History & Accomplishments

1989 -1996

  • Incorporated and formed the association (originally as Outdoor Recreation Coalition of America) and received official non-profit, 501(c)(6) status
  • Formed a partnership with the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association’s (SGMA) Washington Office and the SGMA Outdoor Products Council. SGMA provided significant funding for numerous projects, including all of ORCA’s publications and the new State of the Industry Report
  • Started the Climb Smart consumer risk awareness program with posters, public service announcements, stickers, and regional events
  • Entered into an exclusive endorsement agreement with Outdoor Retailer
  • Held the National Summit on Outdoor Recreation, the industry’s introduction to Washington, D.C.
  • Specialty Groups Form and association begins distribution of standards for climbing walls
  • Introduced the Climbing Gym Association (CGA)
  • Introduced the Climbing Wall Industry Group (CWIG) and CWIG
  • Helped form Leave No Trace, Inc., with a generous grant and in-kind support

1996 – 2001

  • Led the movement to oppose and defeat the proposed Backpack Tax
  • Completed the industry’s first Retail Distribution Study
  • Released the first edition of the Accepted Industry Practices handbook, a compilation of gym operating procedures
  • Helped form Americans for Our Heritage and Recreation, a coalition of conservation and recreation groups that support full funding of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF)
  • Released the first Climbing Gym Market Data Report
  • Held the strategic planning session that re-focused ORCA as a trade association
  • Released the first annual Outdoor Recreation Participation Study
  • Formed the Tornado Emergency Relief Fund and raised over $100,000 to support victims and businesses struck by the tornado during Outdoor Retailer
  • Launched the support of the Land & Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), part of the Conservation & Reinvestment Act (CARA) bill
  • Frank Hugelmeyer appointed President & CEO (April 2000)
  • Formed the Outdoor Foundation, a 501(c)(3) to house Pew grant and future youth outreach initiatives
  • Receives $1 million dollar grant from the Pew Charitable Trust to help lead the fight to protect America’s roadless areas
  • Revamped WebNews receives the national 2000 ASAE Gold Circle Award for association marketing excellence

2001 – 2005

  • Changed name to Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) and completed repositioning of organization as a focused trade association
  • OIA chairs the national coalition of organizations focused on ensuring the permanent funding of LWCF through the Conservation and Recreation Act (CARA)
  • Launched the Friend of the Outdoor Industry Award for elected officials who demonstrate support for the industry
  • Realized the passage of CARA in to law and the initial full funding of the $12 billion CARA legislation
  • OIA coordinates $3 million in September 11th disaster relief product donations in two weeks
  • Receives initial seed grant from REI to begin an industry-wide youth outreach initiative within the Foundation
  • Released new participation, retail distribution and state of the industry research
  • OIA’s State of the Industry Report receives the 2001 ASAE Gold Circle Award for best annual report from an association
  • Launched the Roadless Postcard Campaign to help protect America’s last remaining roadless areas and delivered over 10,000 comments to the administration
  • Challenged Utah Governor Mike Leavitt and his legal settlement with the Department of Interior that established how BLM lands were managed at a national level
  • Hosted the 1st annual OIA Capitol Summit lobby event in Washington, D.C.
  • Launched the inaugural Outdoor Industry Breakfast attracting 500 attendees
  • Launched OIA education seminars at OR on retail management, B2B, fair labor and marketing
  • Produced Exploring the Active Lifestyle and Participants with Potential benchmark consumer outreach research that identified how to get Americans active and which activities provided a gateway to the lifestyle (Harris Interactive and Yankelovich)
  • Launched and sponsored Get Fit with US Event with Secretary of Interior Gale Norton, Administration and Federal Agencies officials and introduced the concept to the USFS, BLM and President’s Council on Physical Fitness

2005 – 2009

  • Developed and launched a monthly DC focused e-newsletter called “Outdoor Recreation Policy and Trends”
  • Launched the first ever industry wide international outdoor products trade initiatives and successfully defeated a petition to place safeguards on performance outerwear jackets and pants and reduced performance footwear duties by 27.5 percent
  • In cooperation with a broad coalition of partners, successfully lobbied for the Recreation Trails Program in the 2005 Transportation Bill which increased funding from $250M over the previous five years to $370M for the next five providing dollars for creating and improving trails in all 50 states
  • Hosted Secretary of Interior Dirk Kempthorne at Outdoor Retailer and successfully positioned OIA to be a top Department of Interior partner for the Centennial Initiative designed to prepare the National Parks for the next 100 years
  • Released the first ever Fair Labor Tool Kit and B2B standards for the industry
  • Hosted the first ever Eco-index Forum to develop green and sustainable outdoor product development and labeling standards
  • Launched the following successful youth outreach programs and tools: -Released the Getting Women Active Toolkit for the Trade. -Released the Getting Youth Active Toolkit for the Trade. -The Participation Study and Next Generation of Outdoor Participants. -Hispanic Community and Outdoor Recreation. -Produced and launched the new OIF website. -Launched Teens Outside, the Great American Backyard Campout and Outdoor Idols to the industry
  • Completed a 15-year multi-million dollar strategic partnership sponsor agreement with Nielsen Expositions that doubles the annual investment in industry programs and expands member input and benefits at the tradeshows
  • Launched the first ever performance apparel trade bill designed to reduce import duties and invest in sustainable manufacturing techniques
  • In partnership with Secretary of Interior Dirk Kempthorne and the National Parks Conservation Association, successfully passed the $200M Centennial Initiative designed to prepare the National Parks for the next 100 years
  • Launched expanded Outdoor University retail training seminars at Outdoor Retailer, regional sale rep trade shows and the Outdoor Industry Rendezvous
  • Expanded the Teens Outside programs to 28 locations introducing over 3000 kids to new outdoor sports adventures
  • Briefed the Republican and Democratic presidential campaigns on outdoor industry policy interests regarding recreation appropriations and international trade
  • Formed the OIA Political Action Committee.

