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Reactor Founder Jimmy Olmes

Jimmy, a somewhat neurotic and overly passionate workaholic is driven by his need to be different, better and if possible, perfect. As a 20+ year partner in Freestyle watches, Jimmy was responsible for the creation and marketing of the Shark watch, one of the most successful watches in the history of the action sports industry. At its peak, Freestyle owned nearly a 75% market share in surf and has been credited with developing this important category in the sports market.

Jimmy and his partners sold Freestyle at the end of 2000 and Jimmy stayed on as President until the end of 2002. After a very short retirement, Jimmy set out to create a company that would set a new standard in watch design, quality, customer service and overall business ethics.

Coming from an action sports background, his mission was to "build the best performance sport watch on the planet," regardless of cost, and to develop a distinctive styling that was unduplicated, yet wearable.

In order to be accountable to this mission, a set of performance oriented criteria was developed which became the DNA of the REACTOR brand. This combined set of features separates REACTOR from any other watch brand in the world and is the foundation for REACTOR's success.

When asked about his vision, Jimmy is quick to respond. "Our unyielding goal is to push the envelope on sport watch design, to offer unprecedented quality, and to support our customers and dealers with customer service that our competition could not begin to duplicate. The bottom line is REACTOR is a company founded on a business ethic handed down to me by my father. Every decision is put to a very simple test – is it the right and fair thing to do? Profits are, and will always be, the byproduct of doing the right things for the right reason. All decisions are made on a win - win basis and from a very long term perspective. After all, customers are hard to reach and very easy to lose, but once you have a loyal following that trusts you and your brand, there is no end to what you can accomplish."

REACTOR's explosive growth is being managed by a very tightly knit team. Branden and Michael, Jimmy's sons, are responsible for exceeding customer expectations - warranty, warehouse, operations and timely order fulfillment. Scott Lipsett, Jimmy's long-time friend, and former FreeStyle Creative Director, is responsible for the overall image of the REACTOR brand and develops all of REACTOR's advertising, marketing, POS, and is a critical voice in every decision, and the front office team of Elaine Bernie and Lisa Barron handle customer service and all accounting functions.

When asked, "what's next", Jimmy's only comment is more of the same– "Progressive design, unprecedented quality, total commitment to our customers, and a dedication to never ending improvement – the rest will take care of itself."

Some background about Jimmy

  • Married 35 years to wife Dana, with two children, Branden and Michael.
  • Partner in Freestyle (1980 – 2001)
  • Board member, SIMA, (Surf Industries Manufactures Ass'n) 1991- 1992
  • Vice President of SIMA, 1993 – 1994
  • President SIMA 1995
  • Served on the Executive Committee of Oceana (Formerly American Oceans Campaign)
  • Executive board member of a mid-level fitness company
  • Hobbies include water skiing, snow skiing, snowboarding, wakeboarding, running, golf, and surfing.