In 2013, following on Tower's success with its online direct to consumer eCommerce model, Tower set out to build a state-of-the-art factory to build stand up paddle boards right here in San Diego. Our goal was not just to build a factory, but to redefine the modern surf/SUP factory. We sought out a sharp young talent with a passion for lean manufacturing. We found that and more in Galen Eckenroth. Not only is he well versed in Six Sigma principles and Kaizen, he's a stand out in academia, and a lifelong waterman.
While our factory was fully built out and operational, it never materialized to much as inflatable paddle boards started to take over the SUP industry, and quickly become the focus of Tower's business. Nonetheless, with Galen's help, Tower quickly became the #1 Fastest Growing Private Company in San Diego in 2014 and #239 on the INC 500 list of America's Fastest Growing Companies a year later.
Galen graduated with Summa Cum Laude honors from Cal State San Marcos and was awarded the prestigious Outstanding Student Award in the Business Management department in 2010. He went on to develop his appetite for continuous process improvement with a well-respected local San Diego company, Solatube International. Galen quickly worked his way up the ranks to become an integral member of their operations team. He cut his teeth in Kaizen and Six Sigma principles while at Solatube and helped them move their manufacturing back to the US.
Galen grew up at the beach, spending any free moment in the ocean--primarily surfing the break at Law Street in Pacific Beach. Since his introduction to the sport of surfing 25 years ago, his longest time away from the surf has been 5 weeks. An all around waterman, Galen surfs, bodysurfs, sails, paddle surfs, and spent 7 summers lifeguarding. In 2011 Galen started shaping custom surfboards. Instantly he realized his love for surfing was paralleled with his love for shaping.
Galen is a natural fit for the culture and ambition at Tower. Today he leads warehouse operations, product development, and sourcing for the entire Tower Group as our Tower Electric Bike business is now following a familiar growth path to that of Tower Paddle Boards nearly a decade earlier.