The Outdoor Industries Women’s Coalition (OIWC) announced the winners of OIWC’s 2014 Pioneering Woman and First Ascent Awards for the Outdoor Industry. Sally Jewell, 51st U.S. Secretary of the Interior and former CEO of REI, has won the Pioneering Women Award and Elizabeth Averbeck, director of sales and marketing at Active Interest Media, has won the First Ascent Award.

Nominated by their peers for inspiring leadership at companies where they work as well as in the industry as a whole, OIWC created the Pioneering Woman Award and First Ascent Award to honor women who have furthered the vision of OIWC.

“Recognizing the efforts of women leaders in Outdoor is one way OIWC provides inspiration for our members and to the industry. By shining a spotlight on these exceptional women, we demonstrate and celebrate the incredible impact women have on business in the industry. The awards also provide an opportunity to showcase the kind of personal success that is possible for women who are building their careers in this industry,” said Deanne Buck, OIWC Executive Director.

The Pioneering Woman award recognizes a woman who has paved the way for women in the industry through outstanding commitment toward mentoring female colleagues.

Catherine Walker, SVP & general counsel at REI, who nominated Secretary Jewell stated, “While at REI for 13 years, Sally embodied the values of diversity and inclusion. She personally mentored a host of women leaders at REI and was an inspiration for many employees to get outside to play. She almost single-handedly influenced the Industry to focus on the next generation of outdoor stewards, who are diverse in race/ethnicity and in gender.”

The First Ascent Award recognizes a woman new to the industry who demonstrates strong potential for leadership.

Elizabeth Averbeck commented, “The Outdoor Industries Women’s Coalition is an integral part of our industry and has personally been very important to me in my own career path.  It is truly an honor to represent the many phenomenal women in our industry through this award.  Special thanks to my colleague, mentor and friend Megan Mulligan for offering the nomination and to the OIWC for promoting women leaders in our industry.”

Jewell and Averbeck will be honored at the OIWC Keynote and Awards Presentation at Outdoor Retailer – Winter Market. The event will also feature Keynote Speaker, Peter Metcalf, CEO of Black Diamond Equipment, Ltd.