoming, Rex launched his professional career at Intec, an industry leader in insulation equipment. At Intec, Rex led product design and operations and eventually became company President, a position he held for 23 years. During his tenure, the company grew from $500,000 to annual revenues of $16 million. Intec was the only manufacturer in the insulation industry that supplied and developed custom products for industry giants like, Johns Manville, Guardian Fiberglass, Owens Corning and CertainTeed.

After 31 years, Rex left and reignited his passion for skiing. He quickly recognized the need for advancements in ski boot design and thought he could bring his skills and product innovation to the ski boot market. He immersed himself in new technologies, reached out to industry leaders like Ed Chalmers, who developed the Radical Closure®, and Sven Coomer, the inventor of Zip Fit®. Leveraging this unique combination of talents and experience, Rex co-founded Zay Products in 2011.

Karen Deitesfeld

Vice President, Co-Founder

Karen Deitesfeld has more than 30 years experience helping businesses grow by laying a strong, process-driven foundation. As co-founder of Zay ski boots, she believes the right equipment plays an intricate role in the entire ski experience. She is dedicated to exceptional product innovation and a long-term growth strategy.

Originally from Chicago, IL, Karen Deitesfeld moved to Denver, CO in the late 70s to pursue a career as a buyer with Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC), a global distributor of electronic components and hardware. From DEC, Karen used her talent for process and procedure to manage approximately $3 million per year in purchasing, inventory, shipping, receiving, and bookkeeping at Intec, a leading insulation equipment manufacturer.

She also has experience in the food industry and grew a family recipe for hot wing sauce into a half a million-dollar company with product on the shelves of national stores including King Supers and Albertsons. SchWings, her award winning Buffalo Style Hot Wing Sauce, opened doors to create “Wing Sauce” as a new food category.

Karen comes from a long line of active, independent women, including her mother who was a shortstop for the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League Players Association. She believes in hard work, the American dream, and the honor of a handshake to seal a deal. Karen has been married 24 years and has two grown children.

 

 

Rick Johnson

Brand and Marketing Manager

Rick started his business career out of college in the evolving technology and distribution segment. This job took him all over the world and afforded facetime with suppliers from some of the world’s largest manufacturers and suppliers. One of Rick’s responsibilities was developing the channel of distribution and branch location management as well as third party dealer management and training solutions.

Rick is probably better known in the Northwest as the General Sales Manager at the Porsche dealership in Bend, Oregon and the General Manager of Club Carrera. Many of the same processes were borrowed from his past management experience and he developed a fresh approach to brand building and creating a Porsche experience for customers.

From the ski industry side of things, Rick, is an avid big mountain skier and ski racer since in his teens. He worked for 2 years to become the US importer for several ski and cycling products from Italy and Germany. During those negotiations, he developed an understanding of the realities and challenges for the existing dealer channels and put focus back to building the mindshare and success of the dealer channel.

Click here for Rick’s LinkedIn Profile

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