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Owners & Staff

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Any business is only as good as the people work there, and we happen to believe we have the very best people. Since the beginning, Down Wind has had amazing staff members that have transformed us from a small local gear store, into a family of outdoor enthusiasts who want to share our passion with you.


Bill Thompson ice climbing in Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

Bill Thompson - Marquette

Bill has been at Down Wind since 1992 after he graduated from Northern Michigan University with a masters degree in Community College Teaching/Outdoor Recreation. His responsibilities include marketing, organizng the Michigan Ice Fest, and running our social media. (Funny because he is a self proclaimed computer illiterate).

In the summer Bill can usually be found climbing at the local crag, paddling the shores of Lake Superior on his SUP, or eating ice cream at Frosty Treats. When the temperature drops Bill will likely be half way up an ice climb in Pictured Rocks.

Contact Bill at downwindsports@gmail.com

Todd King - Marquette

Todd King is originally from Fraser Michigan. He came to Marquette in the fall of 1987 to attend Northern Michigan University where graduated in 1991 with a double major in conservation and outdoor recreation. He brought his experience to Down Wind Sports in the spring of 1993.

In the winter you'll find Todd on his alpine skis patrolling at Marquette Mountain, and he trades the snow for the dirt and two wheels when things warm up. Doing what he loves with his longtime girlfriend and their kids brings the biggest enjoyment of all.

Todd is does the hiring and manages all of the Down Wind Sports staff. He is also the primary buyer for many of the products at Down Wind, including alpine skis, camping equipment, kayaks and accessories.

Contact Todd at todd.dws@gmail.com
Todd King riding his fat bike on Lake Superior
Nic Dobbs and his family in Marquette

Nic Dobbs - Marquette

Nic has spent his entire adult life in the Outdoor Industry. After moving to Marquette in the late 2000’s, he found the place he calls home and has built his career around the outdoors. He has been a tour guide, climbing guide, tech rep for Giant Bicycles, Sales rep for brands like Osprey and Yakima, race director, and has totaled up 22 years in the recreation world.

Nic is passionate about getting people excited to be outside and to explore the world around them. As a climber, mountain biker, skier, and more he brings a wide range of experience and knowledge to the Down Wind Sports team. If you can’t find him in the store, you will surely see him outside with his son, wife, and two dogs.

Contact Nic at dwsnic@gmail.com

Arni Ronis - Houghton

Arni graduated from Northern Michigan University with a bachelor degree in Outdoor Recreation and a minor in business administration. After graduating he went to work for the Department of Defense on two different military bases providing outdoor recreation experiences for the military. He has been the co-owner of our Houghton store since 2000. When he's not at the shop you'll find Arni tele-skiing, climbing, biking or trying to catch any kind of fish that is willing to bite.

Contact Arni at dwsarni@gmail.com
Arni Ronis catching a trout while pack rafting in Montana's Bob Marshal Wilderness
Matt Abbotts and his dog canoeing in the Boundary Waters

Matt Abbotts - Houghton

Born in the flatlands of Central Michigan, Matt followed the compass north after he graduated high school and found paradise in Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula. He fell in love with all things outdoors while studying forestry at Michigan Tech. He’s been with Down Wind since 2011.A jack of all trades, and certainly a master of none, he splits his time between climbing, kayaking, fly fishing, trail running and pretty much anything else that keeps him outside.

Lately his passion has shifted to sharing his love of nature and wild places with his daughter Isla.

Contact Matt at downwindmatt@gmail.com