Q: What is the Future Leadership Academy?

A: The Future Leadership Academy is a six-month program to prepare, unite and amplify the voice of future outdoor industry leaders. In its pilot year, the academy will help prepare 30-40 outstanding and committed individuals to assume industry leadership positions in the years ahead. These individuals will receive personal and professional development opportunities that include education about important outdoor industry issues, leadership training and mentoring from industry veterans.

Q: Why should one of my employees attend?

A: Skip Yowell Future Leadership Academy participants will learn from the best and brightest leaders from both inside and outside the outdoor industry. This includes:

  • Mentoring from key outdoor industry founders and executives
  • Strategic thinking and leadership training
  • Community building and peer learning with emerging leaders in the industry
  • Community-based approach to education that encourages learning and adoption
  • A cross-discipline outdoor industry education

Ultimately, our goal is to empower the next generation to effectively lead teams, departments, companies and the outdoor industry as a whole.

Q: What will this program cost my company?

A. The Academy will cost $2,995. This includes:

  • ORWM overnight orientation (lodging and food included)
  • ‘The Camp’ offsite retreat (lodging, food and travel to/from DIA included)
  • Personality assessments and in-person learning
  • In-person and online curriculum delivery
  • Capstone Project offering participants the opportunity to apply their knowledge to a real problem in the non-profit world
  • The Futurist Project

*Travel costs to be covered by participants.

Time off for the participants can either be covered by the company or PTO, to be arranged between employer and employee. We hope the cost of the program will come out of a continuing education/professional development budget for employees. The in-person schedule is available here.

Q: What is the time commitment?

A: Participants will be required to complete between 30 and 40 hours of online learning, in addition to monthly mentor calls. As mentioned, participants must also be present at a spring four-day retreat as well as (part of) the Outdoor Retailer + Snow Show in January and the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market in June. The commitment is very manageable with a full-time job, but will require focus and dedication to make the most of this opportunity.

Q: What is the included in the curriculum?

Participant will go through several learning modules on the topics of:

Personal Development

  • Self-assessment and interpretation
  • Excellent leadership training from inside and outside the outdoor industry
  • Leadership and effective communication training
  • Development of core values and mindfulness

Outdoor Industry Focused Learning

1. Community leadership

  • Board service
  • Civic engagement
  • Volunteerism

2. Supply chain responsibility: people, planet and product

  • Supply chain management overview
  • Innovation: systems and product design
  • Higg Index

3. Advocacy and Policy

  • Recreation and conservation laws and advocacy 101
  • Recreation in the future
  • Business and legacy of recreation
  • Trade policy implications

4. Market and consumer insights research

  • Today and tomorrow’s outdoor consumer
  • Research tactics to solve business problems
  • Practical applications to strengthen business strategy

Q: This all sounds amazing! How do I personally get involved?

A: We are in the process of securing educators and mentors for the program. If you are interested in either, please contact Kristen Freaney. You choosing to support an employee participating in the pilot program is invaluable to our efforts. Please, continue to encourage, ask questions and give feedback so we can make this program better and better each year. Also, if you would like to fund a Skip Yowell Future Leadership Academy participant through a scholarship program, please let us know.