Arena Responds to Rapid Growth with Two New Hires

Arena North America, one of the world’s leading brands in aquatic sports, welcomes Debra Talbert and Jeff Allen to its growing North American headquarters staff.

Responding to its rapid growth over the past four years, Arena North America is proud to announce the hiring of two well-established professionals in the swim and apparel categories.

Debra Talbert, Arena USADebra Talbert joins the Arena North America staff as Product Line Manager after spending 17 years with such industry leaders as Nike, Columbia and Amersports. While with Nike, Talbert served as the Senior Global Merchandise Manager for the wildly successful women’s running category. Following her 15 years at Nike, Talbert took over Portland-based Columbia’s Global Technical performance Layering, Women’s Pant Program, Urban Performance Outerwear line and Graphic Tee program. Most recently, Talbert launched Amersports’ Performance Compression and Padded Compression Apparel line for American Men’s football. In her new position, Talbert will oversee Arena’s growing North American product line, including racing, training, deck wear and accessories.

“Even before meeting Debra, I recognized that she would be an incredible addition to Arena North America’s growing business,” said Tim McCool, V.P. And General Manager of Arena North America. “With the incredible results she drove at Nike, her expertise in diverse areas of sports apparel and her overall professionalism and demeanor, she brings an incredible skill set and presence to our product line management, and is well-equipped to manage our rapid and continuing growth.”

Jeff Allen, Arena USAAfter more than 20 years in the coaching ranks, Jeff Allen joins Arena North America as West Regional Arena Team Specialist Manager, overseeing Arena’s dedicated deck staff in the western, midwest and southwestern regions. Allen joins Arena’s headquarters staff after gaining over 30 years experience as a highly-decorated YMCA and USA Swimming coach. He was YMCA National Coaches’ Association President from 2003-2009 and in 2002 was named YMCA National Coach of the Year. He is a three-time Connecticut High School Coach of the Year and led his teams to three State High School Championships. Allen was named Connecticut Swimming Inc. Senior Coach of the Year in 2005 and his YMCA team won nine National Championships. The ASCA Level 5 coach has served on USA Swimming’s Club Development Committee and was an assistant coach for the USA Swimming National Select Camp in 1993.

“With his long and successful coaching career, Jeff brings a valuable perspective to Arena’s ATS team,” said Steve Ozmai, Director of Brand Development for Arena. “His personal understanding of the industry and insights on how Arena can best serve its contracted coaches and teams will continue to benefit our staff and business. Ultimately, we remain committed to providing the best team services in the industry, and the addition of Jeff Allen to our staff cements this commitment.”

Swimming News courtesy of Arena USA, a SwimSwam partner.

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Brad Flood
6 years ago

Congratulations to Debra & Jeff on joining the ARENA North America team, the very best swimming apparel & equipment provider in the USA, hands down! ARENA North America’s rapid rise to the Top of the industry in the USA, in such a relatively short time since re-entering the US markets, is a direct result of offering quality products for sure; however the even bigger factor has been their ability to provide meaningful , innovative and truly beneficial sponsorships to teams throughout the country and then backing those contracts up with SUPERIOR service….always providing what is promised and consistently on time! My personal experience was that often times they went beyond the minimum contracted provisions, assuring swimmers and coaches the ability… Read more »

About Gold Medal Mel Stewart

Gold Medal Mel Stewart

MEL STEWART Jr., aka Gold Medal Mel, won three Olympic medals at the 1992 Olympic Games. Mel's best event was the 200 butterfly. He is a former World, American, and NCAA Record holder in the 200 butterfly. As a writer/producer and sports columnist, Mel has contributed to Yahoo Sports, Universal Sports, …

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