OIA Skip Yowell Future Leadership Academy Announces Capstone Projects for Class of 2017

May 10, 2017

Capstone projects will address needs of key outdoor industry non-profits, from marketing to engagement to increasing participation.

BOULDER, Colo. – The Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) announces capstone projects for the 2017 Skip Yowell Future Leadership Academy (SYFLA) class. SYFLA is an immersive leadership experience for the next generation of outdoor industry ambassadors and game-changers. This year’s class includes 22 smart emerging leaders from companies like Smartwool, Trust for Public Lands, Trango, Patagonia, RootsRated, Chaco and more.

In addition to in-depth learning about community leadership, supply chain management, advocacy, market and consumer insights and individual-focused learning, the SYFLA class of 2017 will split into teams and each complete a capstone project working with one of seven outdoor industry nonprofits to strategize on solutions for a wide range of needs, from increasing participation in programs and branding to education for the industry and marketing campaigns.

American Alpine Club: Climbing Alliance, Big City Mountaineers, The Futurist Project, Sierra Club, OutdoorAfro, National Wildlife Federation and SOS Outreach were chosen as the nonprofits for this year’s capstone projects.

“The SYFLA capstone projects are meant to give the class a place to apply all their learnings from the program in a way that directly helps our industry,” said Stasia Raines Walker, director of the Skip Yowell Future Leadership Academy. “This program is all about giving back, learning, tangible feedback and establishing relationships that will contribute to the class goal of becoming the leaders of our industry.”

The SYFLA capstone projects will be presented to the nonprofits, SYFLA staff, OIA board members and key stakeholders at Outdoor Retailer Summer Market this July. The SYFLA class of 2017 will also hold a graduation during Summer Market.

“SOS Outreach is honored to be selected to be a non-profit partner of SYFLA this year. The group is developing a marketing plan to increase engagement and awareness across our community as we prepare for the launch of our 25th year of programming, starting this fall,” says Seth Ehrlich, executive director of SOS Outreach. “SYFLA is challenging us to expand our horizons and view of the organization moving forward. The diverse perspectives and experiences of the group demonstrate that working together enables us to address the big issues and reach new solutions.”  

Applications for the SYFLA Class of 2018 open July 26th, 2017. For more information about the Skip Yowell Future Leadership Academy or to get involved in future years, contact Matt Kaplan (mkaplan@outdoorindustry.org).


About 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 1,200 manufacturers, 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.