Our Team

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Our Team

Management and the Advisory Board possess unparalleled industry expertise – successfully starting and managing bag companies over the past 30+ years.

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Andrew Youngs, CEO & Founder
Andrew Youngs is a former Vice President of Marketing for Thule and Case Logic, former Director of Marketing for Samsonite and Co-Founder of Colorado-based eBags. Youngs’ vision for Apera began when he saw a void in the fitness bag market. Despite the multitude of bags available, many were unorganized, targeted to a younger consumer and made with inferior quality materials. Youngs realized there was not a fitness bag on the market that truly supported individuals and their fitness needs – the idea of Apera was born.

Youngs lives in Denver, Colorado and exercises regularly through participation in basketball, tennis and indoor cycling. Youngs is also deeply committed to Apera’s vision of inspiring all athletes by coaching four Special Olympic sports teams.

Frank Steed, President
Frank Steed brings deep industry experience to Apera, having served as the President of both Samsonite and American Tourister, as well as a Senior Vice President for EB Brands, a leader in the gift, personal fitness and travel accessories markets. Steed is also a Co-Founder of eBags and currently serves as a member of their Board of Directors.

Steed, in partnership with Youngs, recognized the void in the fitness bag market. Steed, with his more than three decades of expertise in the retail, bags and luggage markets, saw that today’s athletes have high expectations for their sports gear and expect their bags to perform across multiple events and activities. The vision for Apera was to create revolutionary sports bags that were intelligently designed and healthier than current sports bag offerings.

Steed resides in Denver, CO where he is an active mountain climber, skier and cyclist (most notably participating in a coast-to-coast bike ride across the United States).



Keith Maddox
Keith Maddox is a successful entrepreneur and active angel investor. He is currently the CEO of Parentgiving.com, a fast-growing web-based supplier of home health and medical products for seniors. He is also actively working at the advisory and board levels of several startup companies within his investment portfolio.

Jim Buckley, Elevation Strategies (Principal)
Jim Buckley is a financial executive who possesses a solid mix of Fortune 500 and early
stage business experience in operational leadership, financial planning, strategic
development and venture capital fund raising. He brings experience as the former Vice President of Strategy with Qwest as well as the Vice President of Finance with Adelphia.

Charlie Clifford, Compass Partners Intl.
Charlie Clifford is the co-founder of Tumi, Inc.
and served as CEO for many years. A true entrepreneur, Charlie launched Tumi in 1975 with a partner as a importer of leather bags from Colombia. Today, Tumi is the leading brand of prestige luggage, business cases, and accessories worldwide. Tumi is sold in 60 countries and has a dedicated following.

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