OIA Elects Two Returning and Four First-Term Board Members

We're happy to announce two returning board members and four new incoming members, who will take their seats officially at the upcoming board meeting preceding the summer Outdoor Retailer show.

June 6, 2018

As a membership-driven organization, OIA strives to keep our valued members at the center of our work in policy, sustainability and increasing outdoor participation through the Outdoor Foundation. Members are key to determining the focus and direction of OIA. One of the benefits and responsibilities of membership is participating in the election of well-qualified individuals to serve on the OIA board of directors. We would like to thank all the member companies who participated in the 2018 election. We are happy to announce and introduce the four new incoming board directors and two returning directors, who will officially begin their three-year terms at the upcoming board meeting preceding Outdoor Retailer Summer Market:

  • PHYLLIS GROVE, VP Marketing & eCommerce – Hydro Flask
  • DANA HOWE, Retailer Relations Manager – Grassroots Outdoor Alliance
  • RUE MAPP, Founder & CEO – Outdoor Afro
  • BRUCE OLD, VP of Global Wholesale Sales – Patagonia
  • JIM SMITH, Owner – Mountain Chalet


“The OIA Board plays a significant role in helping to guide and shape our focused work in policy, sustainable business innovation and outdoor participation on behalf of our members. We are looking forward to the addition of the incoming directors, and we also want to thank and acknowledge all of the hard work, effort and energy that our outgoing board members have given to OIA,” said Amy Roberts, OIA executive director. “I especially want to recognize the years of commitment and dedication to OIA by outgoing board member Gordon Seabury. Gordon served as board chair during the formation of the new OIA strategic plan and the development of the industry-wide call to action under Together We Are a Force, and, most importantly, it was his vision, in partnership with Outdoor Retailer and Grassroots Outdoor Alliance, that led to a better-timed and more efficient trade show cycle. Gordon truly demonstrates the power of being committed to your own brand and finding the time to give back to the industry as a whole.”

Gordon Seabury, CEO of Toad&Co., will be departing the board after 11 dedicated years and having served as board chair. Tracy Mayer, owner of specialty retailer Backcountry North, and Lisa Pike Sheehy, VP of environmental activism at Patagonia, will both be departing the board after serving three-year elected terms.

The OIA board of directors provides guidance for the organization’s overall strategic direction, establishes policies and positions, monitors the association’ financial health, programs and overall performance and prepares the industry and association for the future, ensuring OIA’s success as an organization and for its members. The six directors in the class of 2018 bring the experience, perspectives, skill and diversity the board is seeking, while meeting the criterion of a personal passion for and commitment to outdoor recreation.


Jonathan Cedar

CEO, BioLite

Jonathan Cedar is CEO and co-founder of BioLite, a social enterprise that develops and manufactures clean, affordable energy products for off-grid communities around the world. BioLite works across three categories of energy: cooking, charging and lighting, to help people everywhere make Home beyond the reach of the grid. BioLite follows a model of “parallel innovation” in which it funds the one-time market establishment costs for its emerging markets by reinvesting revenue from product sales in U.S. and European outdoor recreation markets.

In 2011, Business Week named Jonathan one America’s Top Social Entrepreneurs, and together with BioLite he has won the 2012 Tech Awards, 2014 and 2012 Fast Company Innovation by Design Awards and 2011 St. Andrews Prize for the Environment.

Before starting BioLite, Jonathan was a senior design engineer at Smart Design, a New York-based product development consultancy, where he led teams that created consumer durable products ranging from housewares to biomedical devices. Before working as a product designer and entrepreneur, Jonathan began his career in the outdoor industry leading backpacking expeditions, working as a ski patroller, ski instructor and environmental educator on an ocean-going research school ship. Jonathan holds a BA in engineering and environmental science from Dartmouth College.


Phyllis Grove

VP Marketing & eCommerce, Hydro Flask

Phyllis Grove is a seasoned executive with marketing, e-commerce and general management experience and has worked both inside and outside the outdoor industry. During the second phase of her career, Phyllis decided to align her work with her love for the outdoors. She joined Mountain Hardwear as the global head of marketing and later was the VP of marketing for KEEN. Phyllis is currently the VP of marketing & eCommerce at Hydro Flask and a mentor in the Camber Outdoors Professional Mentoring program.

