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PIA Press Release

Co-founder of world's leading bagmaker inspires Filipino youth

by RG Alama

Davao City (10 November) -- Skip Yowell, co-founder of the world's leading maker of daypack bags visited Davao City last November 8 as a motivational speaker to students of Ateneo de Davao, part of a whirlwind tour speaking to different college students across the country.

Skip, who currently holds the position of the Vice President of Global Public Relations for Jansport, co-founded the company with his cousin Murray Pletz and Murray's girlfriend Jan in 1967. Today Jansport is the number one selling daypack in the world, with the Philippines as their longest distributor in Asia.

"Students here are very good, they were asking interesting questions." Skip said during a lunch with members of the Davao media, the 64-year old outdoorsman and self-confessed hippie is also a known motivational and inspiration speaker back in the United States.

Ateneo de Davao is among Skip's last school stop in the country. Earlier he had speaking engagements in different colleges in Metro Manila and Cebu.

Skip's success story of a young 20-something entrepreneur in late 1960s is an inspiring tale that resonates well to youths, particularly among college students and those who are venturing into businesses.

From fresh college graduates who disdain working in a regular 8- 5 day job; Skip and his cousin Murray hiked and climbed mountains across America. In the course of their outdoor passion Murray developed a backpack using an aluminum frame. The product was entered and eventually won a design contest. The prize money was used as a seed capital for a company that now makes 8 million bags a year.

"For me it's not work but having fun." Skip describes his job in the early days of Jansport. As a motivational speaker Skip released in 2007 his book "The Hippie Guide to Climbing the Corporate Ladder and Other Mountains." detailing his numerous adventures and accomplishments. (PIA XI) [top]

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