West Slope event to feature North Face founder

Hap Klopp

The founder of an iconic brand of outdoor products will share his experiences and business advice at an annual Western Colorado event celebrating entrepreneurship.

Kenneth “Hap” Klopp, founder and former chief executive of The North Face, will deliver the keynote luncheon address at Entrepreneurship Day April 4 at Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction. An additional luncheon event is planned for April 5 in Montrose.

In Grand Junction, Entrepreneurship Day also will include a series of free presentations on various business topics and a student competition to develop ideas for new products and services.

The Grand Junction luncheon is scheduled for noon at the University Center ballroom on the CMU campus near 12th and Elm streets. Tickets sell for $50 each or $500 for a table sponsorship for eight people and two sponsored CMU students. Tickets for CMU students sell for $20.

General admission tickets that include the address, but not lunch, sell for $10. For tickets or more information, call 248-1902 or visit www.coloradomesa.edu/eday.

The Montrose luncheon is set for noon at the Montrose Pavilion, 1800 Pavilion Drive. Tickets sell for $35. For tickets or more information, call (970) 249-7009 or visit the CMU campus in Montrose at 234 S. Cascade Ave.

Entrepreneurship Day luncheons serve as a fund-raisers for student scholarships at the CMU campuses in Grand Junction and Montrose.

The events also bring in prominent entrepreneurs, among them Jerry Greenfield, co-founder of Ben & Jerry’s; and Ben Stein, the actor, economist and writer.

Klopp helped launch The North Face in the late 1960s in the San Francisco Bay area with what started out as a small retailer of high-performance climbing and backpacking equipment.

The North Face soon began designing and manufacturing its own brand of equipment and apparel that enjoyed a growing following among outdoor enthusiasts.  Over the following decades, the company developed what’s now an extensive line of technically advanced equipment, apparel and footwear.

During Klopp’s more than 20-year ternure as president and CEO, The North Face received many awards and was featured on national television and in such publications as Business Week, Forbes and the Wall Street Journal.

After selling The North Face in 1990, Klopp launched HK Consulting, an international management consulting firm focusing on strategy, marketing and promotions. He also participated in a number of other entrepreneurial ventures, including the takeover of Canterbury of New Zealand, a company that manufactures sports apparel and rugby equipment.

Klopp wrote a book on leadership titled “The Adventure of Leadership: An Unorthodox business guide from the man who conquered The North Face.”

He is a periodic lecturer at Arizona State University, Stanford University and the University of Utah.