Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) has named Eagle Creek co-founder Steve Barker as interim executive director. He replaces Amy Roberts, who left her post last week to join The North Face.
Barker had been serving as board chair of OIA’s charitable arm, the Outdoor Foundation, a position that will be filled by Jen Mull Neuhaus.
OIA board chair Nora Stowell wrote in a note to OIA members:
Dear Outdoor Industry Members
Last week, Amy Roberts served her last day at OIA as executive director. As the OIA Board chair, I want to send one last thank you for her respected leadership over the last four years. We will forever be grateful for Amy’s contribution and ability to lead with a balanced perspective and steady hand, and we wish her the best of luck in her new role at The North Face.
To continue the positive momentum of the work at OIA, we have formed a search committee to find a new executive director. The search has been underway for over one month, and we have done extensive outreach with more than 50 interested candidates. We expect to conduct interviews beginning in November, with a decision in December and a new executive director starting in early 2020.
In the interim, the board has asked industry veteran Steve Barker, who has been a longtime champion of OIA’s work, to support the OIA team as interim executive director. Steve co-founded Eagle Creek, and since that time he has served on the boards of OIA and the Conservation Alliance and is currently chairing the work of the Outdoor Foundation (OF). Steve has also been heavily involved in OIA’s state and local government affairs work. Steve will be joining the team starting on October 14 to bring additional capacity and leadership to OIA during the search process to ensure that the work of OIA continues to drive value for our membership.
While Steve is serving as interim OIA executive director, Jen Mull Neuhaus will assume the position of interim board chair for the Outdoor Foundation to guide the important work of getting more kids and families engaging in repeat and frequent outdoor experiences, so that the joy and wonder of the outdoors become an important part of their lives. As the former owner of Backwoods, Jen is deeply tied to the outdoor industry and is a strong advocate of the work of OIA and OF. She chaired the OIA Board from 2013 to 2015, sat on the OIA Board for several years prior to that and has been on the OF Board for the last three years.
This is an interesting time for the outdoor industry, and I am honored to be leading the board. We appreciate your support and engagement in the important work of OIA on behalf of the industry. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me directly if you have any comments, questions or concerns as we navigate through this transition.
OIA Board Chair
W.L. Gore & Associates, Fabric Sales and Marketing Divisional Leader