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Pete Saari

Pete Saari's Creative Kitchen

It’s a sunny fall day at Banana Way in Carlsborg, WA. Seems like it’s always sunny in Carlsborg, on the northern coast of the Olympic Peninsula, in the rain shadow of the Olympic Mountains. Pete Saari’s busy at the Mervin Manufacturing compound, fulfilling his duties as vice president of creativity. Now 58, Pete’s been working there his whole adult life alongside Mike Olson and assorted long-term creative comrades, building and growing Gnu, Lib Tech, Bent Metal Binding Works, and now ski, surf and wake-surfing programs. Pete has his hands in almost every aspect of the business, from long-term growth strategies to daily engagement with the factory floor and everything in between. 

Recently, Pete and his family—including partner, Annette, and their kids Hoko and Ailo—moved to the peninsula full time. It was always the plan, but one expedited by the COVID pandemic. They’re about 10 minutes from Banana Way now, with a selection of cold-water waves not too far afield, the mountains a half hour above, biking and hiking and other natural draws at their fingertips. That means the family can work and play in the same day. And the lines between work and play are often blurred, whether testing new snowboard shapes at Hurricane Ridge or new surf designs at the coast...

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