Dear DPS Community,
There is an ancient proverb, which exhorts the reader to rejoice in sufferings, “knowing that suffering produces endurance; endurance produces character; and character produces hope.” We talk a lot about suffering in our outdoor pursuits. Pressing on through challenging times allows one to test themselves through doubt, pain, obstacles, and fear, driven by hope of experiencing the exhilaration upon reaching the summit.
While we look ahead to more prosperous times, the DPS team has recently taken time to reflect on a year of trials with joy and gratitude. The trials were real, downright scary at times. When resort towns in Europe and Japan began shuttering their doors in February 2020 and soon thereafter in North America, none of us knew what to think or expect. The anxieties were very personal, yet shared globally, especially with our friends and partners throughout the ski community; family owned ski shops, suppliers, logistics partners, hospitality businesses of all kinds – our friends and family in health care services.
What was next?
I am proud beyond measure of how our team and our community responded. It was heroic. It was humbling to be a part of. Unified by a commitment to each other and a resolve to do something positive to support the larger effort, the DPS team quickly pivoted to convert our Salt Lake City factory. We leveraged our innovative engineering expertise to spearhead a collaboration of outdoor brands and community partners to build over 80,000 medical face shields for healthcare workers in Utah, and across the country. This effort also allowed us to avoid painful layoffs while inspiring solidarity, resilience, and hope.
We would survive. Further, we discovered new summits that we could reach together, solidifying camaraderie and confidence in a shared future in which we will thrive as a team. To our customers, ski shop partners, suppliers, and many other stakeholders...humbly, THANK YOU.
WWII survivor and ski industry pioneer Klaus Obermeyer recently said at age 101: “We have the choice of perception. We can perceive negatively, things around us, or we can perceive them positively.”
By remaining optimistic and resilient, and working together we persevered. In fact, we were able to grow our team, deepen our partner relationships, increase our product offerings, take key steps toward more environmentally sustainable practices, and take another large step towards achieving our best skis to date. As the pandemic paradigm appears to be improving, we look forward to spending more time in the mountains with all of you. The future is bright for the ski community.
With deep gratitude and hope for a bright future together,
DPS President & CEO