With the ballots counted and appointments made the 2008 OIA Board of Directors is complete. The new slate of Directors was ratified yesterday at Thursday’s board meeting in Salt Lake City. Seven new board members were elected by OIA members and five appointed seats were filled.

Making a conscious effort to balance the interests and expertise of its constituents, OIA is welcoming a new class of board members that offer greater diversity to better reflect its members’ needs and the industry as a whole.

“We intentionally expanded the retail and rep presence and consciously strengthened the paddle sports sector on the board to best serve all OIA members,” said Frank Hugelmeyer, OIA president.

The new executive committee will be led by Mike Wallenfels, president of Mountain Hardwear, who succeeds Kim Coupounas as Chairperson. The officer slate is comprised of: Dan Templin, CFO of VF Outdoor, as First Vice-chair; Peter Metcalf, CEO of Black Diamond, as Second Vice-chair; Martha Groszewski, CFO of Patagonia, as Treasurer; and Jeff Weidman, Co-owner of Rutabaga Paddlesports, as Secretary.

New voting members, elected by the membership, include Sutton Bacon, CEO of Nantahala Outdoor, Tom Barney, CEO of Osprey, Pam Schwartzbach, Principle of the Ascentials Rep Agency, Will Manzer, CEO of EMS, Steve Shuster, Global Brand Manager for W.L. Gore, and Jay Steere, VP of Global Product Management-Outdoor for Timberland.

New appointed seats go to Jennifer Mull, CEO of Backwoods, Mark Leopold, Group VP of Johnson Outdoor Watercraft, Dan Templin, CFO of VF Outdoor, Don Hildebrand, CFO of Confluence, and Gordon Seabury, CEO of Horny Toad. The new board members join sixteen previously elected industry leaders who will continue to serve the industry as its board.

“It’s important to represent all aspects of the industry and now we have an excellent cross-section of the membership now on the board,” said Mike Wallenfels, president of Mountain Hardwear and the new chairman of OIA’s board of directors. “We’re a unique industry. We really do have a shared set of values and external challenges. (cut we) need to work together to increase the opportunities for everyone involved.”

The new board members will serve three year terms and help steer industry programs that ensure specialty retail health and education, increase youth participation in the outdoors; expand and protect the recreation infrastructure; encourage social responsibility and grow sustainable business practices, among others.

Moving off the board due to term limitations are Paul Gagner, CEO of Sierra Designs, Larry Harrison, principle of Earth Games Rep Agency, Jim Clark, Bill Kelly, VP of Johnson Outdoors, and Skip Yowell, VP of Jansport.

The exiting board members have invested an enormous amount of time and heart and sweat into this association”, remarked Hugelmeyer. “Their combined 43 years of service have been instrumental in moving OIA and the industry forward over the last 19 years.”

A special Chairman’s Award was presented to Skip Yowell of Jansport for his unprecedented leadership and inspiration to the board and the industry during his 19 years of service on the board.

“As an original co-founder of OIA, Skip has provided unprecedented vision and leadership in many arenas over the last 19 years, most notably on the Foundation Board, Foundation Strategic Development Task Force, the Nominations Committee, the Executive Committee, as Chair of the Member Services and Marketing Committees, and as chair of the marketing task force that branded Outdoor Industry Association. We are forever indebted as an association and as an industry to Skip for his selfless contributions, “remarked Hugelmeyer.