2009 – 2012

  • Partnered with AAFA to introduce the Affordable Footwear Act that would significantly reduce duties on technical outdoor footwear
  • Established the OIA Internet Counterfeit Task Force to support outdoor industry businesses fight the growing threat of online counterfeits and rogue websites
  • Formed the Sustainability & Fair Labor Advisory Council and the International Trade Advisory Council. -Launched quarterly trade visits to Capitol Hill. -Completed the development of the first global Eco Index for apparel, footwear and equipment. -Developed guidelines and metrics for water, waste and energy. -Launched the packaging guidelines
  • Positioned OIA as a major partner with the President’s Green Cabinet and America’s Great Outdoors Initiative; OIA partners with Outdoor Alliance to host America’s Great Outdoors Homegrown Listening Sessions to focus on recreation and submit report to the Obama administration
  • Outdoor University launches, offering more than 30 webinars and training more than 1500 retail and manufacturer executives
  • Continued expansion of OIA Political Action Committee (OIAPAC) with 92 percent success rate in 2010 elections
  • Developed and launched VantagePoint, the official new P.O.S. research of the outdoor industry which provides the first near real-time, full market view of all channels of distribution. Sales data is available monthly and includes tracking of nine channels and nearly 10,000 retail doors
  • Launched Outdoor Nation to engage youth in outdoor recreation; kicked off Youth Summit with 500 youth delegates in NYC and expanded program following year with a five city tour
  •  U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar speaks to more than 750 industry leaders at the 2010 OIA-hosted ORSM Industry Breakfast
  • OIA joins Business for Innovative Climate and Energy Policy (BICEP) to show industry support for comprehensive climate change legislation
  • Eco-Index named one of the “Ten Most Hopeful Green Business Stories of 2010 by greenbiz.com; partnerships established with European Outdoor Group (EOG) and Sustainable Apparel Coalition to continue the development, participation, and adoption of the tool

2013 – Present

  • Established a full-time DC based office for Government Affairs.
  • Launched IDEO Outdoor Retail of the Future research—to help members understand the needs of a fast-changing outdoor consumer and better position the industry for success.
  • Launched expanded suite of new Market and Consumer Insights benefits.
  • Monthly department newsletter
  • Market and Consumer Insights trends blog
  • Social Buzz a bi-weekly email featuring social media insights
  • Social media listening special reports, “Crowdfunding:  Rise of Brand Democracy and Opportunities for Outdoor.”
  • The Sustainability Working Group launched new tools for chemicals management, materials traceability and equipment indexing that companies can use to reduce brand exposure and measure and improve the sustainability of their products.
  • The Outdoor Foundation exceeded $2 million in annual revenue for the first time and launched the Outsider’s Ball—an industry fundraising event that attracted more than 1,000 industry leaders to the inaugural gala.
  • Launched the Made in America working group to facilitate discussion about how outdoor industry companies can manufacture or source more products and/or components domestically.
  • Secured significant changes to the short supply list under consideration in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations to ensure outdoor products receive maximum benefits in the pending Pacific Rim trade agreement.
  • Provided more than 100 educational sessions that served more than 5,000 industry executives to our online offerings, in-person conferences, and Outdoor Retailer seminars through the Outdoor University programs.
  • Received a National Leadership Award from the Society of Outdoor Recreation Professionals (SORP) Award as recognition for OIA’s impact on outdoor recreation and the outdoor recreation profession.
  • Frank Hugelmeyer resigned as president and Steve Barker, founder and former CEO of Eagle Creek appointed as interim executive director.
  • Introduced OIA ConsumerVue, a digital online research tool that showcases findings from first of-its-kind, industry-level consumer segmentation study that looks into the world of outdoor through they eyes of the consumer.
  • Appointed Amy Roberts as the new executive director of OIA.


The Sustainability Advisory Council supports OIA sustainable business in its mission to empower every outdoor company to take bold steps to achieve positive impact. This is primarily demonstrated through their leadership and guidance of the OIA Climate Action Corps.

