When it comes to manufacturer public relations and communications people, there haven’t been many people over the years with whom the word “legendary” would be attached. But for Marlys Knutson, the term fits like a custom-made suit. On Wednesday it was announced that her legendary career with Polaris is coming to an end.
Knutson has been at Polaris since 1985 – so, shortly after Polaris first started making waves in the ATV business and when the Indy snowmobiles were still pretty fresh. Her work inside the company garnered her Polaris Hall of Fame status in 2008 – it’s rare that somebody who is still working for a company can enter its Hall of Fame, but Marlys’ status caused that rule to be overlooked. She’s traveled the world for the company, been involved in all levels of P.R., promotion and communication, helped organize dealer meetings – the list is endless.
For us media types and others outside of the company, she has been a hyper-organized, professional, dedicated, serious-yet-always-friendly confidant, quick to reply to a query and always willing to chase down information or a photo, help set up an interview or help us gain access to a piece of equipment.
On an industry-wide perspective, Knutson has really been the key player in organizing many events, including the annual Snow Shoot event where the magazines get to test the new sleds, and she is a giant figure in the grassroots snowmobile world as well, from state associations all the way up to the International Snowmobile Congress.
We’re going to miss her professionalism and personality going forward. The press release from Polaris is below.
Marlys Knutson, Polaris Hall of Fame Employee, Announces Intention to Retire
Minneapolis (Nov. 16, 2016) – Polaris Industries Inc. (NYSE: PII) today announced that Marlys Knutson, External Relations Manager, has announced her intent to retire at the end of the year, after 33 years with Polaris.
Since joining the company in 1983, Marlys has served in a variety of roles, including Marketing Communications, Government Relations, and Corporate Communications.
Marlys has made significant contributions to Polaris during her three decades with the company – including working to advance the sport of snowmobiling, planning dealer meetings, and building Polaris’ reputation as a snowmobile leader through her work with snowmobile enthusiast media.
In recognition of her dedication and contributions to the company, Marlys was inducted into the Polaris Hall of Fame in 2008.
“Polaris and snowmobiling have been my passion for more than half of my life,” said Knutson. “The lifelong friendships I’ve made around the globe are special and it’s been my pleasure to work together with the best team in powersports and watch the tremendous growth and diversification of Polaris. While I am moving on to the next phase of my life, I hope to continue to be involved with the snowmobile community.”
Craig Scanlon, Chief Marketing Officer, said, “There’s a reason that Marlys has the honor of being the only active employee inducted into the Polaris Hall of Fame. It was her combination of passion, dedication and loyalty that has truly set her apart. Marlys has been a driving force behind the Polaris brand during her three decades with the company and we will miss her greatly.”