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Take Me Outdoors

Take Me Outdoors is dedicated to bringing visibility and engagement around important topics in and around the outdoors, such as conservation and access, The Outdoor Recreation Economy, Increasing participation and interest for the outdoors and conservation, landmark developments within our world (could be gear, athlete accomplishments and other big news), and more! If you love the outdoors, this podcast is for you! Please subscribe!
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Jan 20, 2018

Everyone has unique gifts, and there are always ways to share them with the world.

Activism isn’t just about politics or standing around all day arguing with people. There are many people who share their talents and skills in other ways to support activism.

Verde seeks out people who inspire conservationism and bring new light to the issues happening in our communities. People like today’s guest, Sarah Uhl.

Sarah is a phenomenal artist, who is using her skills to help heal the world. She’s making emotional connections with people through art and bringing them closer to nature and our public lands. Her art plays an important role in protecting public lands, clean water, and climate issues.

She’s not only an activist, but she’s also an expert marketer and visual storyteller. She’s helping big brands near and dear to all of us, like REI, Outdoor Research, PrAna, YETI Cycles, Aspen Skiing Company, The Access Fund, American Alpine Club, American Rivers to reach an emotional connection with customers and consumers we haven’t seen before in our industry. She does it through her amazing custom illustrations and artwork.

If you plan to attend Outdoor Retailer and SIA in Denver this week (January 25, 2018, at the Denver Convention Center), you’ll be able to see her Live Art Performance happening at the Outdoor Research booth. She’s creating an amazing mural out of scrap wood that show-goers can purchase panels of for a great cause!

If you don’t know Sarah, this show will share who she is and how she lives to be in the mountains. Follow her work through Instagram and watch her journey - you will NEVER be bored!

Download this episode now, to hear all about her inspirational journey, where she’s going, and exactly where you can meet her next.

 

Resources:

Sarah’s Website

Sarah’s Instagram

 

Oct 31, 2017

The last few episodes of the Take Me Outdoors podcast has been building up to this very, very special episode. Just before SHIFT starts up we are joined by the Founder, Director, and reason this event is so successful: Christian Beckwith.

Christian Beckwith moved to Jackson, Wyoming, in 1994, and soon thereafter started his first publication, The Mountain Yodel. In 1996 he became the youngest person to edit the world’s premier mountaineering journal, The American Alpine Journal. In 2002 he co-founded Alpinist Magazine, an archival-quality climbing quarterly that Reinhold Messner called “the greatest climbing magazine in the world today.”

More recently, he started the surfing, skiing and climbing extravaganza, The Alpinist Film Festival; coordinated the Teton Boulder Project, which developed a Jackson Hole bouldering park to honor Teton pioneers; and launched Outerlocal, a social media website for adventure athletes.

He has made expeditions to Kyrgyzstan, Alaska, Peru and Tibet, skied the Grand Teton half a dozen times, and established numerous first ascents and descents around the world. Beckwith advocates a “place-first” approach to outdoor recreation that prioritizes the well-being of our places over the activities we love to do in them so that we may avoid the tragedy of the commons and the loss of John Muir’s legacy of wilderness preservation.

In case you weren’t aware, SHIFT is an acronym that stands for Shaping How we Invest For Tomorrow. Outdoor recreationists, land managers, and conservationists simply are more powerful and create more positive change when they’re banded together into a single movement with a unified voice.

And our unified voice and continued work to achieve shared objectives is more important today than EVER before – our public lands face unprecedented threat.

This year’s SHIFT Festival explores the mega important theme of “The Business Case for Public Lands.” Specifically, there are three full days of panels, workshops and powerful conversations lined up about how investments in outdoor recreation and the protection of America’s public lands creates vibrant, resilient economies in communities around our Great Country.

Download this episode today to learn more about SHIFT, it’s history, and what it’s doing to not only help conservation, but also economies.

