Ann Krcik, senior director of brand communications and outdoor exploration at The North Face, has passed away after a battle with cancer.

“Yesterday we lost our beloved colleague and friend, Ann Krcik,” said North Face on a memorial page. “She passed peacefully at her home in Mill Valley with her family beside her. She is fondly remembered by everyone at The North Face and by the thousands of people she touched across the outdoor industry. She was one of the best.”

Conrad Anker, climber and The North Face Athlete team captain: “I first met Ann when she was the athlete manager at The North Face in the mid 80s. As a young climber, she encouraged me to pursue my dream, while sending me off to Alaska with a sleeping bag and tent. Ann then created Extreme Connection, the first agency for speaking and endorsement that focused on climbers and outdoor adventurers. Behind all this is the spirit that made Ann special. She had a way of connecting people and connecting them to groups, causes and organizations. When Ann came back to The North Face, her institutional knowledge helped shape the values that are the foundation of the brand today. Working with her in this capacity was pure joy. Ann mentored many in the outdoor business. I am fortunate, along with many others, to have Ann’s energy in my life and career.”

Arne Arens, global brand president, The North Face: “We will miss Ann for many reasons, but most of all for the passion and drive she brought to her work and our community and her dear friendship–she was truly an inspiration to all of us. Ann leaves a legacy of commitment to protect our outdoor playgrounds and our own sense of adventure. She traveled the world, summiting places like Kilimanjaro and visiting Everest Base Camp. She was one of the kindest, most unselfish people I have met, always looking to inspire as many people as possible to enjoy the outdoors. This is how she will live on in our memories and this is how we will continue to honor her.”

Steve Rendle, chairman and CEO, VF Corp (and former president of The North Face): “Ann had such a profound impact on so many people’s lives and I am blessed that she chose to call me a friend. Her passion for The North Face, for our outdoor industry and for supporting organizations that benefited the people she cared most for, has been an inspiration.  But even more importantly, it was Ann’s approach to give her absolute best to everyone she came in touch with that inspired and taught me so much. I will miss not being able to see her when I visit my friends and colleagues in Northern California. However, I am comforted knowing that she is not going to be gone from our lives; her love and caring touch will live on with everyone that had the honor to be her friend. God bless, Ann.”

As senior director at The North Face Ann spent more than 12 years with the brand, she oversaw global brand communications and outdoor exploration, working to protect public lands and enable exploration for everyone. She made The North Face Explore Fund into what it is today, an industry-leading program that removes barriers to getting outside and helps restore our environment.

Ann held a number of positions in the outdoor industry. She was a board member of the Conservation Alliance, chairperson of the Outdoor Industry Association Recreational Advisory Council and co-founder of the Outdoor Industry Women’s Coalition (now Camber Outdoors). She received the “Pioneering Women Award,” “OIA Advocacy Award” and American Himalayan Foundation “AHF Star Award.”

Ann was recently honored by Camber Outdoors with its annual LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD. In addition to two tenures with The North Face, Ann worked in the outdoor and music industries including marketing roles with Western Mountaineering in Santa Cruz and Bill Graham Presents. She was a successful entrepreneur with her own company, Extreme Connection, which became the premier resource for mountaineers, outdoor sports athletes and adventurers to book work as motivational speakers, endorsement spokespeople and sports models both in and beyond the outdoor industry.

For those that are interested in celebrating her legacy, donations made be made in her name to CAMBER OUTDOORS.

Photos courtesy The North Face