Donna Carpenter met Burton founder, Jake Burton Carpenter in a Southern Vermont bar on New Year’s Eve 1981. Within a year they married and became partners in business and life, working side-by-side dipping snowboards in polyurethane and answering the customer service line that rang in the bedroom. Donna quickly became a driving force, working with Jake to build Burton into the world’s leading snowboard company and also making Burton a brand of choice and employer of choice for women. In 2010, Donna stepped up to the role of President and eventually became Burton’s first female CEO.
Over the last decade, Jake began to experience a series of health challenges, and in November 2019, he lost his life to a recurrence of cancer. His last words to Donna, as she shares later in our conversation, speaks so much to the way they live their lives, the relationship they had, the community they built, and the lives they created together. Earlier this year, Donna stepped out of the role of CEO to become Chair of the Burton Board of Directors, focus on advocating for the sport of snowboarding, being a strong climate activist, speaking up on behalf of sustainability efforts as well as advocating for more diversity on the mountain, in business, and in boardrooms.
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