Phyllis has demonstrated success understanding the customer, building brands, growing businesses and developing high-performing teams. She drives results by marrying the arts of intuitive insights, consumer emotions and compelling brand vision with the sciences of best practices, key metrics, analysis, discipline and process. Her holistic approach roots marketing planning in customer focus, company goals, product strengths and cross-functional team alignment to accelerate results.

Prior to joining the outdoor industry, Phyllis worked in a variety of industries, including consumer packaged goods, food, consumer electronics and natural products. Phyllis built her strategic marketing foundation at Procter & Gamble and Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream. Her other functional roles include leading product management and heading a business team at Kensington Technology Group. She received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, with a concentration in marketing and international management and a minor in French from Georgetown University.


Dana Howe

Retailer Relations Manager, Grassroots Outdoor Alliance

Dana Howe is an outdoor industry professional and advocate for specialty outdoor retail. She started her career in the outdoor industry at specialty outdoor retail as a paddling guide and sales associate. Since then, she’s been dedicated to building a successful career in the outdoor industry. Sales and management experience led her to her position with Grassroots where she aims to be a quiet force for evolution and change in the business of our industry.  Dana manages Grassroots membership initiatives including all member communication, application evaluations, member onboarding, education curriculum, special projects and assisting with the Grassroots Connect bi-annual trade show planning.

Dana is an avid outdoorist. When she’s not working for Grassroots, she’s out enjoying Southeastern Tennessee’s finest sandstone climbing areas, rivers and trails. She is an avid rock climber, backpacker, trail runner, paddler and hiker who also enjoys hanging out with her dogs, reading a good book in her hammock.

Dana is looking forward to representing Grassroots and learning from incredibly inspiring industry professionals while serving on the OIA Board of Directors.


Rue Mapp

Founder & CEO, Outdoor Afro

Rue Mapp grew up in urban Oakland, California, and she was lucky to experience nature in her family’s remote ranch in the northern California woodlands and at summer camp and experiential programs through which she learned to hike and cycle along local trails.

In 2003, Rue founded a game and hobby store in Southern California that hosted competitions and organized workshops and after-school programs to serve local youth. Between 2009 and 2012, Rue worked with the Golden Gate Audubon Society and the Pacific Forest and Watershed Lands Stewardship Council.

In 2009, she founded Outdoor Afro, which consults with conservation and recreation non-profits to help connect and organize enthusiasts around social, environmental and political movements. “Through a robust leadership network and online presence, Outdoor Afro has created a shift in the visual representation of who connects and leads in the outdoors,” says Rue. “Today we touch millions of people through a diverse ecosystem of media and outings with the support of leaders, national non-profits and outdoor retailers.”

In 2015, Rue was appointed by California Governor Jerry Brown as one of nine voting commissioners of the California State Parks.


Bruce Old

VP of Global Wholesale Sales, Patagonia

Bruce works for Patagonia, primarily an apparel company that strives to balance producing high-quality goods with as little impact to our environment as possible. Bruce has been with Patagonia for almost 27 years, and his current role is vice president of global wholesale. Within this role, he is responsible for developing Patagonia’s business with all sizes and types of retailers across all product categories. Most of his focus is North America, Japan and Europe, while also helping to develop Patagonia’s business in other parts of the world.

Bruce has served Patagonia in a variety of functions. His range of jobs include working in and managing a retail store, hardgoods buyer, tech rep, service manager, sales manager, director of sales and service. Within these roles, his touchpoints with outdoor retailers have been the paramount focus and have led Patagonia to be the top brand in specialty retail. Most importantly, Bruce and his teams have been recognized by the retailer community as one of their best collaborators.


Jim Smith

Owner, Mountain Chalet

Jim is the owner of Mountain Chalet, Colorado’s oldest specialty outdoor retailer, based in Colorado Springs. Jim enjoys wearing the many hats required of a small business owner – strategy, finance, marketing, buying and even working the sales floor. Mountain Chalet is a member of Grassroots Outdoor Alliance. Jim has nearly 30 years of strategy, finance & accounting, acquisition, planning and development experience with companies such as Vail Resorts and Mammoth Mountain Ski Area. Jim’s prior board of director experience includes two public land conservation and stewardship organizations, including the Rocky Mountain Field Institute and non-profit affordable housing. When not in the shop, Jim enjoys telemark skiing, rock climbing, fly fishing and trail running.

Jim’s practical, hands-on experience from both the corporate and small business communities adds a key perspective for OIA. Jim is a member of OIA’s Audit & Finance Committee.