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Will Manzer and Sally Jewell Receive Inaugural Outdoor Industry Association Advocacy Leadership Awards

For Immediate Release

Media contact
Donna Martino, Marketing Manager
Outdoor Industry Association
303.327.3520
dmartino@outdoorindustry.org

Boulder, CO — Apr 7, 2011

Outdoor Industry Association® (OIA) presented its inaugural OIA Advocacy Leadership Awards to Sally Jewell, CEO of REI, and Will Manzer, CEO of Eastern Mountain Sports, during this week’s Capitol Summit in Washington, DC.

The OIA Advocacy Leadership Award will be given annually and will recognize an individual OIA member who has significantly contributed to the advancement of the OIA Policy Agenda and the outdoor industry’s stature in the public policy arena.

“In honoring Will and Sally, OIA is recognizing their outstanding service on behalf of the industry in Washington, D.C. and their strong degree of personal commitment to forwarding the outdoor industry’s policy agenda,” said Frank Hugelmeyer, president and CEO of OIA.

Sally Jewell was recognized specifically for her engagement on America’s Great Outdoors Initiative, including personal participation in both the kickoff of the yearlong listening sessions, during which she served on a panel at the White House conference, and her introduction of President Obama in February when the AGO report was released by the White House. Jewell participated in the AGO listening session in Seattle and ensured that REI used its website and social media networks to communicate to customers in support of AGO.

Jewell spends several weeks in Washington, D.C. each year, advocating on behalf of both the OIA trade and recreation agenda and establishing personal relationships in districts where REI has stores. Jewell made key personal calls and visits at critical times to members of the Senate in support of full funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund and OIA trade legislation last year.

She has also been invaluable in establishing the importance of the outdoor recreation economy to key White House staff and Department of Interior secretaries Kempthorne and Salazar.

Jewell is a founding contributor to the OIA Political Action Committee (OIAPAC) and has urged her colleagues in the industry and her team at REI to support the OIAPAC.

Back home in Washington state, Jewell makes time to invite local members of Congress to visit REI so that they can hear the concerns of REI employees — their constituents.

Will Manzer has been an ardent supporter of the OIA trade and recreation agendas. In addition to attending the OIA Capitol Summit each year, Manzer travels to Capitol Hill throughout the year and organizes meetings with members of Congress back home in New Hampshire.

Manzer has engaged his customer base by reaching out to them on the importance of full funding for LWCF and organized a letter in support of LWCF signed by New England outdoor brands and retailers.

Manzer attended the April 2010 White House Conference announcing the AGO initiative and along with Jewell attended President Obama’s unveiling of the AGO report earlier this year.

Manzer assisted the AGO effort by asking EMS employees to make use of the OIA “Take Action for AGO” web tool and sent an action alert letter to all 600 EMS employees asking them to engage on LWCF in the latter stages of 111th Congress.

Manzer was a key messenger for OIA last year in making the case to candidates and incumbents on behalf of OIA trade initiatives and has been key in adding cosponsors to important trade bills.

Manzer is also a founding supporter of OIAPAC.

Amy Roberts, OIA vice president of Government Affairs said the OIA Advocacy Leadership Award is intended to reinforce the important role outdoor industry business leaders play in bringing the voice of business to their members of Congress.

“My hope is that the award will serve to broaden and deepen our industry’s participation in government affairs. There is no doubt that business leaders are viewed as the most credible voice in meetings by members of Congress and their staffs,” said Roberts.

A recent survey by the Congressional Management Foundation found that:

  • 97 percent of the congressional staff surveyed said that constituent visits to the Washington or district office have a lot of influence on an undecided member.
  • Constituents who make the effort to personally communicate with their Senators and Representatives are more influential than lobbyists or news editors.
  • Congressional staff view CEOs as the most credible in communicating that the company is or is not behind a policy position.

The OIA Advocacy Leadership Award hereafter will be presented annually at the OIA Thought Leader Symposium at the Outdoor Retailer Winter Market trade show. The award is based on the following criteria:

  • Personal engagement on the OIA public policy agenda
  • Developing personal and company relationships with elected officials and policy makers
  • Utilization of personal and company resources to engage employees, customers, and the greater outdoor industry/recreation communities on elements of the OIA public policy agenda
  • Participation in the OIA Capitol Summit lobby days and additional visits to Washington D.C., and state capitols to support the OIA Policy Agenda
  • Support of the Outdoor Industry Association Political Action Committee (OIAPAC)
  • Leadership and participation in OIA-supported local, regional or national recreation or conservation campaigns, initiatives, organizations or associations

About Outdoor Industry Association
Outdoor Industry Association® (OIA) is a national trade association whose mission is to ensure the growth and success of the outdoor industry. OIA provides trade services for over 4000 manufacturers, distributors, suppliers, sales representatives and retailers in the outdoor industry. OIA programs include representation in government/legislative affairs, market and social research, business-to-business services and youth outreach initiatives. Educational events include the annual Rendezvous®, Outdoor University®, and the Capitol Summit. Outdoor Industry Association is based in Boulder, Colorado, and is the title sponsor of the Outdoor Retailer tradeshows. For more information go to outdoorindustry.org or call 303.444.3353.