Executive Director

Executive Director

Outdoor Industry Association

Boulder, CO   |   September 4, 2019

About Outdoor Industry Association

As the leading trade association and voice representing the $887 billion outdoor recreation sector, Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) unites and serves more than 1300 manufacturers, distributors, suppliers, sales representative and retail members. OIA was founded in 1989 by a group of 14 visionary outdoor industry pioneers who created the association to be a unified, collaborative, pre-competitive voice to help guide the industry. Today, with offices in Boulder, CO and Washington, D.C., OIA works in collaboration with our members to be a force for the outdoor industry through a focus on trade and recreation policy, sustainable business innovation and outdoor participation.

What We Do

The outdoor recreation sector is an economic powerhouse in the United States, each year generating $887 billion in consumer spending and 7.6 million jobs. More than 140 million Americans make outdoor recreation a priority in their daily lives—and they prove it with their wallets. Each year, the outdoor recreation economy drives $124 billion in federal, state and local tax revenues.

The Outdoor Industry Association is a force for our members and the greater industry in the areas of policy, sustainability and outdoor participation. Being an OIA member means joining together as retailers, manufacturers, suppliers, reps, non-profits, athletes and outdoorists to tackle key industry issues that defeat us individually, but as a collective we conquer.


From recreation access and investment to balanced trade, the issues that affect our businesses and their consumers are constantly on the dockets of local, state and federal state-houses. OIA educates and lobbies lawmakers to pass sound policy that support our industry’s growth and viability.

Sustainable Business Innovation

We are proud to support the outdoor industry’s collaborative efforts to drive impact reduction in the manufacturing of outdoor goods. Sharing best sustainability practices, developing better products, driving meaningful change. For over ten years, the members of OIA’s Sustainability Working Group (SWG) have been collectively tackling supply chain issues important to the industry, including chemicals management, animal welfare, social responsibility and fair labor practices in factories, microfiber shedding in oceans and waterways and carbon reduction strategies.

Outdoor Participation

The Outdoor Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Outdoor Industry Association, is a national 501(C)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to getting people outside for their health, the health of communities and the health of the outdoor industry. Through community investment and groundbreaking research, the Outdoor Foundation works with many partners to get more people outside more often.

For more information on OIA, please visit http://outdoorindustry.org.

The Executive Director Role

The Executive Director is not just the leader of the organization, but is a pivotal, highly visible and influential leader and voice of the industry. As such, the Executive Director will serve as a key external representative, building partnerships with OIA’s members as well as political and community leaders in order to foster collaboration inside and outside the industry. Working out of the OIA Boulder office, the Executive Director will hold overall strategic and operational responsibility for OIA staff, programs, expansion, and execution of its brand promise and mission. The Executive Director will align the organization’s revenue strategy with its pillars of policy, sustainability, and participation, identifying opportunities to evolve OIA’s business model. They ensure ongoing programmatic excellence and rigorous program evaluation, as well as consistent quality of finances and administration, communications, and systems. They will execute OIA’s strategic plan and create an annual operational plan, recommending timelines and resources needed to achieve OIA’s strategic goals. The Executive Director will lead and rally a total of 30 smart, values-driven and engaged staff members. The staff includes a high-performance senior management team who guide the work of the association day-to-day. The Executive Director directly supervises seven senior management team members and staff members. The Executive Director will develop, maintain, and support a strong Board of Directors

Specifically, the Executive Director will be responsible for the following:

Strategic Planning and Execution

  • Execute the OIA Strategic Plan and facilitate an annual update of the Plan with the Board of Directors.
  • Lead the exploration of strategic changes to OIA’s revenue strategy, anticipating and positioning OIA for long-term sustainability.
  • Create an annual Operational Plan that implements the directions dictated by the Strategic Plan. Align the annual budget with the Operational Plan.
  • Ensure effective systems to track scaling progress and regularly evaluate program components, so as to measure success that can be communicated effectively to the Board and other constituents.
  • Provide leadership and management to the Outdoor Foundation, the charitable arm of the association.

Partnership with the Board of Directors

  • Develop, maintain, and support a strong Board of Directors, seeking and building board involvement with OIA’s strategic direction. Coordinate board meetings, report on the state of OIA to the Board, and implement Board directives. Conduct new Board Member Orientation to maximize knowledge of OIA and participation in board matters.
  • Actively engage and energize OIA’s Board Members, committees, volunteers, members, and partnering organizations.
  • Facilitate the work of committees, serving as ex-officio of each committee, including Audit and Finance, Government Affairs, and Sustainable Business Innovation; coordinate the nominations process and elections with the Nominations Committee.
  • Assist the Board with policy debate and decisions and develop task forces as needed on special issues and projects.

