Scarpa North America Blog

Sales Rep Shout Out: Michael Down and Brian Block

Mar. 13th 2013

SCARPA has been a longtime leader in the outdoor world, but our success can’t be measured only by the passion and tenacity of a chosen few. It takes the dedication of many people for a brand to be successful, and SCARPA has been blessed with many fruitful relationships, many of which are with stalwart sales representatives, “reps”, who by their own love of the mountains perpetuate the SCARPA ethos through hard work and dedication.

Two personalities SCARPA is proud to acknowledge are Michael Down of British Columbia, the recent recipient of SCARPA’s Rep of the Year; and Brian Block, a critical addition who divides his time between Iowa and Colorado. We’re lucky to have two capable (among many) colleagues who are both skilled mountaineers, fathers and resolute characters who bring a wealth of experience and personality to the SCARPA culture.

Brian Block loves the flexibility the sales rep job gives him. With two kids and an affinity for climbing big mountains, it’s hard to create a balance between business, family and free time. Still, he has an agenda that works. “If I didn’t push hard in family, in life, and in business,” he says, “I wouldn’t be myself for my kids.” He knows the difficulties that come with the territory, but he enjoys his current arrangement. “It’s great working with the best, cutting edge gear, and having a flexible schedule,” says Block, “But the people are what make it worthwhile.” Michael Down, who has four kids, and a self-proclaimed “fire for climbing,” echoes those sentiments. “I get to work with the best group of people in twenty years of being in the outdoor industry.”

As part of the job, reps get to share their product knowledge with customers all the time, much of which is spent outdoors creating new experiences, and using the products we’re all so proud of. Both men have successfully completed the Seven Summits, (not to mention scores of other classics) a worthy accomplishment for any salesperson, or otherwise. They embody a bona fide dedication to the craft (think street cred), something the outdoor world takes seriously, making their participation all the more valuable to us and to their customers.

They have innumerable experiences with SCARPA products, yet neither man can declare what is their all time favorite shoe or boot. “Wow,” says Down. “That’s a really hard question.” He demurs for a few minutes during our conversation then gives his response. “My favorite experience with a SCARPA product happened when I was on the summit of Denali at the beginning of a storm. It was the coldest I’ve ever been in my life. I was on my way down wearing a pair of Phantom 6000s… and my feet were warm.”

Block is a little more esoteric when answering the question. He puts it this way. “I love orange,” he says. “SCARPA boots fit; there is just so much that works.”

We’d like to thank them for their continued support, expertise, and commitment to SCARPA, as well as a shout out to our full, extended team for helping us build a great brand.

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