Mercedes Ortega, Burton Snowboards Americas, East Coast Manager
My brother taught me how to skate the summer going into 5th grade. I remember falling and having to get a bunch of stitches on my chin. I still have a gnarly scar today. A lot of life lessons, broken bones, and sketchy situations to say the least from that summer to now. I grew up in NY and I'm extremely proud of where I'm from and the friends I grew up with. I started my first business with my partner Meri Vallo, after a college teacher loved my business plan. It was a fashion forward skateboard shop located in Long Beach NY, women owned and operated (we were very proud of that!). I still keep in touch with a bunch of the skate kids from the shop, still to this day they impress me with their accomplishments. I think that's where my passion for building community really sunk in. My time in the industry has been well rounded. From building skateparks in Panama, to my time working at Sundown Ski and Surf Shop, to acting as a tabulator for the WSL, to moving to SLC to work under Josh Fisher at Four Horsemen Sales. I eventually made my way back East where I've been the Area Manager for Burton Snowboards for the past 8 years. That's when I met Hailey, Matt Jagemann and the insane New England crew, who made me feel right at home.
Volunteering Work:Member, Shelburne Town Equity and Diversity CommitteeBottomless Closet NYCThesis:Generation Y: How to Authentically Market to Key DemographicsConnect: @mercedesot on Instagram
Collectively Hailey and Mercedes have collaborated with companies such as: Vans, Oakley, Red Bull, Sun Bum, RovR, Puma, RVCA, Roxy, Hoods to Woods, The Shred Foundations, Lisa's Surf School, and Huff