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A Millennial Takes The Helm Of The 164-Year-Old Orvis Company

By Everett Potter

In the tumultuous world of American outdoor retailers, it’s refreshing to report on a family business success story. Orvis, the oldest mail-order business in the country and a trusted source for fly fishing gear, travel goods, and sportswear today announced that a third-generation family member, Simon Perkins, was named President.

Founded in 1856 by Charles F. Orvis in Manchester, Vermont, the Orvis Company was bought by Leigh Perkins in 1965, passed to his sons “Perk” and Dave Perkins, and has now transitioned to Simon Perkins, Perk’s son. The 36-year-old millennial is the third generation to take the helm of Orvis, a rarity in the business world, given that roughly a slim margin of 13% of family businesses make it to the third tier of ownership.

“There’s an underlying passion within the family for this area of business,” Simon Perkins says. “It’s really strong and shared on a professional and a personal level, which is a powerful thing to have as a foundation …

 

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