Some people want to get the most out of everything they do.
Sleep harder when sleeping. Relax harder when relaxing. Work harder when working. Train harder when training. Run harder when running. Cycle harder when cycling. Climb harder when climbing.
They treat every part of life like its own extreme sport. Those are our kind of people.
That’s why everything we make maximizes people’s performance and comfort when tackling life’s activities. All of them.
How It Started
Founder and Chief Technology Officer Dr. Gregory Haggquist was working on combining materials with polymers to enhance their characteristics as a polymer photo physical chemist with Lexmark International when he started looking for a better solution to odor-eliminating fabrics using activated carbon. Dr. Haggquist discovered that activated carbon, the same substance that water treatment companies use to filter drinking water, had some properties far more interesting than just odor control. During testing, he began to get reports on how quickly the fabric dried and how cool and comfortable it kept athletes. After researching various sources of activated carbon, Dr. Haggquist found that activated carbon from coconut shells was most perfectly suited to maintain the ideal range of comfort for humans.
Dr. Haggquist discovered that instead of just wicking moisture, activated carbon permanently embedded at the fiber level moved water away from a heat source and helped dissipate it. By removing moisture from the microclimate, you can stay cooler when it’s hot, and warmer when it’s cold. This active-particle technology was a paradigm shift in the high-performance fabric world; a true innovation worthy of patents to protect it.
Nearly a decade later, Cocona is a world leader in providing innovative technologies from natural sources to the apparel, glove, and footwear markets. This technology adds value and performance to fibers, fabrics, laminates, insulation, and films in more than 60 top brands worldwide.
Prior to joining Cocona, Bowman held senior management positions at W.L. Gore and Associates (Gore), Malden Mills (Polartec), Cascade Designs and Massif. While at Gore, Bowman invented and/or helped to develop several implantable medical devices that achieved tremendous commercial success. He then guided the Gore-Tex footwear business from its early days to the commanding leadership role it still enjoys today in the outdoor footwear industry.
Bowman is credited with directing the development of the Polartec brand from its infancy to becoming one of the most widely recognized consumer brands in the Outdoor Apparel Industry. In addition, Bowman earned national recognition for crisis management after the fire that destroyed Malden Mills.
At Cascade Designs, Bowman led the company’s effort to revitalize its international business of manufacturing outdoor camping equipment by focusing on new product development, brand repositioning and customer relations. While at Massif, he managed the explosive growth of the company’s military and industrial apparel business by focusing on supply chain relationships, product quality and new product development.
Bowman is an avid climber, whitewater kayaker, skier and commercial pilot with a number of notable first ascents and descents around the world. He previously served for several years on the Board of the Access Fund, and has a long history of coaching championship baseball at the youth, select and high school levels.
At Cocona, Inc., Dr. Haggquist has developed two critical technologies that keep particles active throughout the manufacturing process to improve the performance of yarn, fabrics and film. He has also developed and standardized two novel methods to measure the drying rate of textiles.
Dr. Haggquist is responsible for all research, development and product certification at Cocona, Inc. This includes constantly evolving and improving the efficacy of the Company’s technology. Dr. Haggquist is also focused on growing and managing the company’s portfolio of intellectual property.
Prior to joining the Cocona / 37.5 team, Raedeke was Director of Marketing and Communications for Massif, a worldwide leader in high-performance protective apparel and major supplier to the US Military and Special Forces. While there, she developed a marketing and PR plan for transitioning the brand from outdoor and military apparel to luxury menswear, which resulted in a very successful launch that included a Massif shop-in-shop at the Bloomingdale’s flagship store and worldwide press coverage.
Raedeke spent most of her career in high-tech. She started at Microsoft in 1988, where she spent seven years in corporate communications and corporate PR during the company’s explosive growth period. Wanting to experience brand strategy from the agency side, Raedeke left to join Landor Associates, one of the top branding agencies in the world. Though they had offices in 20 countries, Landor did not have a base in the Pacific Northwest; Raedeke was part of the original team that opened the Seattle office to focus on the burgeoning tech industry. Wanting to get back to managing brand strategy internally, Raedeke became Director of Marketing and Public Relations at The Mountain Zone, a premier online media outlet for mountain sports. There she developed large-scale co-branded event programming for corporate clients who needed compelling web content, including mountaineer Todd Burleson’s successful summit ascent of Mt. Everest for Microsoft Explorer and coverage of the World-Cup Mountain Biking Circuit through Europe for MSN. She also developed strategic alliances with companies such as CNET, Imax, Yahoo, and Warren Miller that resulted in business growth, revenue, and increased traffic. After The Mountain Zone was sold, Raedeke moved to the game startup Headbone Interactive, directing
PR, marketing, and business development efforts. There she spearheaded strategic co-branded business development deals with technology companies and media outlets that brought in millions in revenue while also increasing awareness of the company’s games and characters. Raedeke also spent several years consulting, where she created and implement brand identity, brand content, and PR programs for high-tech, bio-tech, and media clients. Raedeke studied Journalism at the University of Oregon.
