Board of Directors Names Amy Roberts As OIA's New Executive Director
Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) is pleased to announce that, by unanimous search committee vote and full support from the board of directors, Amy Roberts has been named its new executive director. Amy is currently director of sustainability and a member of the executive leadership team at Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC) where she guides the Canadian outdoor retailer’s commitment to business and product sustainability and innovation. Amy also serves on the boards of The Conservation Alliance, the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society and the Sustainable Apparel Coalition.
Prior to joining MEC, Amy worked as the vice president of government affairs for OIA where she managed the outdoor industry’s lobbying efforts focused on trade and recreation. During her time at OIA, Amy also facilitated the development of the outdoor industry’s Eco Index to measure the environmental footprint of products, and she was heavily involved in the subsequent formation of the HIGG Index tool for broader apparel and footwear industry adoption by the Sustainable Apparel Coalition.
“Amy’s specialty retail and manufacturing background at MEC; deep knowledge of outdoor industry government affairs and corporate responsibility issues; and her overall authentic, collaborative approach to business make her the ideal person for this role,” said Jen Mull, OIA board chair and Backwoods CEO. “We are so excited about the good work that OIA will continue to accomplish on behalf of the outdoor industry with Amy leading the team.”
“Amy’s specialty retail and manufacturing background at MEC; deep knowledge of outdoor industry government affairs and corporate responsibility issues; and her overall authentic, collaborative approach to business make her the ideal person for this role.” —Jen Mull, OIA board chair and Backwoods CEO
In January 2015, OIA kicked off the search with the goal of having a new executive director seated by Outdoor Retailer Summer Market. The OIA board search committee hired The Forest Group to help conduct the search. More than 100 candidates from the outdoor industry and large-association, non-profit and for-profit sectors interviewed for the position. The very thorough, multi-stage interview process included finalist candidate presentations of one- and three-year visions for the outdoor industry and the association.
“I feel very lucky to work in an industry that provides true benefit to the world by producing and selling amazing outdoor products and experiences that support healthy families and create active communities,” said Amy Roberts, incoming OIA executive director. “OIA’s role as a trade association is to be a place of collaboration, where we bring together all the industry voices to amplify our impact beyond each individual company’s independent voice. I look forward to working with all our members to collectively achieve success and help the industry to grow.”
“I feel very lucky to work in an industry that provides true benefit to the world by producing and selling amazing outdoor products and experiences that support healthy families and create active communities.” —Amy Roberts, incoming OIA executive director
Amy will start her new position in late July before Outdoor Retailer. Steve Barker, OIA interim executive director and founder of Eagle Creek, will stay on for a few months to ensure a successful transition. “Steve has provided superb leadership for OIA during a pivotal time in the association’s history,” said Gordon Seabury, Toad&Co CEO and incoming OIA board chair. “We are indebted to Steve, who stepped up to provide incredible guidance to the staff and service to our industry.”
As OIA transitions to new executive director leadership, the association will also adjust its board structure. Over the past year, the OIA board of directors reviewed best practices for non-profit, member-driven organizations and determined that 15–18 highly engaged board members is an ideal size for a working board, as it allows for flexibility, efficiency and effectiveness. “We need board members who are adept at outdoor industry issues and who can commit to rolling up their sleeves and serving the greater good for our members,” said Mull. “A smaller, engaged board is critical to supporting the leadership and staff at OIA in their efforts to accomplish the work of the association.”
Today, OIA has 25 board members and will reach its new size through a mixture of term limits, members stepping down and new additions as a result of the current election. OIA will kick off board elections later this month.