NRS Becomes 100% Employee Owned



On December 30, 2013, NRS President Bill Parks gathered our crew in Moscow, Idaho together to make a special announcement. This moment marked the culmination of 40 years of hard work for Bill and a long line of dedicated NRS associates. Bill had set out in 1972 to build a company that treated its employees and customers the way he liked to be treated, a company that proved his philosophy that good business could add meaning and enjoyment to people’s lives. As champagne bottles popped, he announced that NRS was now owned entirely by its employees.

Teamwork and a family atmosphere have always defined NRS, thanks to Bill’s progressive values and our roots in the active outdoor culture. Bill—a business professor the University of Oregon, and later the University of Idaho—decided that he should see if the concepts he taught his students could work in the real world. An avid river runner, he saw a need for an equipment supplier and seized the opportunity. In those early days of rafting and kayaking, boaters had to work together to outfit trips, keep gear serviceable and, of course, to get down the river safely. Bill enjoyed that aspect of boating, and he wanted to build that same kind of culture into his company.

At NRS, we pride ourselves on working together to get things done, and everyone from Bill on down to the newest hire in the warehouse shares responsibility for ensuring the highest standards of quality, service and integrity. We’ve never had a lot of managers, protocols, or official policies. Instead, we’ve tried to empower individuals to make the right decisions for the good of the customer and the company. This culture has been a big part of our success over the years, and employee ownership ensures it will remain the company culture long after Bill takes the nameplate off his door and heads down the river.

We’ve grown a lot since Bill hand-typed the first NRS catalog four decades ago, but we’ve always remained true to his original ideals. We work to treat our customers and one another the way we like to be treated. We enjoy doing our jobs well and continuing to build the enterprise Bill created. We’ve always taken ownership in our work, and taking ownership of the company makes that work even more rewarding.

We appreciate all of our customers, partners and friends who help keep us going and make our jobs fun. Thanks for making it all possible!

The NRS Team