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Aug 01|Black Diamond

Black Diamond Equipment Appoints Rick Vance as Quality Director

Black Diamond Equipment®, a global innovator in climbing, skiing, mountain sports equipment and apparel, has appointed Rick Vance as director of quality, effective August 1, 2016.

Vance will oversee all aspects of Black Diamond’s quality policy, controls and processes. This includes controls and practices within Black Diamond’s Salt Lake manufacturing operations and further integration of the quality department upstream into product design and development. Vance will serve on Black Diamond’s management team and participate in executive-level management of the company.

“As Black Diamond’s US manufacturing capacity grows alongside demand for our products, it is critical that we maintain the integrity of our supply chain and the quality of our products,” said Mark Ritchie, president of Black Diamond Equipment. “In joining our executive team, not only does Rick fulfill a key role, but he also brings a wealth of working knowledge capable of refining operations across our business and developing the next generation of our global supply chain.”

Vance previously worked at Petzl America, where he was responsible for product quality control and managed the Petzl Technical Institute as the company’s technical director. He was also a member of Petzl’s global management team and reported directly to the company’s chairman and CEO.

Prior to Petzl, Vance served as a senior research engineer for Harold K. Dunn M.D. Orthopaedic Research Laboratory, managing contracts specific to experimental design, testing and reporting of novel prototype orthopedic implant and surgical techniques. In that role, his responsibilities ranged from design of custom automated electro-mechanical testing apparatus, control and data acquisition software to statistical validation and delivery of results to customers.

Earlier, Vance worked for the Naval Surface Warfare Center as a mechanical engineer performing prototype design and testing of automated electro-mechanical, magnetostrictive and hydraulic systems to ensure U.S. Navy’s compliance with MARPOL Annex V legislation to prevent pollution from ships.

“I’m thrilled to be joining the Black Diamond team,” said Vance. “Black Diamond is anchored in a rich heritage in which it has served the core climbing and backcountry ski communities with innovative and beautifully designed products, driven by its core values and ethics. As an industry veteran, I’m very appreciative of the authenticity it lends to our products.”

Vance received his Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from Widener University. His experience in the outdoors industry includes more than two decades of rock, alpine, ice, mountaineering experience and backcountry skiing. Notably, he was a 2015 and 2016 alpine grant recipient of the Mugs Stump Award. Vance serves as secretary of the board of directors for the Climbing Wall Association (CWA) and on the Fall Protection Committee for American National Standards Institute (ANSI).

Black Diamond Equipment is a manufacturer of equipment and clothing for climbing, skiing and mountain sports. By consistently building innovative, standard-setting products and actively preserving the mountain/canyon environment, Black Diamond Equipment has assumed a leadership role in the international outdoor community. For more information on Black Diamond Equipment, visit


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