Prior to joining Cocona, Burgess was New Product Development Leader at Cortland-Actuant. Responsibilities included working with global customers and industry groups to identify market opportunities while coordinating all regional activities to develop new products, design methods, techniques, practices and procedures to ensure the design and manufacture of engineered synthetic ropes, heavy lift slings, electro-optical-mechanical cables, and umbilicals for the heavy marine, subsea, ROV, seismic and defense markets. Previously he was Director of Development at Massif Mountain Gear Company, a world leader in supplying flame resistant and high performance outdoor apparel to the military, law enforcement, search and rescue professionals. There, Burgess directed fabric and technology development with budget and management responsibility for the development process from fiber to finished fabric, including quality specifications, performance, and on-time fabric commercialization and delivery. Burgess started his career at Unifi, Inc. as a Project Engineer. By the time, he left six years later he had been Technical Manager of specialty additives, recycle products and the nylon division directing company resources across manufacturing functions to ensure assets were employed to the correct mix of short and long-term opportunities while rapidly commercializing new product developments.
Burgess’ drive and entrepreneurial spirit also led to the development of the first major innovation to the cotton gin since Eli Whitney through a patent protected process he developed and a business he started. In addition, Burgess invented and patented technology that is currently protecting our troops and a separate technology that allows lighter-than-air ships to operate for longer periods of time in near space.
Burgess earned an MBA from Wake Forest University Babcock Graduate School of Management and a B.S. in Textile Engineering from North Carolina State University.
At Cocona, Burgess is a member of the executive team responsible for defining strategic sales, business, and product direction. He also manages worldwide yarn supply chain relationships as well as master batch and yarn inventories. He is responsible for all technical problem solving related to master batch and yarn products.
Burgess is a bona-fide outdoor enthusiast and can be found skiing, snowboarding and mountain biking. His recent adventures included hiking on the Pacific Crest Trail, camping in Glacier National Park, Canyonlands National Park and Blaisen Glacier in Norway. He’s now exploring the Appalachian Trail and Blue Ridge Mountains and has taken up trad and sport climbing.
Perry Ellis then offered Rogers the position of Vice President of Sale for their expanding Outerwear Division, where his duties included managing the relationship with several major retailers such as Macy’s, JC Penney and Sears. Rogers was responsible for forecasting and managing the margin model and flow of product. Due to his deep sportswear background, Rogers was tapped to launch a new brand called Field Gear that was marketed to the same major retailers he managed when was VP of Outerwear. Over the next several years he and his Division President were recruited to launch several brands such as Born Sportswear, where he served as EVP.
At Cocona Rogers manages the relationship with the company’s Midwest and East Coast brands such as Carhartt, Bauer Hockey, Tailored Brands, Men’s Warehouse and Fechheimer, among others.
Rogers lives with his wife and dogs in Massachusetts where they enjoy traveling. He also enjoys running and golfing with his foursome of 20 years.
Spending most of his life outside, Bywater grew up climbing in Utah and spent his summers as a kid in Yellowstone, Denali, and Grand Teton National Parks. Unable to stay out of the mountains, he ended up working 16 years as a Grand Teton National Park Ranger. As part of the elite Jenny Lake Climbing Rangers, he routinely performed life-saving helicopter short-haul operations as well as high-angle rock, ice, and snow rescues. For one of these actions, Bywater received the Department of Interior Valor Award for an extreme rescue on Mt. McKinley in Alaska. Working professionally outside has given him a unique perspective on what clothing works and what doesn’t when, quite literally, his life depended on it.
