EP 16: Lean into Your Passions and Be a Brand That Gives Back w/ Mike Arzt

by | May 4, 2021 | Podcast

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Guest: Mike Arzt believes in building a brand that gives back. He is the founder of The Public Works and has been a force of the winter sports industry for over nineteen years, helping shape an industry close to his heart. Mike grew up snowboarding the mountains of Vermont, where he decided to take his passion for the mountains, the snow and the sport and turn it into a career. Today, thanks to many years at some of the top names in the industry, Mike has an in-depth business knowledge of branding, development, athletes, and imagery that helped form The Public Works. Not to mention several passport stamps in search of the world’s best snow.

The Public Works is a full-service project management firm with expertise from industrial design, engineering, and fabrication, through creative and marketing deliverables.  The power of strong relationships built on integrity and soul and shared passion for brand stimulation makes The Public Works one of a kind. Their Colorado facility, which is solar-powered, heated from downed beetle-kill wood, and utilizes biodiesel made from used fryer oil to power their fleet, is a fully equipped fabrication/manufacturing shop and photography studio.

Mike is a big supporter of and gives back to the First Descents, an inspiring and highly recognized leader in outdoor experiential programming. Through outdoor adventures, skills development, and local adventure communities, FD improves the long-term survivorship of young adults impacted by cancer and other severe health conditions. Their participants experience free outdoor adventure programs that empower them to climb, paddle, and surf beyond their diagnosis, reclaim their lives and connect with others doing the same.

Episode in a Tweet: Be a leader who lives audaciously, gives back and builds a brand that makes an impact. And never stop searching for deep snow on steep mountains.

Quick Background: I met Mike at a First Descents fundraiser ski trip in Silverton, Colorado. I loved that he gives back in many profound ways. We flew in a helicopter, searching for fresh powder, steep lines, and a bit of adrenaline. Inspired by Mike’s love of snow, perspective on the outdoor industry, and his laid-back leadership style, I invited him to join me on Reflect Forward to talk about his passions: photography, snow, the First Descents, and being a leader worth following. Mike shares what he’s learned working from some of the world’s biggest outdoor brands such as Burton, Airwalk, and Helly Hanson and why there is nothing more freeing than ripping on a snowboard in some of the world’s most remote mountains. Mike tells about his inspiring involvement with First Descents and how it changed his life forever. We talk about why brands need to take a stand, support a cause, and make an impact. Mike is a very cool cat, and I can’t wait for our next ski trip…British Columbia 2022!

You can find Mike on Linkedin and at The Public Works.

Like this? Check out my blog on finding purpose in your work.