Together We Are A Force - Outdoor Industry Association
Together We Are a Force

Alone we can each do something. Together we can do anything. Day in and day out, each of us is intently focused on our respective jobs. We have budgets to balance, inventory to sell through, campaigns to run. But when we take a step back from our desks or cubicles or cash registers and lift our eyes beyond our immediate tasks and short term goals, we all gaze upon the same, shared vision: a strong and thriving outdoor recreation economy. We all see the same thing but from different angles. When we bring those perspectives together, we can collaborate to improve our industry and the places we play. Together we are a force.

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Amy Roberts and Rich Hill

A Force
for the Outdoor Industry

Amy Roberts Executive Director,
Outdoor Industry Association
Rich Hill President,
Grassroots Outdoor Alliance

Together, Amy and Rich represent outdoor industry collaboration at it’s core. Although their membership bases overlap and seem, in certain instances, to have competing interests, the two organizations collaborate to ensure that all retailers — large and small — have a seat at the tradeshow table. Specialty retail is a vital aspect of the outdoor industry, and Amy and Rich are fighting to maintain the balance between traditional brick-and-mortar shops, flagship chain stores and online retailers. In response to the industry’s changing landscape, Outdoor Industry Association, Grassroots Outdoor Alliance and Outdoor Retailer collaborated on a date change and colocation agreement for the Outdoor Retailer tradeshow in order to better align with shifting buying cycles. Amy and Rich strongly believe that our industry is built and dependent upon the continued collaboration among brands, suppliers and retailers, and they’re leading efforts to keep everyone at the table.

5 Minutes with… Amy Roberts Amy Roberts talks about OIA’s initiatives in 2016 and moving into 2017
View from the Top With OIA Executive Director Amy Roberts
Jessica Wahl and Cedar Wright

A Force
for Policy

Jessica Wahl Recreation Policy Director,
Outdoor Industry Association
Cedar Wright Professional Rock Climber and Filmmaker,
The North Face Ambassador

Cedar Wright works to inspire people. Jessica Wahl works to influence them. Their efforts in the outdoor industry manifest in different ways, but both have dedicated their careers to promoting and protecting the outdoor places we play. Although their professional paths don’t intersect often, neither would be as successful without the other. You’ve seen Cedar’s work. Whether on Instagram, at a mountain film festival or in the pages of Climbing Magazine, images of and by the athlete have inspired thousands of outdoorists to explore America’s iconic public lands. He has put a spotlight on the sport of climbing and on the precious places where climbing happens, from Yosemite to Alaska. You’ve also seen Jess’s work, with the reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund and the recent passage of the REC Act, two initiatives Jess helped to influence. As a policy wonk and tireless outdoor advocate, Jess is our industry’s silent soldier, working to protect the public lands where Cedar and other outdoorists play. When one of Cedar’s routes is threatened by attempts to transfer federal lands to state control or when access to public land is denied due to government shutdown or when insufficient funding leads to the spread of wildfire in a National Forest, Jess hits the halls of Congress to convince lawmakers to set things right.

#MOS Why Is Access Important? This is #MyOutdoorStory. What’s Yours?
Public Lands: We Can’t Cash Out We must lean in.
Cam Brensinger and Bryan Martin

A Force
for Participation

Cam Brensinger Founder and CEO,
NEMO Equipment
Bryan Martin Executive Director,
Big City Mountaineers

The mission of Big City Mountaineers is to inspire the next generation of outdoorists — especially those in urban, underserved communities. NEMO Equipment’s mission is to outfit them. A natural collaboration, their partnership developed as organically as any in this industry. When Brensinger learned about Martin’s program, he didn’t waste a second committing piles of gear — tents and sleeping bags — to the BCM gear library. This collaboration of an outdoor nonprofit and an outdoor product brand is an example of how, collectively, individual companies — for profit and nonprofit — can join forces to achieve shared goals. In this case, youth participation.

Valerie Bone and Scott Allen

A Force
for Sustainability

Valerie Bone Director of Corporate Responsibility,
PMI/Stanley
Scott Allen General Manager,
Hydroflask

Though PMI/Stanley’s and Hydroflask’s products compete for market share and shelf space in many outdoor retail shops, the brands are unwavering allies in the battle against single-use vessels. In fact, if you ask Valerie and Scott, their brands’ sustainability ethos are as important as profit margins. As leaders in the industry and at their respective companies, Valerie and Scott are passionate about sustainability and share the conviction that our industry must prioritize supply chain and consumer responsibility. They are leading the outdoor industry by example, proving that a brand can be founded upon a mission of sustainability and succeed.