  • Matt Thurston, REI (Advisory Council Chair)
  • Kristen Bandurski*, Red Wing Shoe CO.
  • Alicia Chin, Smartwool
  • Theresa Conn, Nemo Equipment
  • Danielle Cresswell, Klean Kanteen
  • Kim Drenner, Patagonia
  • Guru Larson, Columbia
  • Marie Mawe, W.L. Gore
  • Jennifer Silberman, Yeti
  • Libby Sommer, Bolt Threads
  • John Stokes, New Balance
  • JJ Trout, People For Bikes

To learn more about the Sustainability Advisory Council, contact the OIA Sustainability Team.


  • Cam Brensinger, Nemo Equipment (Chair)
  • Sean Cady, VF Corp
  • Jonathan Cedar, Biolite
  • Alison Hill, Lifestraw
  • Bruce Old, Patagonia

To learn more about the Sustainability Board Committee, visit our board page.


The Recreation Advisory Council is an advisory board that provides guidance to OIA on various recreation-related policy issues, such as: engagement on the Land Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), public land funding initiatives, protection and new designations of our public lands for recreation use and ensuring access to outdoor recreation for the next generation.

  • Taldi Harrison, REI (Chair)
  • Cassandra Prenn-Vasilakis, HipCamp (Vice Chair)
  • Steve Barker, Wild Places, OIA
  • Kristen Blackburn, The Conservation Alliance
  • Brady Robinson, The Conservation Alliance
  • Louis Geltman , Outdoor Alliance
  • Andy Foster, L.L. Bean
  • Ross Saldarini, Yellowstone Advisors
  • Eric Raymond, The North Face
  • Marc Berejka, REI
  • Dave Polivy, Tahoe Mountain Sports
  • Ashley Korenblat, Western Spirit
  • Adam Cramer, Outdoor Alliance
  • Hans Cole, Patagonia
  • Brad Werntz, Boulders/New Normal Consulting
  • Erin Gaines, KEEN Footwear

For more information, contact the Government Affairs team at ga@outdoorindustry.org.


The Trade Advisory Council reviews U.S. trade policy, relevant federal legislation and international trade negotiations, develops federal trade policy that may affect OIA membership and recommends policy positions to OIA government affairs staff and OIA leadership.

  • Ben Christensen, Director of Global Sourcing and Financial Planning, Simms Fishing (Bozeman, MT) (Chairman)
  • Sara Bowersox, Global Compliance Manager, Keen (Portland OR) (Vice-Chair)
  • Marc Berejka – Director, Government Affairs, Recreational Equipment Inc. (Kent, WA)
  • Mike DeVitto, Senior Manager of International Logistics and Trade Compliance, LL Bean (Freeport, ME)
  • Scott Ermetti, President of International Business, Pelican Products (Torrance, CA)
  • Fred Ferguson – VP, Public Affairs, Vista Outdoor (Farmington, UT/Washington, D.C.)
  • Tony Ferguson – Logistics Administrator, Patagonia (Ventura, CA)
  • Patrick Fox – Director of Customs Compliance, V.F. Corp (Denver, CO)
  • Jann Futrell, Director Global Trade, The Coleman Company (Wichita, KS)
  • Al Gapinski, Director of Sourcing, Materials, Development and Quality, PEARL iZUMi (Louisville, CO)
  • Jody Graham, Global Production and Logistics Manager KUHL USA (Salt Lake City, UT)
  • Jen Kissner, Director Customs and Trade Advisory, Newell Brands
  • Lisa Leffler, Senior Global Logistics Manager, Black Diamond (Salt Lake City, UT)
  • Kristy Marvin, General Counsel, Timberland (Stratham, NH)
  • Brent Merriam, VP/Outdoors, NEMO Equipment (Dover, NH)
  • Quinn O’Rourke – Logistics and Customs Manager, LaCrosse Footwear Inc. (Portland, OR)
  • Mike Ratchford – Government Relations Associate, W.L. Gore & Associates, Inc (Newark, DE)
  • Mike Rigney – VP of Operations, Orvis (Arlington, VT/Roanoke, VA)
  • Tony Roina – Manufacturing and Sourcing Manager, Big Agnes (Steamboat Springs, CO)
  • Chris Rischke – Director of Operations, Oboz Footwear (Bozeman, MT)
  • Mario Roman, Director of Sourcing, Marmot (Rohnert Park, CA)
  • Drew Saunders – Operations Director, Salewa (Boulder, CO)
  • Chris Sentementes – VP of Global Sourcing and Business Development, PrimaLoft
  • Rachael Slisz, Manger, Imports, Eddie Bauer (Bellevue, WA)
  • Monica Thornton – Customs Manager, Helen of Troy (El Paso, TX)
  • Jeff Tooze – Director, Global Customs and Trade, Columbia Sportswear (Portland, OR)
For more information, contact the Government Affairs team at ga@outdoorindustry.org.



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