Outdoor Gear Builders of WNC (Western North Carolina), the first gear builder association in the outdoor industry, announced the appointment of Andy Williamson to the new executive director role. Celebrating its seventh year, Outdoor Gear Builders (OGB) has grown to over 50 members and has become a force in the economic development of WNC.

The new part-time Executive Director position will enable the organization to focus on goals set forth at the beginning of 2020, as well as grow membership and member benefits. Wiliamson, principal of Active Strategies, shown below right, was instrumental in the strategic planning process with Outdoor Gear Builders and has a history of working with nonprofits to assist them in charting a course for a more sustainable and impactful future.

Williamson’s background in the outdoor and cycling industries is extensive and includes work with organizations such as Bikepacking Roots, DRAFT, A People for Bikes Meetup, and International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA) as Director of Programs. He has also designed, implemented, and supported numerous catalytic programs, events, and workshops at the Outdoor Economy Conference in WNC, Gateway Outdoor Summit in St. Louis, and IMBA Trail Labs in Arkansas. With an in-depth knowledge of the outdoor industry, nonprofits, and capital campaigns, Williamson will be instrumental in guiding and working alongside the OGB board to execute strategic planning goals and assist in the growth of the organization.

Regarding the hiring of Williamson as the OGB Executive Director, Matt Godfrey the OGB Board Chair, said, “The board has a high level of confidence in our selection of Andy as our new ED. His background leading organizations in the outdoor industry and nonprofit space were key factors in our decision, as well as his strong desire to be a contributing member to our outdoor community. He is the right person to work closely with our board and membership to assist in taking the OGB to the next level of outdoor industry leadership and influence within Western North Carolina and beyond.”

The new Executive Director role will replace OGB’s Network Manager Kaylee Larkin Masters, who decided to step down from her position this summer. As the OGB’s first paid employee, Larkin Masters played an important role in growing the membership of the organization to where it is now, improving communication and providing more networking opportunities for members.

“Over the winter I got to spend a great deal of time getting to know the OGB board and I’m looking forward to supporting them and the membership in growing the organization,” Williamson said. “I’m grateful for the time they and Kaylee put into getting the organization where it is today. This opportunity will allow me to be more engaged in my community while also continuing to work with my other amazing clients and partners across the US. I can’t wait to get out there to meet and listen to all of the companies and stakeholders that make the OGB so special.”

Williamson will start with the Outdoor Gear Builders in a part-time capacity officially on July 1. For more information on Outdoor Gear Builders and the efforts they are making in WNC, visit here.