River Leaders: Connecting the Outdoor Industry & Veterans

I had the incredible opportunity to be selected for the Skip Yowell Future Leadership Academy and was probably one of the highlights of my year professionally.

It was here that I was able to collaborate with some of the most talented leaders from incredible brands such as Osprey, Smartwool, REI, Chacos, Patagonia, and Burton – just to name a few!

The program is designed to bring future leaders together and have them discuss, collaborate, and execute ideas on how to better our community. A part of the program is work in a group with four other leaders and do a capstone project at the end of the program.

My group made up of leaders from Smartwool, Eddie Bauer, Roots Rated, and Sterling Ropes were selected to collaborate with one my industry friends and colleagues Stacy Bare, who serves as the Director of the Outdoor Program for the Sierra Club.

I had first met Stacy when we were asked to be on an industry panel at Outdoor Retailer in 2014. I was immediately drawn to Stacy and his ability to captivate a room immediately. To say I was thrilled to work with this guy was an understatement.

For our capstone project, we teamed up with the Sierra Club to create the River Leaders Initiative, a program to help industry brands hire veterans. The goal of the capstone project:

  • Build a foundational opportunity for veterans and industry leaders to come together and brainstorm successful strategies. Authentically!
  • Attract qualified veterans to apply for employment opportunities in the outdoor industry.
  • Increase awareness of relationships and opportunities between veterans and the outdoor industry.
  • Create a sustainable initiative that can be executed by future leadership academy cohorts.

The trip will take place on December 1 – 4 in Big Bend National Park. If you would like more information on the trip, you can read last month’s article in SNEWS.

Please feel free to reach out to me directly if you have any questions on this trip or the Skip Yowell Leadership Academy.

See you on the trail!

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