Oct 26, 2017

Today’s episode of the Take Me Outdoors podcast features Luis Benitez, Colorado’s Director of the Office of Outdoor Recreation Industry, and Jon Snyder, Washington’s Outdoor Recreation and Economic Policy Advisor to the Governor, on the topic of growing the number of states that are standing up the Office of Outdoor Recreation.

For the third year in a row, the SHIFT Festival will provide a platform for action and the building of best practices around this all-important office -- one that ties together the impact of outdoor recreation, the growth of it as an economic driver and the importance of conservation. This year’s workshop is a critical part of the SHIFT Festival’s theme: The Business Case for Public Lands.

SHIFT’s 2017 Festival takes place November 1-3 in Jackson Hole, Wyoming and this year’s panel takes place on Nov. 1 from 8 a.m. to Noon, at  the Snow King Resort, the epicenter of the action for the Festival this year. This year’s panel will be led by Cailin O’Brien-Feeney with the Outdoor Industry Association (OIA), who has contributed a great deal of leadership and support to the formation of the growth of this office. Rachel VandeVoort, the newest leader in the group for the State of Montana, will also be in attendance, as will Brad Peterson, who was the very first leader appointed in this role for the State of Utah. Full details can be found here.

This episode of the Take Me Outdoors podcast offers a fantastic opportunity to go deeper with two active leaders in this role, Luis Benitez of the State of Colorado, and Jon Snyder, of the State of Washington. Both share their respective state’s vision and goals around this mission-critical office, as well as what the commonalities are for the growth of this office nationwide.

The episode is broken up into two interviews, the first features Luis Benetiz. Luis stepped into his role as Director for the Office of Outdoor Recreation Industry July 1, 2015, and he’s started his third year in the post and is the State of Colorado’s first Director for the Office of Outdoor Recreation Industry. He brings years of experience as a leader with Outward Bound, Fortune 200 and 500 consulting and multiple summits of Mt. Everest to the role. He also served as a Town Council Member for the City of Eagle, Colo., prior to joining Governor Hickenlooper’s team at the State of Colorado.

Jon Snyder, who serves as the State of Washington Governor Jay Inslee’s Policy Advisor for Outdoor Recreation and Economic Development, also joins us in this podcast.

Jon’s role coordinates policy, legislation, budget items, and outreach related to outdoor recreation. He was appointed in December 2015 after serving on the Spokane City Council for six years and owning a regional outdoor magazine for nine years. Snyder served on the Washington Traffic Safety Commission, Spokane Transit Authority, and Spokane Regional Health District as well as having a leadership role in passing local ballot measures to fund parks, streets, libraries, and public transportation.

Luis and Jon give us great insights into the catalyzing effects that SHIFT has brought to the growth of this State leadership post. The podcast covers a lot - including the importance of this role to bring together a fragmented outdoor recreation economy and conservation movement and the importance of doing so to protect America’s public lands.

Download this episode today to get an insider’s view of the State Office of Outdoor Recreation and Industry, and to learn more about Luis and Jon’ missions and goals. By Summer, 2018, it’s estimated that up to 10 offices will be in place in states across America. This year’s SHIFT Festival will again serve as a bellweather for the future impact of this office - please join us to learn more about it in this podcast, and at the 2017 SHIFT Festival!

Oct 4, 2017

Today’s episode of the Take Me Outdoors podcast again focuses on sharing insights into the incredible programming of SHIFT’s Festival. In this episode, you’ll meet TWO amazing leaders who will be part of the SHIFT for the Planet program, which takes place Nov. 1, Day 1 of SHIFT, from 3-5 pm at Snow King Resort.

SHIFT for the Planet is a very innovative platform connecting some of the most innovative and impactful examples of outdoor recreation and conservation in the country with funders seeking to catalyze just such organizations.

SHIFT for the Planet was designed in partnership with 1% for the PlanetSilicon CouloirGeorge B. Storer Foundation and Blue Sky Funders Forum.

Today, we are sitting down with Jainee Dial, co-founder of Wylder Goods.com, and Gavin Noyes of UtahDineBikeyah.org. Jainee and Gavin are two of the EIGHT presenters participating in this year’s first-annual SHIFT for the Planet event.

