Industry Press Release

Thule Brand Ambassador, Peter Pell, retires after 30 years



Peter PellSeymour, CT (May 12, 2015) — Peter Pell is a pioneer in the industry, a true brand ambassador, and most importantly, a genuine friend to us all.  On May 7th, Peter retired from Thule after 30 years of hard work and dedication.

Looking back on Peter’s legacy, we get a glimpse into what made him into the man he is today, one of a kind.  After beginning his career in the outdoor industry with Sport Obermeyer back in 1968, Peter led a successful career with outdoor companies such as Beconta, SKI Magazine and HIFly Windsurfing.  Eventually in 1985, Peter was approached by Ake Skeppner who came over from Sweden to launch the Thule brand in the United States.  As a relatively unknown category at the time in the US, Peter was intrigued by the challenge to help build it.  And in November of 1985, car racks become his world.  From that point forward, the Thule brand would be forever changed in North America.

Peter came on as the National Sales Manager for Thule’s debut in the U.S. market.  This new role took a great deal of hard work and long hours.  A lot of what Peter has come to preach as the “Thule can-do” work ethic came from the fact that, at the time, the Thule team consisted of only 11 employees in the U.S.  Back then “it’s not my job” was not an option. Peter described his daily routines during those early years as exhausting but rewarding.  Pell said, “Several Thanksgiving festivities were missed.  I would drive to Kennedy Airport in New York to unload the air cargo containers from Sweden in order to be able to restock Thule ski carriers in time for the busy holiday shopping season in New England”.

With the company growing, it was time to expand.  In 1992, Peter and a few of his colleagues came to Seymour, Connecticut to prospect a new facility for the company’s North American headquarters and assembly plant.  From the initial walk through the empty hallways, Peter envisioned where the different departments would live and how they could work together.  He knew right away that this was where the Thule brand would live in North America.  He recalls walking outside and admiring the scenery, “The first thing I noticed were the three flagpoles directly out front.  I knew one day we would be there to raise our flags in our new permanent home.”

Over the years, Peter launched product categories, developed a sales force, and built the foundation for what Thule is today. With his history, knowledge and absolute passion for the brand and the industry, Peter became Thule’s official Brand Ambassador in 2010.

Peter has watched a brand evolve from the launch of a ski carrier that would change the way Americans brought their gear to the mountain, to a portfolio of products that help consumers live an active lifestyle.  That vision of the office that he imagined during his initial walk-through with 11 colleagues is now filled with hundreds of coworkers and is the headquarters for both North and South America.

Peter is the man to make you smile, make you sweat, and never regret the fact that you work at Thule.  His hard work, determination and daily reminders such as “Care about our products and care about what we do” and “Volunteer for everything!” have made him the perfect brand ambassador.  From an industry, to a company, to his colleagues; Peter is true a pioneer; one who’s impact is immeasurable.

In addition to his impact on the Thule brand and the outdoor industry in North America, Peter initiated a cultural change within the office in Connecticut.  From his initial days at Thule, Peter began instilling a movement to be active everyday, this included running, cycling, playing tennis, and even snowshoeing during one’s lunch break.  By developing this need to stay healthy and stay active, it set the stage for how our entire company would look at the daily routine; no work day would be complete without some time spent in the outdoors, enjoying one’s passion.

To celebrate Peter’s impact on the Thule brand, we as a company in our Seymour, Connecticut office went out for one more lunchtime ride with Peter leading the pack on our road bikes.  But before leaving on our ride, the room that houses all of the employee’s bikes, which doubles as the workout space and warm-up area for athletes, was dedicated to Peter and officially named the P.A.P.E.R. Room (Peter “Analog” Pell Exercise Room).  Honorary jerseys were hung, as well as a quote by Peter getting a permanent place on the wall among the many bikes and yoga mats, reading “It’s not a job, Thule is a way of life.”  Wrapping up the day of never ending anecdotes and banter with Peter, a celebratory reception was held in his honor where Americas President, Fred Clark, and Vice President of Sales, Schuyler Horton told stories and laughed alongside Peter and his colleagues over some great memories.

Peter Pell

Peter plans to spend his retirement among his family and friends, including cheering on his grand children’s sporting events, playing hockey, tennis and golf, putting miles in on his bike, including future Thule Cape Rides, as well as more visits to Florida to relax with his friend, Mary Jean.

We wish Peter the best of luck in the future and thank him for his 30 years of dedication to this company, this industry and most of all, the people who have had the good fortune to work with him.

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About Thule

The Thule brand was established in 1942. Under the motto Bring your life, Thule globally offers a wide range of premium products that enable active people to bring their luggage, equipment and their kids with them in a safe, simple and elegant way. Thule’s product offering includes roof racks, bike carriers, roof boxes, boat / horse trailers, computer / camera / sports duffle bags and juvenile products such as child bike seats and multifunctional strollers. Thule products are sold in more than 125 markets all over the world.