Orvis, the family-owned and operated outdoor retailer specializing in fly-fishing gear, dog products and active lifestyle apparel, appoints outdoor industry veteran Laura Schaffer to the newly created role of vice president – conservation and sustainability, effective March 14. In this new role, Schaffer will lead the long-term conservation and sustainability vision and strategy for a company deeply rooted in habitat restoration and protection.
“For decades, we’ve worked alongside our customers and partners to help protect places core to both our passions and to a healthy planet. Whether it’s in Bristol Bay, Alaska, Florida’s Everglades or our own backyard along the Battenkill, leading the sustainable future of fly fishing, wingshooting and the natural world is fundamental to our brand and is work that continues to evolve. Laura brings an impressive expertise in corporate responsibility from her experience with great companies and will help Orvis lead in ways that our customers expect and that our world requires,” says Orvis President Simon Perkins.
In addition to overseeing Orvis’s long-stranding philanthropic 5% for Nature Program, Schaffer will work with cross-functional teams to identify corporate and product sustainability goals and develop the strategies to meet them—from carbon footprint benchmarks to product development and supply chain processes.
“I am thrilled to join Orvis, where ensuring a healthy natural world for future generations has always been a leading value for the company,” says Schaffer. “I’m honored to build upon the important and extensive work that has been done to date, and to work with the team to establish the vision and strategy to unify Orvis’ efforts in product sustainability, conservation, and accessibility.”
Schaffer most recently served as corporate responsibility director at POWDR Adventure Lifestyle Company, a ski area and action sports camp operator, where she led the company’s Play Forever commitment to protect the environment and support mountain communities, as well as the Play It Forward charitable giving program. Prior to that, she spent five years with apparel and equipment brand Mountain Hardwear, serving as social and environmental responsibility director and brand manager. Schaffer is also a member of the board of directors of Protect Our Winters, the leading climate advocacy group for the winter sports community.
Her appointment further solidifies Orvis President Simon Perkins’ commitment to the sustainable growth of the purpose-led brand owned by his family for three generations. Schaffer is the fourth hire to the executive team during Perkins’ tenure as president, which started in May 2020. Most recently, Sheila Pollack joined Orvis in February as the company’s first chief brand experience officer after 10 years at Athleta. Rebecca Jones assumed the chief people officer role in October 2021, having previously led global human resources strategy for European Wax Center. Former Gap and Nike executive, Reenie Benziger joined Orvis as chief product officer in December 2020.
About The Orvis Company: Founded in 1856, we believe the most meaningful experiences are created by sharing the love of nature and being inspired by its endless possibilities. Orvis pioneered the mail order industry in the United States, operates more than 80 retail stores in the U.S and the U.K., and maintains a network of over 400 dealers worldwide as a trusted source of discovery and adventure in the natural world. We promise to open the door to extraordinary outdoor experiences, and to protect nature by committing 5% of our pretax profits each year to conservation efforts worldwide. www.orvis.com