Skip Yowell, the co-founder of the JanSport outdoor brand, is retiring at the end of this year after 43 years with the company.

However, he will continue to be a global ambassador for the brand – which is now a division of VF Outdoor – making appearances on its behalf as well as assisting in the design of the Skip Yowell signature line of JanSport products.

“My to-do list is long and I have many more mountains to climb,” he said. “I am fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with all of our great employees, customers and vendors over the past 43 years.

“Even though I will retire from my current position, I am excited to contribute to the design of future JanSport collections and look forward to my continued involvement with the extraordinary non-profits JanSport has worked with for over two decades—what a great industry.”

Yowell, together with two colleagues, founded JanSport in 1967 in Seattle, Washington. The line started with backpacks, but now includes technical outdoor gear, daypacks, travel gear and collegiate decorated apparel.