Gert's parents were immigrants who fled Nazi Germany in 1938 and settled in Portland where they purchased a small hat manufacturer, naming it the Columbia Hat Company after one of their new home’s iconic rivers.
This humble beginning marked a newfound freedom and a fresh start for the family. The business eventually passed from Gert’s father to her husband Neal and then to Gert herself when she went from housewife to executive overnight after Neal’s sudden passing in 1970.
Today, Gert’s son Tim Boyle is our longtime CEO and her grandson Joe Boyle is Columbia brand president. The family—like our business—has experienced its ups and downs, but enjoying the outdoors together has always been integral to its success.