Uniting the Outdoor Industry
Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) unites and serves more than 1,200 members who work and play in the outdoors. We are a 501(c)(6) non-profit that exists to support the industry we love so much.
We create a powerful voice at the federal, state and local levels
We convene the industry on key issues that protect the health of our outdoor businesses
Research and educate
We research and educate on important business topics and changing industry trends
Inspire and activate
We inspire and activate a new generation of outdoor enthusiasts
Letter From the Board Chair
How would I describe 2015 in five words or less? “A changing of the guard.” Literally and figuratively, the year was marked by important and impactful transitions in all corners of the association.
We appointed Amy Roberts as our new executive director, who has the knowledge and vision to further OIA’s mission on behalf of our members. Amy’s familiarity with OIA programs, combined with her understanding of retail, manufacturing, supply chain and government affairs issues has quickly earned her the respect of our diverse membership.
In 2015, we also reduced the number of board positions from 25 to 15 in order to be more nimble and to improve engagement of the sitting members.
But for all of those developments and transitions, 2015 brought some heartbreaking losses. We said goodbye to one of our association’s founding fathers, Skip Yowell, and two more of the industry’s most respected outdoorists, Doug Tompkins and Doug Walker. It is hard to comprehend so much loss in such a short time. Their deaths were both the end of an era as well as a bittersweet passing of the torch. Skip, in particular, was committed to engaging and empowering the next generation of leaders in order to ensure the future of our industry. It’s therefore apropos that we launched our Skip Yowell Future Leadership Academy in 2015 to carry on Skip’s important legacy.
As we move into 2016, I’m intent on honing OIA’s focus and vision through a comprehensive and evolved strategic planning process that will also include the Outdoor Foundation. We want to dig deep for the industry in the areas OIA can provide the greatest impact. I am excited to watch our ConsumverVue segmentation research and assets provide members with valuable data and insights that help them do better business. I’m eager to see our renewed commitment to specialty retailers help those irreplaceable community hubs to thrive and serve outdoor consumers. And, of course, I’m excited to celebrate, with all of you, the centennial of our amazing National Park Service. I urge every OIA member to donate to our #Parks4Kids program in order to ensure that the next generation of outdoorists enjoy the same access to America’s public lands that we have all been so fortunate to experience.
Serving as your board chair is one of my greatest honors, and I look forward to accomplishing great things together in 2016.
OIA Board Chair
Letter From the Executive Director
Every outdoorist knows the siren call of adventure. Getting out and getting after it are what we live for.
But there’s nothing quite like coming home, which is why I am honored to be back at Outdoor Industry Association. This industry has always been a tight community, and I believe 2015 was defined by a level of collaboration that we haven’t seen in a long time.
I’m proud of the new collaboration we forged with Grassroots Outdoor Alliance and Outdoor Retailer to create programming specifically designed to help our members navigate the changing landscape of specialty outdoor retail. Local shops are often the center of their town’s outdoor community and the proving ground for new innovations and start-up brands that keep our industry vibrant.
The outdoor industry continues to lead the way in developing supply chain best practices and tools to help companies operate and make products that are more environmentally and socially sensitive. Our focus is aimed at helping suppliers, manufacturers and retailers adopt tools such as the Higg Index to track and improve their supply chains.
Our advocacy efforts around the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) resulted in a broader movement of awareness and the reauthorization of a program that builds parks, trails and river access across America. We also initiated a new local recreation advocacy program in an effort to secure more funding in urban areas where more—younger—people are choosing to live.
To commemorate and celebrate the National Park Centennial, the Outdoor Foundation and Outdoor Industry Association have partnered to launch the #Parks4Kids campaign in an effort to fund local projects with the goal of getting every 4th grader in the U.S. to a national park.
Our ConsumerVue platform is among the unique assets we offer all of our members. In 2015, we released the executive summary and then rolled out a number of segment reports, resources and tools designed to help outdoor companies understand today’s consumers.
In 2016, we will be making an immense effort to learn through member conversations, collaborative discussions, surveys and analysis to determine where OIA should invest and focus. OIA is uniquely positioned to harness the outdoor industry’s collective voice, intellect and advocacy and to amplify them to achieve goals that benefit our entire membership and our end consumers.
Thank you for your membership and commitment to this incredible industry we all call home.
OIA, Executive Director