Outdoor Industry Association Announces 2007 Industry Award Winners
Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) announced the recipients of the 2007 Outdoor Industry Ambassador Award and Outdoor Industry Innovator Award, as nominated by the outdoor industry and then selected by OIA’s Board of Directors. OIA has awarded Atlas Snow-Shoe Company the Outdoor Industry Ambassador Award, and Kirk Richardson, president of KEEN Footwear, the Outdoor Industry Innovator Award. The awards were presented on January 27th at the opening breakfast at the Outdoor Retailer Winter Market in Salt Lake City before an audience of more than 600 show attendees.
The Outdoor Industry Ambassador Award recognizes a company that has made significant and sustainable achievements toward the growth of participation in outdoor activities. Those efforts could include spearheading conservation programs, the development and support of programs or efforts intended to serve as model practices for the industry, outstanding consumer outreach campaigns, or have made great strides in encouraging an active outdoor lifestyle. This award pays tribute to a company who has embraced a worthy cause and made a significant achievement.
The Outdoor Industry Innovator Award recognizes an individual from a retailer, manufacturer, supplier, media, or other industry business or organization who has made significant contributions toward the continued innovation and growth of the outdoor industry. Those contributions can be either through a dynamic business initiative, the creation and development of new outdoor activity niches, active and responsible promotion of new or existing market areas, or the spear-heading of collaborative efforts to initiate innovative and lasting industry partnerships. This award recognizes a business achievement by an individual.
“The Outdoor Industry Ambassador and Outdoor Industry Innovator awards allow our industry to recognize those businesses and individuals that embody the spirit of innovation and commitment to sustainability that form the core ethos of our community, as well as the passion to promote the active outdoor lifestyle,” comments Frank Hugelmeyer, president of Outdoor Industry Association. “Atlas Snow-Shoe Company and Kirk Richardson of KEEN Footwear exemplify that which sets us apart from other industries. Each of their achievements illustrate that the outdoor industry is about more than selling a product, it is about a way of life and a connection to the world we live and play in.”
Outdoor Industry Ambassador Award: Atlas Snow-Shoe Company
Since 2001, Atlas Snow-Shoe Company’s Explore Winter™ Women’s Workshop Program has been introducing women to the many benefits of snowshoeing. Now in its fifth season, the program has expanded from three states to 17, and has reached more than 8,000 women with their in-store seminar and on-snow hikes. The Workshops feature a unique partnership of brands from across the outdoor industry to provide women with a complete look at how best to get out during the winter months safely and comfortably. The Workshops have made a significant impact on the growth of the sport, as evidenced by the fact that at least 36% of attendees had never snowshoed before. The 2005 OIA Participation Study noted that women’s snowshoeing is up 72%.
“Atlas Snow-Shoe Company is extremely honored to receive this recognition for our Explore Winter Women’s Workshop,” states Karen Righthand, director of marketing for Atlas Snow-Shoe Company. “Our goal in launching this program was to provide a comfortable and informative forum that would motivate women to get outdoors in winter. We are thrilled with our success to date and look forward to reaching even more women with this program in the future.”
Outdoor Industry Innovator Award: Kirk Richardson of KEEN Footwear
Under Kirk Richardson’s leadership, KEEN Footwear has experienced explosive growth, a credit to both its innovative footwear designs and its business philosophy of balancing responsibility with profitability. Early on KEEN focused on reducing its environmental impact through such initiatives as using recycled packaging materials and today is repurposing a portion of its footwear manufacturing waste stream. KEEN also embodies the spirit of giving back. Sobered by the Asian tsunami of 2004, KEEN management diverted $1 million from their advertising budget to establish the KEEN Foundation to support conservation and humanitarian causes. KEEN continues to support a variety of nonprofit organizations, including: Big City Mountaineers, The Conservation Alliance, Leave No Trace, American Whitewaters and Medicines Global. In the marketplace, KEEN appeals to the growing number of consumers who strive to live a HybridLife, one that is balanced across their commitment to work, engaging in outdoor pursuits and giving back to the community.
“KEEN’s business model says it all: As responsible as we are profitable and committed to doing good work with the resources we have,” states Kirk Richardson, president of KEEN Footwear. “Above all, we stand for turning our ideals into actions and this OIA Innovator of the Year Award reinforces to the entire KEEN team that we are making solid progress.”