“Everybody puts their boots on the same way. And what that means is, it doesn’t matter your title here. It could be the people on our leadership team, Bill and I, or it could be the person coming in their first day on the job on the assembly line...everyone is the same. And everyone is going to be treated the same. And it goes back to that first [value], we work until it’s done. If there are boxes that need to go out the door, or we need to make more barbells, you’re going to see the top leadership down going out and helping right now. We did get overrun before we could hire some people- we have everyone in our office right now, they’re doing shifts on our production floor. And that’s really what this is all about, and you see people getting experiences that you normally wouldn’t have. To go out and build a barbell, and maybe you’re in our IT department, a lot of places you wouldn’t have that opportunity, but we live by that standard. Everybody puts their boots on the same way.”
- Caity Henniger
Caity Henniger has been a lifelong athlete. In high school she led her basketball team to victory in 91 out of 102 games, was voted MVP of the 1998 Junior Olympic AAU circuit, and was a two-time state champion in both shot put and discus. She went on to play collegiate ball at Ohio State where she averaged 15.4 points per game and set the school single-season record for three-pointers, with 106, earning her the Edward S. Steitz Award as the nation's best three-point shooter. In 2005, Caity joined the WNBA as a player for the Charlotte Sting.
After multiple leg surgeries led Caity to retire from basketball, she was drawn to the competitive side of CrossFit. In 2008, with just a few months of CrossFit experience, she took first place at the 2008 CrossFit Games. Caity would go on to become a fixture in the production side of the Games, working as an ESPN commentator and as a representative of Rogue Fitness.
Shortly after Caity's 2008 CrossFit Games victory, she began playing a huge role in helping Rogue Fitness grow from a small e-commerce site to a major powerhouse in the fitness equipment industry. With a focus on manufacturing quality, American-made products from local sources, Rogue now employs over 900 people at their massive 600,000 square foot campus in Columbus, Ohio.
Recently, when Ohio issued a stay-at-home order in response to COVID-19, Rogue quickly pivoted their manufacturing processes to make Personal Protective Equipment for healthcare workers, a decision that is not only helping to keep healthcare workers safe, but is also helping to keep their local community employed.
I had to opportunity to sit down with Caity to learn more about the mission and values Rogue was founded on, and how those principles are driving their business during this time of uncertainty. We chatted about her days as a competitor, how she balances her role as an executive with her own personal health, and we were even able to steal a few minutes from Rogue's Director of Product Development, Ahmik Jones, to learn more about the processes behind shifting gears from manufacturing fitness equipment to manufacturing PPE.
In this episode we discuss:
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