Best Jobs in the Outdoors: Eric Henderson
Being the mouthpiece for a gear brand isn't all social media and sweet trips, but it mostly is.
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Technically, Eric Henderson’s title is Communications Manager for Salewa North America, repping brands like Dynafit, Salewa, Pomoca, and Wild Country but we know Hende first and foremost for the stoke he brings to every single thing he does. That’s why he has one of the best jobs in the outdoors.
BP: What’s a typical workday like for you?
Hende: A typical workday is to wake up, check Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter around 6:30 in the morning, communicate with Europe. I’m in the office by 8:30 after I feed my kids and drop them off at school and tidy up the house—there is always a honey-do list. And then I usually pitch gear on Mondays and Wednesdays and work with athletes on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I drive the social media for all four brands as well. And then press releases and then the rest of the marketing projects.
BP: What part do you wake up excited for?
Hende: I wake up mostly excited for the fact that I get to take people places and share experiences with them. I’m really experiential based so I pride myself on picking up the phone. I pride myself on actually taking people to the edge of something and then backing off. So, if it’s with skiing or climbing or trail running, I really like to take people someplace they’ve never been before, show them the gear they can use, and then maybe back it off.
BP: What’s the drudgery?
Hende: The drudgery. Ohh. The press releases. And expense reports and Excel and all the things I never went to school for. For sure. You name it, anything that has to do with a computer is not my favorite thing.
BP: What’s the most important thing you did when you were younger that helped you to get to where you are now?
Hende: Becoming the first Certified AMGA Telemark Ski Guide in the US, and that really helped catapult my career. I met (celebrated skier and guide) John Falkiner at Livigno in 2000, and then from there I went to Everest with Jimmy Chin and Steven Koch in 2003, and then I went back and skied in the northern Altai, on the border of Mongolia and China in 2003 along with Jimmy Chin, Jimmy Hartman and Heather Paul and discovered a lost tribe of skiers. So with expeditions and the ski-guiding career, those things really catapulted me into where I am today, for sure.
BP: What is the coolest thing you have done in the last year, work wise?
Hende: I went back and skied Meteorite (in Valdez, Alaska) on my fifth year anniversary of breaking my neck, and we climbed it from the road. So that was sort of the big triumph of taking work and mixing it with a personal story, and you can check it out in the film called ‘From the Road.’