The Outdoor Industry Association board of directors appointed Steve Barker, founder and former owner of Eagle Creek, as interim executive director for the organization, effective immediately.
As interim executive director, Barker will provide a stable and consistent leadership presence for OIA staff while the board conducts a national search for a permanent OIA executive director.
With deep roots in the outdoor industry and in-depth knowledge of OIA, Steve is the ideal candidate to lead the organization in this time of transition, said Jennifer Mull, OIA board chair, on behalf of OIAs board. Steves role is to create a culture of collaboration with members and other key stakeholders and provide stable organizational leadership to allow the staff to continue positive momentum in support of OIAs defined mission and annual goals as stated in the board-approved strategic plan.
With over 40 years in the outdoor industry, Steves passion for the products and work of OIA member companies runs deep. Steve and his wife, Nona founded Eagle Creek in 1975. The company was sold to VF Corporation in 2007. Steve served on the OIA board of directors for ten years, including two years as board chair from 2001 to 2003.
OIA plays a critical role in supporting outdoor industry companies to thrive and grow, said Steve Barker, interim OIA executive director. The industry is in the midst of unprecedented change with shifting business models, changing consumer behavior and the need for adaptable and sustainable supply chains. OIA is well positioned to collaborate with members and provide them with tools and guidance, so they can operate successfully in a constantly evolving marketplace.
OIAs Boulder and Washington D.C. staff will continue to support the organizational mission to ensure the growth and success of the outdoor industry. With Steves leadership, OIA staff is focused on the following strategic areas to help members keep pace with the changing business landscape:
- Consumer of the Future provides greater understanding of the emerging outdoor consumer and how that consumer will impact our business models
- Recreation of the Future offers greater understanding of how consumers are defining recreation and increased advocacy efforts for recreation infrastructure and access
- Business of the Future focuses on ensuring supply chain resilience, protecting brand reputations, reducing exposure and improving product quality
The outdoor industry employs more than 6 million people in the U.S., contributing more than $640 billion in consumer spending to the economy.
Based in Boulder, CO, with offices in Washington, D.C., Outdoor Industry Association is the leading trade association for the outdoor industry and the title sponsor of Outdoor Retailer. OIA supports the growth and success of more than 4,000 manufacturers, distributors, suppliers, sales representatives and retailers of outdoor recreation apparel, footwear, equipment and services. For more information, visit outdoorindustry.org or call 303.444.3353.