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Outdoor Industry Association Names Arlene Charles as Chief Operating Officer

July 8, 2021

Media Contact

Andriana Rogers

Public sector veteran to lead OIA in achieving mission and fiscal sustainability.

BOULDER, Colo. July 8, 2021 – Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) today welcomes Arlene Charles as its new chief operating officer (COO). Previously serving as the executive director for Girls Inc. of Columbus and Phenix Russell and the COO for the YWCA of Greater Atlanta, Arlene brings over 30 years of experience in public sector leadership roles with mission-driven and government organizations, including Georgia State University Foundation, Rutgers University Foundation, Douglas College, Georgia World Congress Center Authority, and the City of Plainfield.

Arlene is a strategic leader known for facilitating enterprise-wide process and procedure improvements, elevating service delivery standards and developing internal controls that help organizations meet and exceed their double bottom line — achieving mission and fiscal sustainability. She is passionate about mission-driven organizations that advance and advocate for inclusive environments.

“Not only does Arlene bring vast finance and operations experience, her strategic vision, track record of team building and passion for OIA’s mission make her the right leader to move our organization’s important work forward,” said Lise Aangeenbrug, OIA executive director. “Her role as COO will further strengthen the work we do for our industry, driving long-term success while also keeping sight of the immediate goals.”

“This is a critical time for the outdoor industry as everyone starts to feel more comfortable venturing out, and I am extremely excited about the work that OIA is doing to help all communities and people thrive outside,” said Charles. “I believe in the collective responsibility we all have in preserving our planet for the health and enjoyment of future generations.”

Arlene earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Fisk University, a Master’s degree in Accountancy from Rutgers Business School, and is currently a Doctor of Public Administration Candidate (ABD) at West Chester University. Her research interests are focused on the impact of nonprofit sector collaboration and collective action on the public good. Arlene is also a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated where she is dedicated to serving the needs of her community and all mankind.


About the Outdoor Industry Association
Based in Boulder, Colo., with offices in Washington, D.C., Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) is the leading trade association for the outdoor industry. OIA unites and serves 1,200 manufacturer, supplier, sales representative and retailer members through its focus on trade and recreation policy, sustainable business innovation and outdoor participation. For more information, visit