Outdoor industry professional Kenny Ballard has been appointed Mustang Survival’s new President. Ballard takes over responsibilities from Juanita Killen, who stepped into the role of Interim President in 2023, leading the company through a challenging year of growth and evolution. Additionally, Lance Richardson, an expert in domestic manufacturing and efficiency, takes on the newly created role of VP, Manufacturing and Innovation for the Wing Group, Mustang Survival’s parent company.
Ballard brings a wealth of experience from previous executive roles with renowned brands, including Osprey, SwissGear, Wenger Outdoor, Kelty, and, most recently, his own successful consulting firm. Having once worked at Mad River Canoe, Ballard returns to his roots by re-immersing himself in the water sports industry.
Andrew Branagh, CEO of the Wing Group, expresses: “Kenny’s history of exceptional leadership across a diverse spectrum of outdoor businesses uniquely qualifies him as the ideal candidate for this pivotal role at Mustang Survival. Kenny has consistently worked across the retail sector and knows how to navigate the complexities of commercial and military operations.’
In response to his hiring, Kenny Ballard shared his excitement. “I’m ecstatic to be working with a brand that has a heritage of innovation, saving and protecting lives and enabling everyday marine adventures. It brings me back to my water sports roots—some of my fondest memories and grandest adventures have been on and in the water. Sailing, paddling, and fishing: the Mustang brand DNA, product portfolio, and most importantly the global team are built around these activities, and I am excited to align business with my passions.”
Ballard will lead from the Mustang Waterlife Headquarters Vancouver, BC, which includes the local manufacturing facility. He’ll be overseeing the newly moved and expanded Jacksonville Florida plant, operations in Spencer, Virginia, and the overseas office in Salisbury, UK.
Lance Richardson will have his desk next to Ballard’s at the Vancouver headquarters so as not to miss a beat of the manufacturing processes. As an Arc’teryx and Herschel alumni, Richardson’s supply chain and manufacturing expertise will fold seamlessly into the needs of the Wing Group.
“I am excited to join the Wing Group, which, across its brands, has an incredible history and future in making purpose-built safety products for people who need and use them,” he said. “It’s an honor to join the team and work to enable, protect, and save lives.”
Andrew Branagh added: “I am thrilled to have Lance join the Wing Group on the corporate level to implement iterative efficiency process to manufacturing. We are starting the year strong by adding these two experienced professionals to the workforces of Mustang Survival and the Wing Group as we’re looking ahead to continue to serve our customers and consumers better with the best products available.”