Outdoor Industry Association Announces Inaugural Future Leadership Academy Class

OIA and the Futurist Project select 22 next generation outdoor industry leaders to participate in nine-month leadership program.  

December 23, 2015

Media Contact:
Stasia Raines
For Outdoor Industry Association®
sraines@outdoorfoundation.org
(619)957-9891

Boulder, Colo. (December 22, 2015) – Today, Outdoor Industry Association® (OIA) announced the 22 individuals who represent the inaugural class of the Future Leadership Academy. The nine-month program is dedicated to preparing, uniting and amplifying the voice of the future leadership of the outdoor industry with learning on key industry issues, veteran mentoring and leadership development. The program kicks off at Outdoor Retailer Winter Market in Salt Lake City in January 2016.

“We were thrilled at the number of amazing and qualified individuals who applied to be part of the program, proving the need and opportunity for such an initiative,” said Amy Roberts executive director of OIA. “The 22 individuals whom we selected come from all sectors of the industry and will no doubt teach us a lot and learn a lot as they prepare to lead the industry in the future.”

The first Future Leadership Academy class includes:

Adam Garrett Under Armour Matt Weiss Brooks Running
Michelle Barker IMBA Joel Mertens MEC
Steven McCann Toad&Co Ben Christensen Simms Fishing
Alex Baires YETI Coolers Joe Bustos Outdoor Retailer
Chase OlivIeri PLUSfoam Daniel Willis Deuter
Mike Mueller GetOutfitted Katie Van Riper Avatech
Carrie Watson Backwoods Retail Cristin O’Brien Columbia
Sarah Mallicote SmartWool Courtney Merritt Patagonia
Ali Kenney Burton Brittany Scuncio Ibex
Laura Catton Arc’teryx Molly LaBonte Timbuk2
Tania Lown-Hecht Outdoor Alliance Kelly Neel REI

The Future Leadership Academy was developed in partnership with the Futurist Project, an existing initiative of young innovators and leaders in the industry who gather to facilitate thoughtful conversation and community building. Building on these gatherings, The Future Leadership Academy includes both online and in person learning experiences with educational tracks on outdoor industry-focused learning about community leadership, supply chain responsibility, corporate responsibility, market and consumer insights research as well as personal and professional growth and development. Learn more about the specific tracks offered through the program.

As part of the program, industry sages will serve as cohort Guides to the candidates. They will mentor, teach and provide support in various ways over the nine-month period.  Guides involved in the program include:

Amy Beck Lucy
Ann Krcik The North Face
Beaver Theodosakis prAna
Gordon Seabury Toad&Co
Jen Mull Backwoods Retail
Luis Vargas The Clymb
Mark Satkiewicz SmartWool
Nona Barker Eagle Creek (founder)
Pam Theodosakis prAna
Rachel Cantu Patagonia
Scott Whipps CLIF Bar
Steve Barker Eagle Creek (founder)
Ted Manning ibex

Outdoor Industry Association®

Based in Boulder, CO, with offices in Washington, D.C., Outdoor Industry Association is the leading trade association for the outdoor industry and the title sponsor of Outdoor Retailer. OIA supports the growth and success of more than 4,000 employees of manufacturers, distributors, suppliers, sales representatives and retailers of outdoor recreation apparel, footwear, equipment and services. For more information, visit outdoorindustry.org or call 303.444.3353.

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