#MOS with Valerie This is #MyOutdoorStory. What's Yours?
Jenn Dice and Clint Wall

A Force
for Policy

Jenn Dice Vice President of Business Network,
PeopleForBikes
Clint Wall Global Make-to-Order
Business Manager, Pearl Izumi

H.G. Wells famously said: “Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race.” It’s true there is something inherently hopeful about the simple machine. And yet at $81 billion a year and 770,000 jobs, the cycling industry is a complex network of stakeholders. And that network, when organized toward a common mission, is a powerful lever that can influence everything from mental health to public health, from urban design to traffic congestion, from carbon emissions to crime reduction. Jenn Dice and PeopleForBikes are dedicated to protecting, growing and improving bike infrastructure. The best way to do that, she says, is to “lead with the voice of business.” Enter Pearl Izumi, a brand that is dedicated to getting more people on bikes. Partners since 2002, Pearl Izumi and PeopleForBikes lobby tirelessly at the federal, state and local level for bike policy to ensure that everyone can access the simple but powerful experience of pedaling two wheels.

Infographic: Cycling Discover the unique traits of cyclists.
Jennifer Nolfi and Alex Baires

A Force
for Participation

Jennifer Nolfi Director of Athletic &
Outdoor Industry Program at
Portland State University
Alex Baires Category Manager,
Soft Coolers at Yeti,
Skip Yowell Future Leadership
Academy Alum

If you want to read a case study about meteoric rise in a consumer product category, check out Yeti Coolers. The brand’s growth — 748 percent in the past three years — is practically unheard of. So it’s certainly no wonder that the manager of its soft-sided coolers category has made a name for himself in the outdoor industry. As a graduate of the first Skip Yowell Future Leadership Academy class, Alex Baires represents the next generation of torchbearers in the outdoor industry. He is passionate about furthering his education as a leader and using that to get more kids of all backgrounds outside. Jennifer Nolfi works at Portland State University on programs that encourage college-age young adults to experience and fall in love with the outdoors during a time when they’re forming habits and interests that will carry on into adulthood. In fact, through her work, Jennifer is showing students that the outdoors can be more than a lifelong hobby, they can be the foundation of a fulfilling “dream career.” Together, Alex and Jennifer are a force for the future of the outdoor industry.

I Got Into the Outdoor Industry Because… This is #MyOutdoorStory. What's Yours?
Hatching the Next Great Idea What will the future hold?
Ali Kenney and Larry Harrison

A Force
for the Future

Ali Kenney Senior Director Global Supply Chain
and Sustainability, Burton Snowboards
Larry Harrison Brand Development Director,
Outdoor Retailer

If we had a nickel for every time Ali Kenney’s name came up in conversation around the OIA office, we’d be well on our way to matching the impressive financial impact she’s made on Burton’s bottom line. Ali has not only saved Burton hundreds of thousands of dollars with her innovative and forward thinking supply chain work, she has earned a reputation in the industry as a sustainability change maker. As a Skip Yowell Future Leadership Academy graduate, Ali is carrying on a legacy that started with industry veterans like Larry Harrison. Larry’s zeal and enthusiasm helped make our industry what it is today. As a sales rep, an executive at Adidas and now as the brand development director for the Outdoor Retailer trade show, Larry’s vision helped establish our industry’s values, which Ali is carrying forward. Thanks to these two and those among us like them, our future looks bright.

Honor Thy Dirtbag Soul We champion play above all else.
Luis Benitez and Annelise Loevlie

A Force
for Policy

Luis Benitez Director, Colorado Outdoor
Recreation Industry Office
Annelise Loevlie CEO,
Icelantic Skis

A mountaineer and climbing guide who has summited the world’s most formidable peaks, Luis Benitez might wind up being known as much for his pioneering role as Colorado’s first Director of Outdoor Recreation Industry as for his impressive alpine ascents. Since 2015, Benitez has been racking up local, state and national headlines for, finally and in earnest, getting outdoor recreation businesses a seat at the policy table in Colorado. One of those businesses is Icelantic Skis, a Colorado-born and -raised gear company under the intrepid leadership of Annelise Loevlie. Despite Icelantic’s rise in the market and the tendency for competing companies to move production overseas, Annelise is committed to keeping jobs in Colorado. One of 22 advisors on Luis’s OREC council, Annelise is helping to form a collective voice and collaborative vision for Colorado’s outdoor recreation economy. Together, Luis and Annelise represent the power of joint action between local business and state government to affect and grow an industry and state economy in tandem.

