|1638 South Blaine Street|
Moscow, Idaho 83843
|It makes us excited to be a part of Canoecopia because like you, NRS is truly drawn to water. Our history began when an idealistic business professor, named Bill Parks, set out in 1972 to prove that the principles he taught in the classroom as a business professor, could work in the real world. He was a renegade and paddled upstream against an education system that said, "you go into business to make money." When a reluctant Bill raised the question to his colleagues, "could we not have fun too?" "Could we not create a work place that supported the same employees that support us?" "Could we not give back to the community and organizations that make our businesses possible?" He was looked at like he was crazy. So, in some ways NRS was started out of spite, to prove his strong feelings on how to best run a business. Bill was drawn to rivers, to the beautiful places they carried him, to the challenge of running rapids, and to the people and experiences that made every trip a memory to cherish. So he had no trouble deciding what kind of startup to launch. Starting with $2,000 from his savings, he stocked an inventory of boating gear in his garage and typed out the first Northwest River Supplies catalog. In 2014 (42 years later) to see his ideology come full circle, he sold the company to the employees, making NRS the first and only employee-owned company in the paddle sports industry.|
Now in his 80s, Bill is still running rivers and still working to help others pursue their passions on the water. And the nearly 100 employee-owners at NRS are committed to the same singular vision. What draws us to water is what drives us every day.