Brand Taps Ford Van Fossan for Conservation Manager; Welcomes New Community Manager Kevin Harlander

Ketchum, ID (April 17, 2019) First Lite, a brand synonymous with premium gear, design innovation, and conservation is pleased to announce two new management changes implemented to further the brands’ business goals, strengthen its growing community and build upon the company’s leadership position within the industry.

Ford Van Fossan, a longtime First Lite employee, has assumed the role of Conservation Manager for the brand and has hit the ground running by working with First Lite employees, partners and stakeholders on wildlife conservation, public lands preservation and hunter access. Van Fossan will remain in his role in digital merchandising– blending content creation and conservation to build upon First Lite’s NGO partners’ missions.

Van Fossan holds a degree in conservation biology from Middlebury where he conducted research on expanding black bear populations in the Mid Atlantic. Ford gained additional experience at the University of Maryland’s Horn Point Environmental Studies Laboratory and previously worked for the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the University of Delaware’s Whitetail Deer Ecology Program. He joined First Lite in the summer of 2014 and has called the wilds of Idaho home ever since.

Kevin Harlander joins First Lite from Oregon and assumes the role of Community Manager working with First Lite’s team, pro staff and our industry friends, effective immediately.  A Minnesota native and lifelong outdoorsman, Harlander brings extensive experience in marketing, brand strategy, events and creative direction to his role at First Lite. Kevin was most recently marketing and creative director for Terminal Gravity Brewing and has relocated to First Lite headquarters in Ketchum, Idaho for the position.

“We’re thrilled to have both Ford and Kevin step up into leadership roles in the company as we continue to grow our community and double down on our conservation efforts,” said Kenton Carruth, co-CEO of First Lite.  “Each of them brings very specific and special skill sets to their positions and will not only be assets to First Lite but to our partners and the greater outdoor community at large as we continue to focus on preserving and protecting the land we all use and enjoy.”

You can meet both Ford and Kevin at next month’s Backcountry Hunters and Angler’s annual Rendezvous in Boise, Idaho on May 2nd where First Lite’s entire staff will be present to support the organization and to exhibit product at the First Lite booth throughout the three-day event.  

About First LiteBorn in the Rockies, at First Lite our mission is to create simple, proven, versatile gear that provides comfort and performance in any situation, while working to promote the pursuit of ethical hunting and stewardship. For more information visit