Rick Alden (born July 4, 1964 in Baltimore, Maryland) is the founder and CEO of Park City, Utah based Skullcandy, creators of headphones, mp3 player watches, audio accessories and other audio-enabled products, such as backpacks with built-in speakers and iPod controls. An avid fan of snow sports, Alden started skiing in Massachusetts in 1970, moved to Colorado in 1975, and started snowboarding locally in 1985. While living in Colorado, Alden began managing a snowboarding team, Wave Rave, which included local snowboarding legends such as: Tim Windell, Dave Dowd, Kevin Delaney, the Pappas Brothers and Jim Gardner. With the love of snow in his family, Alden's brother, Dave Alden, was a professional snowboarder. While working for his Bachelor of Arts in political science from the University of Colorado at Boulder, Alden co-founded his first company with Jim Gardner in 1986-- National Snowboard Inc (NSI). An events and marketing company producing consumer, amateur, and pro-snowboarding events nationwide. As quoted by Rocky Mountain News reporter, David Lewis, on February 5, 1992,"Gardner and Alden did not invent snowboarding, but they distilled it, translated it, and marketed it. They were instrumental in making snowboarding an industry and not just another youth-culture fad." Alden later sold NSI to the American Ski Association in 1991. After years of snowboarding, Alden launched his second venture in 1995, designing and patenting the first ever step-in snowboard boot and binding system. This venture was co-founded with snowboard industry veteran Brett Conrad, and launched under the brand name, Device Manufacturing. Four years later, Alden sold Device Manufacturing to Atomic Ski Company In 2003, Alden formed Skullcandy designing products that offered the consumer audio solutions and that also fit into his active lifestyle . Alden is an individual who spent his entire life blurring the lines between work and play. While most people are deeply passionate about something, they generally develop a career in something that has nothing to do with their true love. Not Alden. The first Skullcandy product – the Skullcandy™ Portable LINK – was introduced at the 2003 Consumer Electronic Show (CES) in Las Vegas, where it won its first Design and Innovation Award. A few weeks later, the brand was launched to the action sports industry at the Snow Industries America (SIA) show. An initial tough sell to the action sports market, the first store to branch out and carry the brand was Milo Snow Skate in Utah. Alden's Park City, business hit $35.7 million in sales last year (2007), according to Inc. (magazine). CNN Money  reports 2008 sales as "...approaching $100 million dollars." The CEO of Skullcandy, Alden, has been named one of vSpring Capital's "Top 100 Venture Entrepreneurs" in 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009, and holds a patent for technology that integrates mobile phones and music players. In addition, Alden was named Enrst Young's Entrepreneur of the Year for the state of Utah during the spring of 2008. The Ernst Young Entrepreneur of the Year award recognizes men and women who have excelled at growing and sustaining market-leading businesses. As CEO and Founder of Skullcandy, Alden has built a company dedicated to producing high-performance audio products, successfully saturating both the mainstream and action sports markets. In September 2008, Alden was featured on CNBC's The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch, starring Donny Deutsch. In 2008, he was also featured as #31 in (#1 in Consumer Electronics Category) Inc. (magazine) "Inc 5000 Award" for Skullcandy's three-year (2004-2007) growth of 24,077.4%. In addition to his national recognition, Alden's company, Skullcandy, was noted as being "the world's coolest ear bud," by both CNN Money and Fortune Magazine during December 2008. Whether a fan of snowboarding, motorcross, legendary hip-hop artist, Snoop Dogg, or international phenomenon, Metallica, Skullcandy has gone after every market and led with success. Continuing to position themselves both in the action sports and music/entertainment industry, the company has been known for partnering with key concerts, action sports events, and celebrity parties. Alden knows the market and has continued to build off the entertainment industry, bringing a simple concept to full fruition. The launch of Skullcandy brought a variety of new opportunities for Alden...In October 2008 CEO of Skullcandy, Rick Alden, debuted 2XL  to the general consumer market place. A new line of audio electronics, 2XL  offers "music to the people" and is available in Best Buy, Circuit City and a variety of other mainstream markets. A bold and unique line of headphones and audio accessories rooted in lifestyle and culture, 2XL offers today’s generation “individual style with universal appeal”, including a level of unprecedented self expression and diversity. A youth-centric brand, 2XL  speaks to all facets of the youth market with timely, attention grabbing aesthetics and meaningful performance. During early 2009, Alden was honored as being named CEO of the Year for Utah, as seen in the March 2009 issue of Utah Business Magazine. His award recognition was due to Skullcandy's tremendous growth and development through 2008, as well as Alden's overall managerial style and core leadership with driving the companies direction. In addition to Alden's entrepreneurship, he is the holder of numerous patents in the snowboarding, audio and electronics industry and fly fishing industries, including a design patent for the Orvis Batternkill Large Arbor Fly Fishing Reel  Alden is grandson of Rose Marie Reid, recognized as being one of the most famous women during the 1940's and 50's. In 1955, Reid, an American swimsuit designer, was named Designer of the Year by Sports Illustrated and Woman of the Year by TIME Magazine. He is a known resident of Park City, Utah where he lives with his wife (Holly) and four children (Preston, Brooklyn, Autumn, Tyler), as reported in the June issue of Utah Business Magazine. He and his wife, Holly Alden, have been married since 1989.
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