#MOS with Luis This is #MyOutdoorStory. What's Yours?
A Rising Tide for the Outdoor Industry Growth for the industry
Daniel Uretsky and Peter Haney

A Force
for Sustainability

Daniel Uretsky President,
Allied Feather and Down
Peter Haney Senior Manager of Corporate
Responsibility, Columbia

Writing a sustainability statement is easy. Committing to and nurturing it are more difficult, but that hasn’t stopped Peter Haney and Columbia from making sustainability one of the brand’s top priorities. Columbia’s size is, at once, an asset and a challenge. On one hand, when you’re as big as Columbia, well-executed sustainability measures can have deep impact at the corporate, industry and consumer level. On the other hand, scaling sustainability efforts across such a vast and complex supply chain is a monumental undertaking. It depends on synergy and cooperation from facilities and suppliers who are all committed to the same goals. Enter Daniel and Allied, who are recognized as one of the world’s most responsible down producers. A vetted and trusted ingredient supplier for Columbia, Allied is influencing other down suppliers with its responsible approach to sourcing and treating down. Through their joint participation in OIA’s Sustainability Working Group and their business relationship, Columbia and Allied Feather and Down represent our industry’s leadership in global manufacturing.

Why Is It Important to Know Where Your Outdoor Gear Comes From? This is #MyOutdoorStory. What's Yours?
David Leinweber and John Hickenlooper

A Force
for Policy

David Leinweber Owner,
Angler’s Covey
John Hickenlooper Governor,
State of Colorado

We call local specialty retailers the hubs of the outdoor industry. They are often consumers’ first point of contact with and gateway to outdoor products, services and playgrounds. These retailers do more than sell stuff, they convene and educate outdoorists through community programming and advocacy, whether in small towns or big cities. They often help define the community’s outdoor sensibilities and, well, they speak for the trees and trails and rivers and mountains nearby. They also support a growing segment of the economy in their town, city and state. David Leinweber is just such a retailer, and his Angler’s Covey is a legacy shop that has long supported his town’s outdoor recreation economy. That is why Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper — himself an outdoorist — has partnered with David and other local outdoor businesspeople throughout the state to write and influence recreation and trade policy that’s good for business and good for Colorado.

How Do You Advocate for Outdoor Recreation? This is #MyOutdoorStory. What's Yours?
Dave Petri and Jennifer McLaren

A Force
for Sustainability

Dave Petri VP of Marketing,
Farm to Feet
Jennifer McLaren CFO,
Smartwool

Although their businesses compete for market share, Dave and Jennifer have committed themselves and their respective companies to seeking industry-wide adoption of a single, standardized tool for measuring and creating sustainability throughout the supply chain — from raw materials sourcing to manufacturing, shipping and end-of-life. Farm to Feet and Smartwool are members of OIA’s Sustainability Working Group, and both brands are among the early adopters and proponents of the Higg Index tool, established by the industry for the industry. Together they exemplify what can happen when brands put aside their competitive interests and, instead, focus on pulling an entire product category — and by extension — an industry, toward more responsibly manufacturing and distribution practices.

#MOS with Dave Petri This is #MyOutdoorStory. What's Yours?
One Sock Brand’s Locavore Leanings From farm to feet.
Matt Feeney and Chris Warner

A Force
for Participation

Matt Feeney Co-founder and Director
of Advancement, Adaptive Adventures
Chris Warner Founder and CEO,
Earth Treks Climbing and Fitness

Although finished manufactured goods are a big part of the outdoor industry, it’s 1.) our experiences and 2.) our partners who define our outdoorist identities. Adaptive Adventures and Earth Treks deal in those intangibles. Both Matt and Chris share a deep love for recreation and what it can do, mentally and physically, for those who participate. Matt co-founded Adaptive Adventures to ensure that everyone with a desire to get outside has an opportunity to do so and a community to share in those experiences. As a sponsor of Adaptive Adventures, Earth Treks funds outdoor experiences for adaptive athletes, ensuring there are never physical barriers to exploration.

Building Better Leaders Chris Warner’s secrets of success

Your OIA Membership Matters

Being an OIA member means joining together as retailers, manufacturers, suppliers, reps, athletes and outdoorists to tackle issues that defeat us individually, but as a collaborative force, we conquer. Becoming a part of the Outdoor Industry Association means claiming a seat behind the steering wheel to drive meaningful action. You’re signing on to a distinguished list of global sustainability leaders. You’re actively — not passively — communicating with your elected officials to create common sense recreation and trade policy. And you’re passing your love of the outdoors onto the next generations through tangible and scalable programming.

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Two people hiking
Sustainable manufacturing equipment

Sustainability

Sustainable business is the business of asking, “how can we do this better?” We are proud to promote the welfare of people, animals and resources involved in manufacturing outdoor products, from raw materials to end of life. We don’t have all the answers, and we’re not shying away from asking the questions.

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The United States Capitol Building

Policy

From recreation access to balanced trade, the issues that affect our businesses and our customers are constantly on the dockets of local, state and federal state houses. Outdoor Industry Association educates and lobbies lawmakers to pass sound policies that support our industry’s growth and viability.

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A young girl riding a bike

Participation

We come from different backgrounds; work in different, sometimes competing, channels of the industry and find different ways to play outside. But we are all outdoorists, and we are committed to growing the outdoorist collective. By working together to expand outdoor access and opportunities, we can ensure a vibrant outdoorist community for generations to come.

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