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Class of 2017: Skip Yowell Future Leadership Academy Welcomes New Participants and Guides

January 4, 2017

The new class of 33 students embarks on the six-month immersive program.

BOULDER, Colo. (January 4, 2017) – The Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) extends a special welcome and congratulations to the newest participants and mentors of the Skip Yowell Future Leadership Academy (SYFLA).  Following a successful pilot year, the new class of 33 individuals will be joined by 24 industry veterans who will offer mentorship and direction while they guide this next generation of outdoor industry game-changers.

The new class, chosen through a rigorous selection process, will receive development opportunities including education about important outdoor industry issues, leadership training and mentoring from industry leaders, and they’ll work together to make the outdoor industry stronger and better in the years to come.

The 2017 Future Leadership Academy students (including two individuals from non-profits who will be participating in the program with full scholarships paid by REI):

Aaron McCready        Camelbak
Adam Sanders            Trango
Alia Salim                     Trust for Public Lands
Alli Rowe                     Patagonia
Amanda Schreier        Sea to Summit
Brian Fisher                Grand Trunk
Bruce Dotterrer           NPD
Christopher Fidler       Burton
Colin Moynihan           Uncle Dans
Conor McElyea           Cairn
Courtney Hans           REI
Dana Howe                 Grassroots Outdoor Alliance
David Duron               Toad&Co
Devin   Hewlett           Simms Fishing
Erin Weimer               Sterling Rope
Jake Wheeler              Roots Rated
Jill Sanford                 Freelance Journalist
Johanna Andrews      Eddie Bauer
John McCauley          Outdoor Alliance
Josh Weichhand        Chaco
Justus Hyatt               Cascade Designs
Kat Dierickx               Outdoor Project
Katie Hawkins           Marmot
Katie Wade                 Timbuk2
Lance Johnson          Ultimate Direction
Lauren Beaudoin      Osprey
Lisa Janssen              Goal Zero
Mary Bean                  Columbia
Michael Benauer       Sportiva
Robert Thomas          Smartwool
Sarah Fansler             Scarpa
Sarah Langston         Outdoor Retailer
Vanessa Fors             Helly Hansen

The 2016 Future Leadership Academy Graduates (FLAGs) credit the Academy with providing a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to learn with and from the industry’s most influential leaders.

“The Skip Yowell Future Leadership Academy reassured me that the outdoor industry is my home and I am here to stay,” said Joe Bustos, retail relations manager at Outdoor Retailer. “The education and mentorship I received from the Academy also gave me more confidence in my current position and a new outlook on what the future of the outdoor industry can look like.”

“Our industry and world are rapidly changing; in fact, change may be the only constant. I believe the future state of our industry is highly unlikely to look anything like the present, and I feel an obligation to the industry I love to help prepare our future leaders,” said Ted Manning, CEO of Ibex. “The Future Leadership Academy provided exactly this opportunity, creating a chance to engage the future leaders and to be inspired by them.”

The 2017 guides who will serve as mentors and leaders:

Amy Beck                     Lucy
Amy Roberts               OIA
Beaver Theodosakis  prAna founder
Chris King                    Arc’teryx
Georgina Miranda      Altitude Seven
Hilary Dessouky         Patagonia
Jen McLaren               Smartwool
Jen Mull                       Backwoods
John Sterling              Conservation Alliance
Kelly Kraus                  Stanley PMI
Kelly Neel                    REI
Kevin Hogan               The North Face
Larry Harrison            Outdoor Retailer
Lori Nuss                     Gramicci
Luis Vargas                 The Clymb
Matt Kaplan                OIA
Pam Theodosakis       prAna
Scott Whipps               Toad&Co
Steve Barker               Eagle Creek founder
Steve Workman          Merrell
Ted Manning              Ibex

“Last year’s Future Leadership Academy class was amazing and helped us create an incredible and useful program for the next generation of outdoor industry leaders. As a measure of success, seven out of 22 participants last year received a promotion or favorable job change during or directly after the program,” said Stasia Raines, OIA director of the Skip Yowell Future Leadership Academy. “This year, we’ve streamlined the education, invested in technology to enhance the experience and grown the program by 50 percent. I cannot wait to see the output as a result of these changes. Our Skip Yowell Future Leaders are the ones who will grow our outdoor industry, shaping it for the better in the years to come. In fact, they already are.”

For more information about the Skip Yowell Future Leadership Academy or to get involved in future years, contact Stasia Walker (swalker@outdoorindustry.org), the program’s director.

Outdoor Industry Association

Based in Boulder, Colo., with offices in Washington, D.C., Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) is the leading trade association for the outdoor industry and the title sponsor of Outdoor Retailer. OIA unites and serves over 1300 manufacturer, supplier, sales representative and retailer members through its focus on trade and recreation policy, sustainable business innovation and outdoor participation. For more information, visit outdoorindustry.org or call 303.444.3353.