Outdoor Industry Association introduced two Industry Awards. The Outdoor Industry Innovator Award recognizes leaders that have pioneered business initiatives to ensure the health and success of the industry, and the Outdoor Ambassador award honors a business or company that has made significant contributions toward increasing participation in active outdoor recreation. Open to anyone in the outdoor industry, the deadline for nominations is Friday, December 11, 2005. OIA will announce the winners at the Industry Breakfast, kicking off Outdoor Retailer Winter Market in Salt Lake City, Utah on Saturday, January 28, 2006.

“Outdoor Industry Association exists to ensure the growth and success of the outdoor industry,” notes Hugelmeyer. “Our intent is that the winners of these two awards will embody the spirit of innovation and desire to share our passion for playing in the outdoors that are essential threads in the fabric of the outdoor business community.”

The Outdoor Industry Innovator Award will recognize an individual from a retailer, manufacturer, supplier or media who has made significant contributions toward the continued innovation and growth of the outdoor industry. Either through a dynamic business initiative, the creation and development of new outdoor activity niches, active and responsible promotion of new or existing market areas, or the spear-heading of collaborative efforts to initiate innovative and lasting industry partnerships. This award recognizes a business achievement.

The Outdoor Ambassador Award will recognize a company who has made significant and sustainable achievements toward the growth of participation in outdoor activities. Those efforts could include spearheading conservation programs, the development and support of programs or efforts intended to serve as model practices for the industry, the introduction and advancement of responsible tourism practices, outstanding consumer outreach campaigns, or have made great strides in encouraging youth to develop an active outdoor lifestyle. This award pays tribute to a company who has embraced a worthy cause and made a significant achievement.