Mountain Equipment Company
Mountain peak with blue sky and mountains in the background

Leadership at MEC

United by their desire to make MEC successful, our executive team is tasked with embracing change, seeking out new ideas and finding talented people to keep Mountain Equipment Company humming.

Eric Claus

Eric Claus

CEO and Chair

Eric is a seasoned retail leader and outdoor enthusiast who’s excited for the next 50 years of MEC’s legacy.

With a passion for people, Eric has led multiple large retail organizations in Canada and the US. He brings a deep knowledge of the retail world to MEC, with vast experience in previous CEO, Chair and Board roles at both public and private companies.

Eric has been a loyal member of MEC since 1984. A former long-distance runner for years, he has shifted his outside time to hiking – from the Alaskan and Yukon mountains to the remote jungles in Peru, along with trails close to home in BC. Kite boarding, diving and ocean kayaking also currently top his outdoor list.

Jay Taylor

Jay Taylor

President and Chief Operating Officer

Jay has a diverse background in the world of outdoor gear. His career started in ski racing, and since then he’s been involved in retail, distribution, and manufacturing businesses for over 25 years.

He's been a product manager at Salomon, a consultant to the president of Quiksilver, and operated two successful ski stores in Whistler and Vancouver until 2010. Jay also founded a sporting goods company (The Soze Group) and was Global Brand President of Hoka One One footwear.

Jay’s been a member of MEC since 1988, when he first moved to Vancouver to attend UBC. These days, when he’s not in the MEC office, you can find him in mountains skiing, mountain biking, and trail running or at the ocean surfing.

Peter Hlynsky

Peter Hlynsky

Chief Financial Officer

Peter has an extensive background as an executive leader across a range of industries in Canada, the US, Australia and Europe. He brings a broad range of experience with a focus on balancing financial stability while managing culture to ensure long-term business success. He’s a Chartered Accountant with a wealth of knowledge in everything from operational improvements to transaction services.

Peter has been a member of MEC since 1995. Some of his adventures include ski touring in Canada, hiking in the Andes, rafting the Amazon River, diving off Fiji, surfing in California, and lots of kayaking through Desolation Sound and the Gulf Islands. Growing up on the North Shore near Vancouver, he has fond memories of riding his 1990s rigid mountain bike wearing hockey equipment as padding (gear has come a long way). These days, you can find him introducing his wife and three kids to his favourite old trails in the mountains.

Deb Paulsen

Deb Paulsen

Chief HR Officer

Deb is a seasoned professional and devoted employee advocate. She has a passion for influencing organizational cultures and driving people initiatives that inspires staffers to achieve their potential and deliver their best.

Deb plays a critical role in advancing MEC’s people vision and culture by building integrated talent solutions and shaping MEC’s people programs across the business. She has served in senior leadership roles at Rocky Mountaineer and 3M, supporting accelerated organizational growth and building high-performance teams.

A long-time MEC member, Deb enjoys cycling (whether on trails, the road, or on her spin bike), hiking the North Shore mountains, and spending as much time as she can in Whistler enjoying a variety of outdoor activities.

Catherine Lau

Catherine Lau

General Counsel and Corporate Secretary

Catherine leads and oversees MEC’s legal, governance, privacy and real estate matters. She brings over 14 years of legal experience to our team, and prior to joining MEC, was Senior Counsel at TELUS and associate at Borden Ladner Gervais, LLP.

She currently serves on the board of Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue, along with the Women General Counsel of Canada. She’s also one of the executive sponsors of the Diversity and Inclusion Steering Committee at MEC. She enjoys giving back to the community and has volunteered with various community groups, including the TELUS Victoria Community Board.

Catherine enjoys biking, hitting the ski hill and travelling with her family. A couple past highlights include visiting the ruins in Machu Picchu and snorkelling near Maldives and the Great Barrier Reef.

Adam Ketcheson

Adam Ketcheson

Chief Product Officer

Adam oversees the merchandising, MEC Label and digital teams. Before starting at Mountain Equipment Company, Adam was the CMO for Canadian tech start-up North (acquired by Google). He has deep experience in the realm of outdoor retail, and has led sales and brand marketing groups at global industry leaders Salomon, The North Face and Arc'teryx. He’s also served on the board of The Conservation Alliance.

Adam has been an MEC member since 1994, and when he’s not working with our staff to develop and bring in new gear, he’s using it outside on backcountry ski tours, mountain bike trails, and running routes in the North Shore mountains.

Sylvia McLoughlin

Sylvia McLoughlin

VP Retail

MEC stores are the start of so many adventures, and Sylvia’s role is to help make sure your experience at our stores is a great one. She drives awesome member service and staffer engagement by supporting and improving store processes and procedures.

Sylvia hails from South Africa and lived in Ireland for 15 years before settling in Canada. With over 20 years of retail experience, she has worn many hats, including area controller, regional manager and store manager.

Sylvia is always up to go trail running, hiking and bouldering, but she’s happiest in the water – either paddling, surfing or kayaking. She loves that every day she gets to live the dream and be inspired by the amazing adventures our staff have.

Christian Gehres

Christian Gehres

VP Supply Chain and Operations Transformation

Christian is a hands-on, transformational leader who is making MEC’s supply chain future ready.

With over 10 years of experience across several industries and markets, Christian has led multiple transformation and growth processes. He has a deep knowledge of cross-functional operations, change management and has a strong financial background.

Christian recently moved to Canada and is big into hiking, backcountry camping, snowboarding and exploring mountain trails with his dog Amy. A keen traveller, he has climbing experience in the Himalayas and is also a licensed snowboard instructor.

Michele Guimond

Michele Guimond

VP Marketing

Michele leads the group that’s responsible for sharing the MEC brand with the world. A dedicated people leader, she’s known for her ability to build strong culture as well as strong teams. She’s been a proud MEC member for ages, and she brings a depth of skills in brand strategy and operations to her role.

Before MEC, Michele led marketing at top-tier retail brands going through periods of rapid growth (including Arc’teryx and Aritzia). As a leader who’s also a creative at heart, she believes in the power of good storytelling and leading with high-quality creative to elevate a brand.

One of her favourite aspects of her work is how it links with her love for the outdoors. She’s an avid backcountry skier, downhill mountain biker and trail runner, and she spends every opportunity planning adventures outdoors.

Julia Freeman

Julia Freeman

VP Digital and Ecommerce

Julia leads the ecommerce and digital group that’s responsible for providing a seamless omni-channel shopping experience. She has a deep knowledge and passion for building a frictionless experience to meet the customer where they want to be. She can balance big picture strategy with day-to-day needs, bringing people together towards meaningful action

Before MEC, Julia propelled ecommerce growth at omni-channel brands like Best Buy and Aritzia, as well as in the B2B ecommerce space with Hootsuite.

An MEC member for over 20 years, Julia loves the brand and knowledge-based experience in-store and online. Outside of work, she’s an aspiring marathoner who spends lots of time running or cycling on the seawall or at local playgrounds with her kids.

Erik Garrett

Erik Garrett

VP IT

Erik is seasoned technology leader who is living his career dream of working for MEC, a brand that has been influencing him from a young age.

Since the early 2000s, Erik has built a technology career on two basic principles – keep learning and keep improving. Having worked across multiple industries, Erik brings a breadth of experience that’s needed to keep pushing MEC’s Information Technology forward in the ever-changing retail landscape.

Erik was drawn to the outdoors from a very young age, having grown up on the West Coast, and attributes this inspiration to the old MEC print catalogues. Now settled on the North Shore of Vancouver, Erik spends his time mountain biking, hiking, camping and snowboarding.