Download this episode today to learn more about Wyldergoods.com and Utahdinebikeyah.org, two amazing organizations with a mission to protect and serve public lands and wild landscapes. This is an incredible conversation that highlights the perspective of a female-founded Benefit Corporation and a non-profit that exists to amplify the Native voice in the conservation conversation. It’s a perspective you will hear much more of, and the conversation will catalyze at this year’s 2017 SHIFT Festival.

Resources: 

Shiftjh.org

Wylder Goods

Utah Din’e Bik’eyah

Outdoor Alliance

B Corp (website resource for B Corps)

Higg Index

Shift Festival

GuEnergy.com

Verdepr.com

 

Sep 8, 2017

We are all aware that there were indigenous people here before Europeans settled on this continent. These people were kicked off their land to reservations, and some of their sacred places were turned into national parks and monuments.

These parks are meant for everyone to enjoy, but there are key cultural differences to how the land is viewed, protected, respected and recreated on. Western culture’s mindset leans more toward a domination of these lands through adventures.

Native people also enjoy the land through outdoor recreation, but they also have a completely different view of it. It’s part of their origin story and deeply ingrained in their culture. The Native’s view of having respect for the land is much different than what is commonly portrayed in the culture of the outdoor community and industry.

Unfortunately, the Native people have lost their voice over their land and have not felt entirely welcome or that they fit into the culture of the outdoor community. Which is exactly why Len Necefer founded Natives Outdoors earlier this year (in 2017).

The Dakota Access Pipeline at Standing rock really showed that there’s a whole group of people that exist not only in this country, but around the world, that need a voice. They need representation in the outdoor community. Judging by the incredible traction Natives Outdoors has experienced in the past couple of months, Natives Outdoors is offering Native outdoor enthusiasts a community of their own.

In our current government the outdoor world has been at risk. Out monument are in danger, and the Native people are experiencing incredible emotions regarding the threats currently surrounding public lands. There is strength in numbers, and at a time like this, we need to bridge this gap between these communities. Ideally going forward, the gap stays closed and we come together for the common passion and respect we all share for the public lands in America.

This episode of the Take Me Outdoors podcast is an incredibly powerful journey through the vision of Len Necefer. He’s not just an advocate for the outdoors, but he also holds a PhD in Engineering and Public Policy.

Len has been using his reach, intellect and influence for great (not just good) to help the Navajo people and Native people all over the world. He’s creating a true, strong community and sharing the truth of Native people, while breaking down stereotypes, and giving a voice back to Natives.

I really can’t say enough positive things about Len and what he is doing. I implore you to share this episode of the Take Me Outdoors podcast as it carries a very special message captured at an exceptionally special time - something renowned is being born right now - a bridge for Natives into the global outdoor community, where they rightly belong. It’s about time! Let’s support the mission of Natives Outdoors, and start by giving this incredible episode a listen!  

Resources:

Shift Festival

Emerging Leaders Program

Natives-Outdoors.org

Aug 23, 2017

In 1872 President Ulysses S. Grant started the very first (in the world) national park, Yellowstone. Ever since then our national park and monument system has expanded tremendously. Generations of people have been visiting our national parks and monuments ever since.

After nearly a century and a half of progression our parks are at risk. Trump’s administration has been looking to give up 27 of our national monuments. These are things we need to protect.

It can take decades for these national monuments to be created. So much time and energy is put into these creating these parks from people who care about out outdoor world and want to preserve it for generations to come.

All of this work collected throughout the centuries is in danger of disappearing due to our current leadership. It really is time for us to speak out let make it heard that it’s not ok. That we do want these monuments to last for many more generations.

On this episode of Take Me Outdoors we are joined by a nine-year-old who has been doing more for activism than most adults I know. He’s started an amazing organization KidsSpeakForParks.com that’s been actively helping the environment and our national parks system.

