Burton, the Vermont-based company widely credited with inventing the sport of snowboarding, then leading its growth into a global industry, was praised Wednesday for its work helping others during the coronavirus crisis.
“I feel, personally, so fortunate to be governor of this great state, where in a crisis like this, we can rely on each other to get through it,” said Gov. Phil Scott at a briefing where he expressed deep gratitude to Burton employees and all the other Vermonters helping to strengthen communities during the pandemic.
Burton’s Donna Carpenter appeared with Scott via video at a media briefing, where the governor thanked her for the coronavirus response work she and her company are doing — much of it in her late husband’s name.
Widely called the father of snowboarding for the famous gear brand he founded in Vermont, Jake Burton Carpenter died in November 2019 from cancer.
In mid-March, just before Vermont’s ban on large gatherings, riders at the Stowe Mountain Resort raised their snowboards during a slopeside memorial to the winter sports legend, an event that also saw a trail named for Carpenter.
“Ride on, Jake,” Carpenter said Wednesday, repeating a message that has become an expression of gratitude for her husband’s contributions to snowboarding.
Carpenter explained that Burton tapped into its Asian supply chain to enable it to donate a half-million FDA-approved masks to hospitals across the northeast, including two in Vermont and New Hampshire where the snowboarding icon received treatment.
“It’s kind of insane, when you think about it, what private companies are doing to step in when it really should be the federal government,” Carpenter said Wednesday.
The company also worked with Boston Children’s Hospital to design face shields that are now being manufactured at a prototyping center in Burlington, Carpenter said — hundreds per week.
Gifts of new Anon snowboarding goggles are doubling as protective equipment for frontline healthcare workers, and employees are sewing cloth masks at home to share with others, the company added.
“I know the governor and everybody involved shares the same values we do of people first and community first,” Carpenter said.
Scott pointed out Burton is just one of many, many Vermont businesses going above and beyond right now.
The governor predicted that, because of their generosity, ingenuity and service, the state will be more united and stronger after the coronavirus crisis ends.