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Riley Goodwin: Marketing and Communications, Union Binding Company – Snowboarding’s 30 Under 30

Marketing and Communications, Union Binding Company

 Birthdate: August 15th, 1991

Riley Goodwin is low-key. Low-key professional. Low-key ripper. Low-key social media savant. Low-key one of the nicest dudes you'll meet. A product of the latter Sno-Con generation in Seattle, Riley's upbringing was close to the industry whether he realized it at the time or not. He somehow appears as though he's hardly trying yet is always two steps ahead. This attribute transcends facets of his life. He rips on a board and responds to emails instantly. He stays on top of trends but puts little stock in what others think of him. He'll drink too much Twisted Tea then wake up before you. A critical piece in the small crew that comprises Union Binding Company—where he manages varying marketing responsibilities from the brand's social media platforms to its massive team of riders ranging from Phil Jacques to Travis Rice, and about anything else you can think of—it's this laidback/productive dichotomy that makes him so likable and efficient. The rest of us are just trying to keep up.

— Taylor Boyd

Where are you from and where do you currently call home?

Born and raised in Seattle, Washington. Still livin' here.

What do you do at Union? What’s a typical day look like?

Union is a global operation. With HQ's in Seattle, Colorado, and Colico, Italy, I spend a lot of time juggling timezones, Skype calls, and emails. A typical day for me looks like emails, emails, and more emails, followed by a heavy dose of social media. Once the world has had their digital fix I head out to the C3 warehouse to ship bindings to the team and beat Mark Dangler at ping pong. When Mark's been sufficiently whooped and the team has their gear, I work closely with our brand manager, sales team, and riders to lend an opinion on products and continue the brand story.

How did you start snowboarding?

I started snowboarding in the 6th grade. A few of my friends signed up for the ski bus on Friday nights that went from Seattle to Snoqualmie Pass, so I borrowed some gear and signed up for the bus. I rode that ski bus every Friday night during the winter for the next seven years.

Friday night bus trips to the mountain must’ve paid off. PHOTO: Paul Stanley

At what point did you realize that you wanted to work in the snowboard industry?

I think I knew when I was in high school but had no clue what I actually wanted to do or how to do it. Then all the sudden I had this job in the snowboarding industry. It just kind of worked out.

And how did you make that happen?

In 2011 I was working for a local screenprinting business here in Seattle. The busy season was over for printing so I asked my boss Joe Florence if he knew of any other jobs around town. A day later, Joe lined me up with a job in the warehouse at C3—CAPiTA, Coal, Union. This was my "foot in the door" moment. I was cleaning toilets, taking out the trash and packing up boxes of beanies for the next couple of months. Then the warranty position at C3 opened up, so I acted like I knew how to tune snowboards and deal with customers. I didn't know shit. I went home and watched all these YouTube videos about how to fix snowboards, but none of them helped. Eventually I did learn how to repair snowboards, talk to customers on the phone, and send emails. It might sound cliché, but C3 was like school for me; they kept giving me opportunities to learn new skills, and eventually they offered me a job in the office doing customer service. I started working more and more with the sales reps, shops, and the brands. I'd take on anything C3 would throw at me. A couple of years in the C3 office taught me a lot of valuable skills that I still use today. Then in 2014, George Kleckner sat me down at the local teriyaki joint and asked me if I wanted to work directly for Union Binding Company. Once again, I had no clue what I was doing, but George and Martino put some faith in me and gave me a chance to learn the ropes. Fast-forward three years and here we are today.

Who did you look up to in the industry for inspiration?

Preston Strout at Crab Grab, Sean Genovese and Jeff Keenan at DWD, and the young stunnas like AK and Tanner McCarty.

Methodical with his work and his tricks. PHOTO: Paul Stanley

What do you feel has been your biggest impact in your line of work?

Keeping humans attached to their snowboards, so they don't fly away.

What do you want to accomplish that you haven't yet?

A Jeff Holce pro model binding. Fingers crossed for a 2025 release.

Anyone you'd like to thank?

Martino Fumagalli, George Kleckner, Johan Malkoski, Bob Gundram, Blue Montgomery, LTD Kyle, and everyone else at C3. Also Snowboard Connection, and all the homies that ride Union Bindings. And my mom; my mom is the best.

A post shared by Riley Goodwin (@greezyriley) on

 

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