He’s been spreading the word, visiting all kinds of monuments and is currently in the process of putting together some amazing publicity events. He plans to visit schools to talk about national parks, and encourage children to go. He also wants to reach out to kids in the inner cities that normally wouldn’t have a chance to see these natural wonders and help them get out to the parks.

Download this episode today to see how inspiring this young man is, and how caring for our world knows no age.

Resources:

KidsSpeakforParks.com

Jun 30, 2017

“At the end of a hard work I head out and ride for two hours let all of the stressed of the day melt away.” - David Wiens

Are you a mountain biker? We used to think that question didn’t need to be asked, because if you were, you knew it.

But mountain biking is unique (in many ways) in that there’s access in so many regions and communities for so many levels of riders. The question ‘are you a mountain biker’ really needs to be rolled out to a far larger group of people.

Verde works across many markets within outdoor active lifestyle. The non-profits in trail, for example, have six-figure memberships. IMBA has stayed the same size for many years – around 40,000 people. The organization knows that there are many, many more riders out there, they just need to discover IMBA and sign up.

That’s partially the purpose of this episode of the Take Me Outdoors podcast. There are other purposes behind it too – but bolstering the numbers of mountain bikers in the national advocacy, access and educational conversation IS THE MOST important.

If ever there was a time for us to be heard and taken seriously, it is NOW.

Here we are, mid-year, during one of the craziest years in conservation, government regulation, outdoor sports and recreation, and frankly, in business. The Trump Administration and the way we engage with and discover trail sports like mountain biking is changing – and fast.

This change is affecting access. It’s also affecting how we come together as a passionate ‘user group’ united by the love of a ribbon of single track weaving through high-desert sagebrush or desert or forest.

Enter the International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA). This non-profit, headquartered in Boulder, Colo., is turning 30 next year. And, with that pivotal anniversary and the precipitous changes in participation, variation of trail users and the public lands landscape – access to great places to ride has never been in more of a precarious position.

That’s why today’s episode of the Take Me Outdoors podcast is a super important one.

Dave Wiens joins us today. Dave is the Executive Director of IMBA and we couldn’t be more fortunate to have one of us at the helm of our organization at such a cruxy time.

He’s now leading IMBA from an incredible background. Dave founded and led Gunnison Trails, and launched the Gunnison, Colo., Growler, an iconic mountain bike race that takes place over Memorial Day weekend. He’s also a founder of the Outdoor Sports program at Western States Colorado University (also in Gunnison). And, as an aside, he’s an inductee of the Mountain Biking Hall of Fame.

Credentials aside, Dave embodies what it means to be passionate about living for, and loving, a trail sport.

“Mountain biking has given me everything that’s important to me in life,” Wiens said.

Dave’s here to further mountain biking internationally. He’s open minded. He listens. And? He shows up and implements!

If you love mountain biking, or know someone who does, please share this episode with them and also, send them to IMBA.com. If ever there was a time for us to unite, it’s now. Mountain bikers need to have their voice heard as new policy and approaches to access are developing under this new presidential administration. Thanks for listening!

Bulletpoints

  • IMBA tries to bring trails and biking opportunities to places it doesn’t exist right now.
  • The Growler has started making events for kids.
  • 131 kids registered for The Growler this year.
  • There’s a lot of next generation kids interested in mountain biking.
  • There’s still a lot of uncertainty for these agencies.
  • Mountain bikers are fast, quiet, and can share the mountain with others.
  • There are more places designated for mountain biking only.
  • Trails are becoming more crowded.
  • Mountain bikers need to ride responsibly to keep everyone else on the mountain happy.
  • Parent’s have more control issues and safety issues today.
  • Tails always rise to the top of amenities desired by communities.
  • There’s a growing interest in high school mountain bike racing.
  • Bikes are finally starting to properly develop for children.
  • Getting out to trails is a great way to clear the mind and change your life.
  • There are epic trails sprinkled around the country.
  • Today mountain bikers have become connoisseurs of trails.
  • IMBA has always have around 40,000 members.
    • More members would help the cause to develop and protect new trails.
  • There’s a large number of mountain bikers that don’t consider themselves mountain bikers.
  • The portal is open to mountain biking.

