Each year the OIWC presents its Pioneering Woman Award to a deserving woman in the outdoor industry who has distinguished herself as a mentor of other women. The OIWC is accepting nominations for its fourth annual Pioneering Woman Award to be presented at the group’s popular Winter Gathering Monday, January 31, 2005 in Salt Lake City, Utah. Previous award recipients are Kitty Bradley of Stonewear Designs, Rachael Ligtenberg of REI and Norma Hanson of Smartwool.

“The OIWC is the only national organization supporting women in the Outdoor Industry, and the Pioneering Woman Award is the only formal award recognizing the accomplishments of those who have a made a difference in the careers of other women. Mentors play an incredibly important role in developing confidence, instilling wisdom and giving support to those just beginning their career journey, as well as those struggling to move further up the Outdoor Industry’s own Via Ferrata.”

Buker adds: “No one is climbing solo in this quest. Behind every successful leader is someone who's believed in them, inspired and encouraged them to go for it and accomplish their dreams. It takes a bevy of belay partners to grow a leader. With the Pioneering Woman Award, the OIWC wishes to put a rare spotlight on those that help other women get through the crux situations.”

Nominations should be no more than 100 words describing how their candidate has had a positive impact on other women’s careers and specifically what they’ve done to demonstrate a commitment to mentoring female colleagues.
Nominations must be received by 5:00 p.m. Monday, November 15, 2004. They should be emailed to Maile Buker at mai_buker@hotmail.com. The winner of the Pioneering Woman Award will receive a check for $1,000 to be donated to a charity of her choice in her name.

The top three nominees will be announced December 15, 2004 and the winner will be revealed at the Winter Gathering held Monday, January 31, 2005 from 6-9:30 p.m. in Abravanel Hall adjacent to the Convention Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. The Winter Gathering is an excellent networking opportunity and a “must-attend” event for both men and women in the outdoor industry. Wine, beer, appetizers and good conversation are served.