Grassroots Outdoor Alliance announces Gabe Maier as new president

May 24, 2022

Maier will step into the role on June 1, ahead of the Grassroots Connect buying show which returns to Knoxville from June 6-9, 2022

KNOXVILLE, TENNESSEE (MAY 24, 2022)/OUTDOOR SPORTSWIRE/ – Grassroots Outdoor Alliance (, the national organization working together for the health and growth of independent specialty outdoor retail, this week announced the hiring of Gabe Maier as president.

Maier brings significant experience and legacy knowledge to the role, having worked with the Grassroots Outdoor Alliance team for six years, including two years as business analyst (2015-17) and four years as vice president (2017-21). Most recently, Maier was the director of business development for BrandKeep (2021-22).

“The board is so excited to have Gabe back on the team. He has a remarkable combination of attributes that make him the ideal person to take the reins of Grassroots at this moment in time –  deep institutional knowledge, current working relationships, and widespread respect as a thoughtful and innovative leader,” said Emily White, Grassroots Outdoor Alliance board member and owner of Roads Rivers and Trails in Milton, Ohio.

Maier will step into the role on June 1, ahead of the Grassroots Connect buying show which returns to Knoxville from June 6-9, 2022, with a sold out roster of exhibitors, a full slate of education sessions, and more than 9,300 pre-scheduled appointments.

As an organization, Grassroots has doubled their retail membership since 2014, and now includes 104 retailers and 209 doors in 44 states. Group-wide sales for the last two years have been equally robust – including growth of 29% in 2021 – despite a variety of challenging external conditions.

“Over the past year, it’s clear that the Grassroots team has continued to execute on a high level –  bringing Connect back from the initial effects of the pandemic, and also growing the membership base with great retailers and brands along the way. It’s also heartening to see that retailers are having a bit of a moment right now, as both brands and investors are recognizing the enduring importance of specialty retail as commerce continues to evolve. I’m very excited to be coming back at this moment, and to have the opportunity to be a steward for independent specialty and all of the amazing individuals that form this community,” said Maier.

Maier will be the seventh president in the history of the organization, and will fill the role left by the departure of Rich Hill, who oversaw the group from 2016-2022. Previous Grassroots presidents include Dave Baker (1994-1999); Necco Villella (1999-2000); Dave Matz (2000-2009); Roanne Miller (2009-2014); and Wes Allen (2014 -2016).


Grassroots Outdoor Alliance is an active, independent network of 104 independent retailers, with 209 retail locations in 44 states, working together for the health and growth of specialty outdoor retail. Through data collection and analysis, direct member support, specialty events and deep vendor partnerships, Grassroots Outdoor Alliance is creating both a vision and roadmap for the long-term success of independent specialty retail. Grassroots Outdoor Alliance is also recognized as a catalyst for the success of its retailers and vendor partners; an advocate for specialty independent retail; a promoter of education and community within the specialty channel; and a key influencer of the national outdoor industry. For more information on Grassroots Outdoor Alliance, please go to


Grassroots Connect is an ideally timed, invitation-only buying show for the specialty outdoor industry hosted by Grassroots Outdoor Alliance. Scheduled as early as possible in the buying cycle, Connect provides a highly efficient opportunity for retailers, reps and vendors to present, discuss, plan and collect pre-season orders. Cost-effective and simple, Connect is both an incubator and testing ground for the greater outdoor industry. Invited retailers receive a per attendee reimbursement to offset their travel costs. Upcoming Grassroots Connect gatherings include June 6-9, 2022 (Knoxville, Tenn.) and Nov. 7-10, 2022 (Kansas City, Mo.).