Patagonia CEO to Speak about Corporate Responsibility February 8 at the University of Colorado

Feb 1, 2012

Topics: Events, Sustainability

Outdoor Industry Association® (OIA) is bringing Patagonia President and CEO Casey Sheahan to the University of Colorado Boulder campus on Wednesday, February 8 to give a presentation on corporate responsibility and how Patagonia has built its products, reputation, and customer base around purpose-driven principles.

The event, entitled “Conscious Leadership Is an Inside Job,” is free and open to the public and takes place from 6:30 to 9:00 pm at the Stadium Club at Folsom Field. It is part of the Business of Outdoor Recreation Series, which is presented by OIA Outdoor University® and the University of Colorado (CU) Leeds School of Business.

Sheahan, who serves on the OIA board of directors, will discuss the challenges and opportunities he faces in running one of the most socially responsible companies in the world. Patagonia’s mission and values have proven legendary in their power to effect positive change in modern apparel manufacturing. Patagonia is a founding member of the OIA Sustainability Working Group, a collective of approximately 200 outdoor industry companies working together to develop sustainable business processes for the development, manufacturing, and distribution of outdoor apparel.

Sheahan will discuss how the company’s growth accelerated when it brought total awareness to the full spectrum of its real-world impacts and extreme transparency to its daily operations. He will also share how his personal environmental and social philosophies shape his leadership, and ultimately help drive company policy and create a holistic approach to business management.

“Being green and being socially responsible are essential now, but it has become equally important to lead with mindfulness, compassion, and soul,” said Sheahan. “What’s true in the macrocosm for companies is true in the microcosm for its leaders. There is no global transformation possible without personal transformation.”

The Business of Outdoor Recreation Series is designed to provide an environment for collaboration among business leaders, MBA candidates, and the outdoor industry community. The goal is to provide a venue for discussion around the issues executives face so that MBA students, business leaders, and the general public can learn from the experiences of outdoor industry managers and work collectively towards innovative solutions.

“We are thrilled to have Patagonia’s chief coming to discuss the company’s path, missteps, and triumphs,” said LaRae Marsik, vice president of business intelligence for OIA. “With our Outdoor University program, we strive to recruit the best and brightest business minds and real-world company case studies in order to foster awareness and innovation within the outdoor recreation industry. Sheahan will certainly share some valuable insights with the students, local business leaders, and socially minded attendees in the audience.”

“Casey Sheahan’s visit to CU has the Leeds School of Business in a buzz, and it’s no wonder considering the local heritage in sustainability and outdoor business,” said Todd Dunham, president of the Leeds Outdoor Industry Club. “Patagonia represents the epitome of fusion between the pursuit of passion and protecting the planet. The Leeds Outdoor Industry Club is proud to welcome Sheahan to campus, furthering our mission to provide a conduit between graduate business education and the outdoor industry.”

For more information about OIA’s Business of Outdoor Recreation series, go to To learn more about OIA’s Outdoor University, visit