Outdoor and travel gear company LCI Brands has announced that after 48 years working in the outdoor industry, Jerry Michelson will be retiring at the end of 2018.
Michelson has served as Vice President – Outdoor at LCI Brands for more than 8 years and before that ran Cerf Brothers Bag Company with his family. Started in 1915 by his grandfather, Cerf Brothers came to be known for their outdoor bags and tarpaulins, and this was where Michelson gained his knowledge of the outdoor industry. He worked at the family business for more than 40 years and was President of Cerf Brothers for 20 of those years.
In his role at LCI Brands, he has been responsible for driving growth in the outdoor products category, developing relationships with buyers, managing key accounts, and attending trade shows. He has also contributed to many of the company’s product designs and helped create the overall outdoor program.
“We have been so fortunate to have Jerry work with LCI Brands for over 8 years,” said Ray Roos, Vice President of Sales at LCI Brands. “However, his unbelievable career spanning 5 decades is the most amazing part. The relationships he has with so many individuals are truly special and one of a kind.”
“I’m probably the most fortunate of all since I’ve had the pleasure to call Jerry a colleague and friend for over 8 years,” said Michael Smerling, President of LCI Brands.
Some of his most influential work has been at trade shows such as Nation’s Best Sports, Worldwide, Outdoor Retailer, and the Travel Goods Show.
“I have never met a more sincere, humble and gracious person in my 30 plus years in the outdoor industry than Jerry,” said Jeff Corey, Buyer/Member Program Coordinator at Worldwide Distributors, who recounted how Michelson “would spend hours on the phone calling members before each show welcoming them to his booth.”
Bruce Ollerenshaw, the Hardlines Merchandise Manager at Worldwide, began working with Michelson when he was just starting out at Cerf Brothers. Throughout his careers at Gander, Big 5, and Worldwide, Ollerenshaw said he has been thankful for all of Michaelson’s “support and friendship along the way.”
Michelson will spend his last year transitioning into the role of brand ambassador by continuing to help with product development, account management, and trade shows.