INSPIRED BY TRAGEDY
WHEN A TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY TOOK A DAUGHTER’S LIFE, A GRIEVING FATHER CREATED TEAM WENDY
This inside look at Team Wendy takes you inside their company, product and philosophy. By Doug Jeffrey
It’s interesting how some manufacturers become engrained in the consumer’s mind for a certain product. Take the fastfood industry. For many people, the connection is probably Mcdonald’s. In the tactical world, Team Wendy may very well be the name that consumers link to helmets. And for good reason. For more than 20 years, the Cleveland, Ohio-based company has been providing unparalleled protection to a variety of customers. It started with the ski industry and has transitioned into military, law enforcement and search and rescue.
To find out more about this company’s history and future, we spoke to Jose Rizo-patron, chief executive officer.
After you read this, you’ll understand why many consider Team Wendy the go-to company in the tactical and adventure world.
QUESTION: Tell us when and how Team Wendy got started.
ANSWER: Jose Rizo-patron: Team Wendy was founded in 1997 by Dan T. Moore as a memorial to his daughter, Wendy, who passed away from a traumatic brain injury (TBI) following a snow skiing accident that same year. Initially, our focus was on creating the most protective ski helmet on the market—and this at a time when only a small percentage of skiers and snowboarders wore helmets. The market wasn’t necessarily ready for a helmet like this, but in the process of designing our first ski helmet, we invented our patented Zorbium foam. We quickly realized the impact that this technology could have to mitigate TBI in more than just alpine sports. In 2005, the U.S. Army released a tender for pad sets to be included in their helmets, and we shifted focus to this new space. Since then, Team Wendy has created innovative, scalable helmet systems for elite military, law enforcement, and search and rescue operators that allow them to scale up or down for the mission requirement, including our latest product release: the M-216 Ski Search and Rescue Helmet, which has brought us back to the space where it all started—and at a time when the market is finally ready—and we’re better than ever at what we do.
Q: Describe your staff. Does it include retired military personnel?
A: Team Wendy employs a diverse group of talented employees with a broad range of skill sets and experience that drive the company’s research and development, operations, marketing and sales success. Capabilities range from chemical, mechanical and electrical engineering, and industrial design to operations and quality control management with decades of experience in executive management/ leadership. The staff includes military and other U.S. government veterans, as well as several outdoor enthusiasts who are in tune to industry requirements and are constantly aiming to improve upon existing systems and address unmet needs.
Q: You’ve been providing the Army and Marines liner systems for helmets for more than 10 years. Describe how that