Bringing new and meaningful innovations to fabrics and clothing we all wear every day is what brought Bywater out of the mountains full-time and into the clothing industry. He has more than 10 years of experience in the high-performance garment and textile industry and was most recently Vice President of Government Sales at Massif. There he was instrumental in developing and securing the company’s most successful programs bringing innovative, high-performance, flame resistant clothing to military and government teams exposed to extreme environmental conditions and fire hazards.
Bywater studied Behavioral Science and Health and Emergency Medicine at the University of Utah. In his free time, he will be found climbing, biking, hiking, skiing, and fishing in the wild places he loves.
A Colorado native, Boni lived in Seattle for five years before being lured back home by the weather. He and his family spend their free time outdoors skiing, camping, and bike racing. Boni and his wife also coach at junior mountain bike and cyclocross cycling camps.
Lekan’s primary role is to take inventions that Dr. Haggquist conceives to a fully commercial level. This involves a detailed project management process from fiber to fabric to product testing to the crafting the unique selling proposition to the market. He has developed in years past much of Cocona’s core offerings – from baselayer to merino blends to WPB laminates to insulation. Recently as the product champion for 37.5 bedding, Lekan and Dr. Haggquist had created a powerful, multi-level performance story for 37.5 bedding which brings deep scientific credibility in the sales process to the sleep market. He says 37.5 bedding is the most amazing product he has been a part of developing and believes it will truly change the way the world sleeps.
He is now using these skills to commercialize Cocona’s latest innovations in new markets like energy-efficient towels for hotels, more comfortable protective suits for medical workers and outdoor sleep systems. As an avid athlete as well as materials specialist, he believes in the importance of knowing the product thoroughly through field testing – whether cycling, backcountry skiing or mountaineering – as he always says, “lab tests only tell you so much.”
Joyce was a Boy Scout for 12 years, earning the Rank of Eagle Scout in 2010. Originally from the Philadelphia area, Joyce is an Audi enthusiast that has enjoyed his time in the Colorado mountains with weekends spent hiking and snowboarding with friends.
Outside of work, Muldoon enjoys taking advantage of everything her native Colorado has to offer, which includes skiing, hiking, biking, camping and rock climbing.
This was the beginning of turning the corporation into a truly market oriented company. It was also the beginning of the Polartec evolution, in which it became a worldwide brand. At this point Ackerman was elevated to the position of Vice President and Chief Operating Officer in 1995, and named a member to the Board of Directors. He helped expand the manufacturing to Europe in 1996 to produce Polartec. Ackerman retired from Malden in 1998 after 36 years. He is currently a fabric and textile specialist in R&D textile development at Cocona.
Mazany is a member of the Boulder Rugby Football Club Board and has been a part of the rugby community as either a player or a board member for over 12 years. She also enjoys collecting vinyl and drinking ice cold craft beers with her friends.
Originally from Boulder, Shunk has also lived in Gunnison, CO. She enjoys spending time in the mountains and foothills hiking with her dog.
Steinnes started her career as a buyer and store manager for an independent retailer as she was attending University in San Francisco, where she majored in Film and Broadcast Media. Steinnes gained her earliest manufacturing experience while working as Vice President of Sales with Pacific Coast Feather Company, where she was responsible for growing a Home brand from $6M to over $110M in retail dollars annually.
Before becoming a part of the 37.5 team, Steinnes focused on the growth of a startup company as the Chief Executive Officer, with a focus on marketing and selling brands, products, and inventions to worldwide traditional and Ecommerce retailers. Steinnes has also been a spokesperson for various Home and Apparel brands on global media.
Steinnes is an explorer, travel enthusiast, back country hiker, mountaineer, camper, and scuba diver. When she is not traveling, Steinnes loves relaxing at home in the woods where she works in the garden, and hikes the back trails with family and friends.
When Hukari is not in the lab testing for 37.5, you may find him outside testing products while enjoying one of his many hobbies that include hiking, mountain biking, snowboarding and soccer.
As Cocona’s Controller, Boness draws on her experience with CPA Firms such as RSM (McGladrey) where she refined her ability to support CEO’s who were focused on top-line growth and bottom-line improvement. She has created sustainable infrastructure while organizing, directing, and managing complex, multi-discipline projects, and at the same time supporting stakeholders.
Boness is from Colorado, spends her spare time enjoying all the State has to offer, and relishing her family. She has worked with men and women from Lakota Communities and supports projects and efforts that promote diversity.