The Wrap from and OEN Perspective
This winter's OR show, set in Denver, CO for the first time ever, was many things: Exciting, disorienting, bigger, and hopefully, for our work, full of promise. I started the show at a party thrown by a dozen plus conservation groups in Denver's civic center.; The CO governer Hickenlooper was there, lots of beer, and some great food was there. And a really exciting feeling that this state was where the industry show should be. Instead of Utah, where we all just got up and left on short notice, because the politicians in that fine state put oil and gas extraction in front of public lands.
Our warming climate took center stage, and all kinds of speakers, workshops and party's pushed us all to figure out how to contribute towards addressing this global challenge. It felt great to be involved in an industry that sees this as a top priority.
Jackie Radilla, Get Outdoors Leadville HUB coordinator joined me for days 2 and 3- Then she showed me around some Leadville, CO trails on snowshoes as I head up to the highcountry to support our new member's efforts (right)! Jackie was greeted with glee by the incoming Executive Director of the Outdoor Industry Foundation, Lise Aangeenbrug, who also just happened to be the founder of the GOCO Inspire Initiative. That's the very funder that brought Get Outdoors Leadville to that fabulous mountain town. Read the full press release about Lise's hiring. This is a good thing, as the foundation stands at an inflection point, and has an opportunity, with a new leader in place, to make systemic change. And of course, we're ready to help!
Shout out to Adventure Medical Kits, who ran a fundraiser for OEN, and Osprey, GSI, Thermarest, White Sierra, Columbia and Leki, who all welcomed Jackie and enthusiastically listened to our news and pledged their continued support.
Saturday included the usual Diversity Luncheon, put on by Kenji Harotunian @kenjiharo. This was the biggest turn out of any of the 9 lunches there have been. It was exciting to see more people, from more communities (i.e. LGBTQ, Native, etc) showing up and sharing their enthusiasm and frustration. As Jose Gonzales said "we've got to be able to hold both...." because we've got a long way to go before the industry reflects our country, and we've made some serious strides!
Big thanks to Kenji for keeping the dialogue alive and growing!
For any of you out there, volunteer, brand supporter or otherwise, thinking about attending the show in July, its time to start planning! If you're a member, you'll get another follow up. If you're not, reach out and lets connect ahead of time to make sure you have the best show you can!