We returned from the Teva Mountain Games last month, and not only did it give us a chance to kick it with our fans, but it also brought back a lot of memories of last year’s games. In case you didn’t know, we added a new member to our Goal Zero family last year, and the Teva Mountain Games is where we found our vice president of marketing, Chris Abruzzese.
We found Chris chillin’ at the Maui Jim booth selling sunglasses. Even though he no longer worked at Maui Jim, he had coordinated getting the company to the games, and wanted to see how his magic played out.
“I was with Maui Jim previously and was curious to see how it was going to be at Teva for them during their first year,” Chris said. “I had a friend who was doing business with Goal Zero at the Teva Mountain Games, and he insisted on introducing me to them.”
We’re glad he did, because it was love at first sight—for both parties.
“I just loved what they were doing. I loved the people and how Goal Zero was a fun, cool, growing business with a great product, and I loved the fact that they want to empower people,” Chris said.
He started as a consultant for us, but we liked him so much, we offered him a full-time gig. Still, marketing for Goal Zero isn’t his only passion. Chris is a bit of a jack of all trades. You probably didn’t know that the vice president of marketing for Goal Zero doubles as a farmer in Maine, but farming is what Chris does when he’s not brainstorming ways to make Goal Zero even more awesome.
“I have a 75-acre farm in Maine with horses, sheep and chickens. I mow and bail hay a lot. It’s a beautiful place, we have a 365-degree view of the mountains and a nice little stream running through the property,” Chris said. “I work a week every two weeks in Salt Lake and telecommute in between.”
His passion for solar power crosses into his other obsessions in life.
“I have a solar-powered electric fence on my farm,” Chris said. “My wife and I also cater events. We have a mobile pizza oven that we bring to the events and use Goal Zero’s Yeti to power the lights, music and refrigerator.”
We’ve said before that the Teva Mountain Games will always hold a place in our heart because that is where we got our start, and where we have met some of the coolest people on the planet, including Chris Abbruzzese.
“I spent 17 years blocking the sun and now I’m all about collecting the sun and making friends with it,” Chris said about his former life as a marketer for a sunglass company. “I’m still in the sun business, but on the opposite side. I like to joke that I went from polar to solar.”