Marylhurst University

Skip to content »

Wilson Zehr Launches Eco-Friendly International Company

Wilson Zehr, faculty member in the School of Business, has launched a firm that makes surf boards from sustainable materials with facilities in Oregon and Ecuador.

Excerpt from an article by Andy Gingrich in Sustainable Business Oregon, July 16, 2013.

A company that makes high-end sustainably produced surfboards has quietly established a sales, marketing and product design presence in Portland.

Yana, which makes surfboards from Ecuadoran balsa wood, is using a model deployed by such companies as Nike Inc. and Adidas, said Wilson Zehr, the company's CEO and founder of the tech company Zairmail. The boards cost more than $3,000 and are made from wood that, according to a Yana spokeswoman, "grows like a weed" in Ecuador.

Most boards are made from what Yana's leaders call "petrochemical badness."

"We do all the design work here," Zehr explained. "The designs are transferred to Ecuador where wood is cut and then rough-shaped blanks are created and chambered. These blanks then head to our facilities in Florida or California where they are finish shaped by iconic expert shapers and glassed. The finished boards are then shipped to customers."

Yana uses balsa because it's considered a sustainable hard wood that grows naturally in Central and South American rain forests.

Most surfboards were made of balsa until the late 1950s. Manmade materials were then introduced to the manufacturing process as surfers sought lighter and shorter boards.

Yana is targeting an older surfing audience, between 28 and 60, who want to purchase top-end equipment. It's also touting its modern design techniques, with efforts led by designer Chris Hotz, a company co-founder.

Read the full article on SustainableBusinessOregon.com

Wilson Zehr is the CEO of Cendix, a provider of web-to-print solutions. He teaches international business in Marylhurst's MBA program.

Related News

See All News

Ric Stephens Named ISOCARP President-Elect

Ric Stephens, business faculty, was named president-elect for the International Society of City and Regional Planners in September 2014.

Morgan Gary Launches Sustainable Laundromat

Morgan Gary's capstone project for her MBA in Sustainable Business evolved into Spin Laundry Lounge, turning her vision of a community-oriented, sustainably focused laundromat into a reality.

Calendar

See All Events

October 24, 2014 – October 26, 2014

Alumni Reunion 2014

Save the date for 2014 Marylhurst Alumni Reunion. For more information, contact Kelly Ann Chee, Office of Alumni Relations, at 503.534.4059 or alu...

READ MORE

November 02, 2014

Music in the Woods: 45th Parallel

An afternoon of chamber music performed by 45th Parallel, featuring some of the most exciting musicians of the Pacific Northwest. The program, “V...

READ MORE

November 02, 2014

Marylhurst Community Orchestra: Fall Classics Concert

Join the Marylhurst Community Orchestra in welcoming in a new autumnal season with music!

READ MORE

GIVE

Support Marylhurst University. Gifts of all sizes make a difference!

DONATE NOW

©2013 Marylhurst University