Dear OIWC Friends, Members, and Supporters,
It is with tremendous excitement and sadness that I am writing to let you know that after 10 years with Outdoor Industries Women’s Coalition, I have decided to step down from my role as Executive Director.
I will never forget the first time I learned about OIWC. It was the late 90s, I was new in my career, working in Washington, D.C. at American Hiking Society, and a printed OIWC newsletter somehow landed on my desk. Melissa McKenzie (Pride Industries and YubaShoes) was the President at the time, and I remember the articles she and other board members wrote were awe-inspiring and full of wisdom.
I hadn’t realized there was an organization that combined my love for outdoor recreation with my passion for gender equality. I was hooked; I joined OIWC immediately and stayed in touch with its progress and activities. Then, in 2002, I was fortunate to be selected as the Treasurer of the Board of Directors. In 2005, when the Board of Directors decided it was time to put resources into staff, I jumped at the opportunity.
My goal as the Executive Director of OIWC was to build an organization that was strong, powerful and effective while being inclusive and transparent. Working with the Board of Directors and other incredible volunteers, we slowly and steadily developed structure, processes, and programs that have evolved into what you see today.
In those 10 years, OIWC has grown in so many important ways:
- Individual members: From 150 to over 1,500
- Corporate partners: From 12 to over 90
- Volunteers: From 15 on the Board of Directors to a network of over 130
- Events: From a few each year at Outdoor Retailer to over 40 at Outdoor Retailer, Interbike, SIA and in regions throughout the country
- Programs: The introduction of a Professional Development program for women in the outdoor industries
- Mission & Vision: The creation of a new powerful mission & vision with a focus on advocacy and education, bringing gender equality to the forefront of our industries
OIWC and its volunteers encapsulate the passion of our industries. I am immensely grateful for the opportunity and experience of working with countless extraordinary people over the years. The passion of the volunteers and members who support our programs is always humbling. Volunteers bring their skills and vigor to OIWC, and the 130 women and men who contribute their time and talent allow OIWC to accomplish the work of an organization far larger than our actual size.
OIWC is working with The Forest Group to identify the next Executive Director. Details on the position will be released in next week’s newsletter, at which point OIWC will also begin accepting applications.
My dedication to OIWC and its powerful mission has not waned, and I am fully committed to staying in the Executive Director role while we search for the next leader of OIWC. After that person is up and running, I will continue to stay involved with OIWC, and will forever be a dedicated foot soldier for the cause.
I do not know what the next step is for me, and I am looking forward to seeing where I land. This is an exciting new chapter for both OIWC and for myself.
Many thanks to you for the support you have given OIWC over the years. I look forward to seeing what your dedication and energy can bring in the next 10 years!