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

Luis De Vore Introduces Responsibly-Sourced Produce

Luis De Vore, MBA in Sustainable Business alum, announced the launch of Feliz, a new product line of "responsibly-sourced" produce from Procacci Bros., in October 2014.

Marylhurst Faculty Teach Free College Course

Drs. John Urang and Chuck Caruso are teaching in the 2014-15 Humanity in Perspective program, a free six-month college course offered through Oregon Humanities.

Calendar

See All Events

October 21, 2014

LinkedIn Part 1: Getting Started

This beginner’s session will discuss the importance of having a professional presence on LinkedIn and focus specifically on tips for building a p...

READ MORE

October 21, 2014

Marylhurst Reading Series: Carl Adamshick & Emily Kendal Frey

Poets Carl Adamshick and Emily Kendal Frey will read from their collections Saint Friend (2014) and The Sorrow Arrow (2014). Carl Adamshick’s C...

READ MORE

October 22, 2014

Lean Boot Camp

This intensive 3-day course (10/22, 10/23, 10/24) guides you through a structured learning and personal development process for driving lean princi...

READ MORE

GIVE

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

DONATE NOW

©2013 Marylhurst University