Industry Representation

  • Represent the outdoor recreation industry in the public’s eye. Attend national events that support the delivery of OIA’s mission. Act as a local and national presence that publishes and communicates program results, with an emphasis on the successes of the local program as a model for regional and national replication.
  • Use external presence and relationships to garner new opportunities and larger involvement in Government Affairs within the industry and with policymakers in Washington, D.C. Build partnerships with OIA members and political and community leaders.
  • Oversee OIA’s work to deepen and refine all aspects of its communications, from web presence to external relations, with the goal of creating a stronger brand. Secure media coverage as part of a strong communications initiative. Respond to all press calls and maintain strong relationships with key trade and consumer press.
  • Provide impartial facilitation in politically sensitive situations (e.g. standard setting, negotiations, etc.)
  • Effectively manage, lead, and deepen the relationship with Emerald Expositions, operator of the Outdoor Retailer Tradeshow.

Staff Leadership

  • Lead, coach, develop, and retain OIA’s high-performance senior management team, and take final responsibility for all staffing decisions.
  • Ensure that performance goals are in place for the senior team and provide annual performance and salary reviews for these individuals.
  • Work with staff to identify strengths, provide training, develop their skill set, and increase responsibility and ownership of projects, empowering staff to make decisions in their respective areas when appropriate.

Financial and Administrative Management

  • Oversee all financial matters of OIA. Report budget variance promptly to the Finance and Executive Committees. Facilitate the annual audit.
  • Execute contracts on behalf of the association and foundation consistent with organizational policies.
Candidate Profile

The Executive Director will be thoroughly committed to OIA’s mission and skilled in collaborating and building trust with stakeholders inside and outside of the outdoor recreation industry. As an external-facing leader, they will bring a strong business acumen to understanding the industry’s priorities and possess the presence needed to represent and advance OIA’s mission and objectives. A skilled change enabler, they will balance a commitment to OIA’s mission and values with the ability to identify and guide the organization toward innovative and sustainable revenue strategies. An experienced organizational manager, they will lead OIA’s staff, upholding an unwavering commitment to quality programs and data-driven program evaluation, and they will create an environment that allows all staff to flourish.

While no one individual will possess every quality outlined for this position, the successful candidate will bring many of the following professional qualifications, experiences, and personal attributes:

  • At least 10 years of senior management experience with a track record of effectively leading a performance- and outcomes-based organization and team in the context of change and growth, ideally with experience guiding an organization through regional or national scaling.
  • Experience in the retail or consumer goods industry; prior experience in trade association management is considered a plus and passion for and understanding of the outdoor industry is a must.
  • Proven ability to create and execute against short- and long-term strategic plans, manage budgets, and guide multidisciplinary teams, championing programmatic and operational excellence.
  • Strong marketing, public relations, and government affairs experience, along with the demonstrated ability to serve as a persuasive and passionate communicator who can navigate complex, multi-stakeholder relationships with sensitivity.
  • Proven ability to work effectively in collaboration with diverse groups of people, with a high level of cultural competency.
  • Skilled staff manager, with the ability to manage and develop a high-performance team, create paths for leadership and career progression, and coach and empower staff.
  • Past success in working with a Board of Directors.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills, with a direct and honest style.
  • Demonstrates high levels of personal integrity, passion, positivity, and commitment to OIA’s mission.
  • Ability to travel up to 25% of the time.
  • A Bachelor’s degree is required; an advanced degree in a relevant field is considered a plus.

Kara Teising and Kirstin Griffiths of Koya Leadership Partners have been exclusively retained for this search. To express your interest in this role please submit your materials here. All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.

Outdoor Industry Association is an equal opportunity employer and welcomes qualified applicants without regard to age, race, sex, color, religion, national origin, disability, military status, genetic information, or any other status protected by applicable state or local law.

At Koya, we don’t just accept difference – we celebrate it, support it, and thrive on it for the benefit of our team, our clients, and the communities we serve. Koya is an equal opportunity employer fully committed to creating an environment and team that represents a variety of backgrounds, perspectives, styles, and experiences.

We encourage all to apply because we believe a diversity of voices leads to better discussions, decisions, and outcomes for everyone.

Koya does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, age, sexual orientation, military status, veteran status, genetic information, gender identity, or any other characteristic protected by applicable federal, state, or local law.

About Koya Leadership Partners

Koya Leadership Partners is a retained executive search and human capital consulting firm that partners exclusively with mission-driven clients, institutions of higher education and social enterprises. We deliver measurable results, finding exceptionally talented people who truly fit the unique culture of our clients and ensuring they have the strategies to support them. For more information about Koya Leadership Partners, visit www.koyapartners.com.