New Beginnings: Part 2
What an honor it is to be writing this and introducing ourselves to all of our future friends, employees, coworkers, partners and customers. Megan and I are so incredibly grateful for the opportunity to do what we love to do, serve our community, as well as educate and find stewards, or build upon existing ones. This truly is a dream come true. First, we must thank Jason Shreder again for this opportunity. We will do everything we can to ensure the continued growth and prosperity of the business you started, my friend. Thank you. I will try to keep this brief, but I am not known for that talent. Here is a bit about us, and our journey to Zoo Town Surfers.
Ever since I was young, I have been fascinated and drawn to water. I have a picture floating around somewhere of me, around 2 years old, standing next to some rafts my parents had rented for a Green River multiday. Since then, water and rafting has been in my blood.
I grew up never being able to get out the ocean, spending much of every summer in Southern California with family. The same was true when I was home in Idaho on it’s rivers and lakes; I was the first one in the water, and the last one out, and that much of me at least, largely remains true to this day.
Megan similarly always loved the water. She grew up snowboarding on the frozen kind, and playing on the wet kind in various river and fishing trips with her family in Alaska. Her love of rivers grew dramatically when she hopped on her first multiday trip with me back in college on the Lower Gorge of the Salmon River. Since then, she’s taken every opportunity to be on the water. The Lochsa is one of her favorite places on the planet, and in her words, where she “truly fell in love with rivers.”
7 years ago, Megan asked me whether or not I would ever want to own an outfitting business. My work in guiding on the Salmon and Hells Canyon led me to work as a rep for the absolutely wonderful folks at Northwest River Supplies (NRS), so the question of owning a river business came up pretty frequently. My answer was invariably; it depends on the business. I would not want to do it for the wrong reasons, and I would want to structure a company that I would be happy to guide at. One that focuses on guide voice, stewardship, individual and professional growth, and sharing our incredible rivers with those that do not get to experience them as often as we do. One example of this type of business came up as a general answer to Megans question; if Jason Shreder ever decided to sell, that would be a business worth purchasing. As luck would have it; 7 years, a few moves, and many river trips later, as well as right place at the right time and some good friends, would lead us to start the process of purchasing Zoo Town Surfers.
We could tell from the get-go that Shreder’s involvement in the community and his passion for his business was incredible. He built this business from the ground up, and we want to continue the traditions, hard work, and community care and involvement that he set the foundations of ZTS on. That seemed a daunting task at first, but it has become much more achievable and exciting as we have seen how much love and support has been built around ZTS. Our promise to you is this: We will continue to grow ZTS into a community minded, inclusive, and safe place where any and all can experience the river.
I am always available via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, and phone at 208-310-2253. I would love the opportunity to introduce myself over a cup of coffee or a beer, please feel free to reach out! Thank you all for taking the time to read this far, and we hope to see you on the river!
-Megan and Ian Fodor-Davis.