Links

IMBA’s Website

Gunnison Trails

Jun 14, 2017

“There’s an appetite out there for innovation. People who will buy things before it’s built because they want to be a part of something new and moving forward.” - Mike Glavin

Have you been having a hard time finding the right way to sleep when you’re outdoors? Hate bringing a sleeping bag and padding to put underneath it? Can’t get comfortable in a mummy sleeping bag? You’re not alone. In fact a lot of people stopped going camping or to festivals all together just because they were tired of taking all kinds of equipment and still not getting a good night’s sleep.

It’s important to have energy if you’re going to be spending your day hiking or traveling around a festival. Without the rest you need it’s just going to be a miserable time. No one wants to go on vacation and get back even more exhausted when they left. Luckily there’s finally an answer we’re excited to explore here on Take Me Outdoors.

Michael Glavin joins our podcast today to discuss his invention: the Zenbivy. He talks about what it’s like as an entrepreneur to create a product and take it directly to consumers looking for this kind of innovation. Listen to his inspiring journey to help people get more energy to enjoy the fresh air we can only find in nature.

Download this episode today to find out what the Zenbivy is all about.

Bulletpoints

  • Skate where the puck is going to go.
  • Zenbivy’s vision is to make equipment that’s easier to use and take with you.
  • There’s a lot of people looking for innovation on kickstarter.
    • Makes finding support and starting a business easier.
  • Zenbivy made their Kickstarter goal by the second day.
  • This bed has gone through more tests than any other product Glavin has made before.
  • It’s great to be able to connect with people directly when creating a product.
  • Retailers love when you come with a product and a supportive consumer base.
  • Customers feel they are in an awkward spot deciding who to buy from.
  • It doesn’t take much money to get the ball rolling and find people who will support you.

Links

Zenbivy.com

Zenbivy Kickstarter: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1246109845/zenbivy-bed-the-most-comfortable-backcountry-sleep

Grassroots Outdoors: http://www.grassrootsoutdoors.com/search/node/zenbivy

May 31, 2017

“So many people move to New York or another city, and then realize they need the outdoors.” - Sarah Knapp

Looking for a way to get in touch with nature, yet feel stuck in a big city? Often times people move to large metropolitan areas to advance their careers or find more opportunities. When they get there they quickly discover that they need nature. We all used to play outdoors as kids, and that instinct doesn’t leave us when we become adults.

Sarah Knapp joins us today to discuss her creation: OutdoorFest. This organization holds events all year long for people just like you. She helps bring the community closer together while getting in touch with nature. These amazing events are a great way to find a lifelong adventure buddy, and if you haven’t been to one you’re really missing out on a life long experience.

Download this episode to hear exactly what OutdoorFest is about, how it got started, and where Sarah sees it going in the future.

Bulletpoints 

  • OutdoorFest was created by Sarah Knapp for people who live in cities to find ways to connect with the outdoors.
  • Designed to help people connect and find life long adventure buddies.
  • Knapp puts together events all throughout the year to help clean water and nature in the New York area.
  • Most people start outdoorsy as kids and lose it as they get older.
  • Outdoorfest creates the largest outdoor camp site in New York.
  • People are surprised to find Queens has mountain biking trails.
  • Meeting people in nature and going on hikes can create stronger bonds than you can find in the city.
  • It’s not just about being outdoorsy, it’s also thinking of your impact on the world.
  • They are trying to remove barriers and make things more accessible.
  • People move to New York and realize they really need a natural experience, and shouldn’t feel like they have to leave New York to experience it.
  • New York is seeing a huge growth in outdoor activities.
  • Everything is better outside.

Links

OutdoorFest website: OutdoorFest.com

Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/outdrfst/

OutdoorFest Twitter: https://twitter.com/outdoorfest?lang=en

OutdoorFest Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/outdoorfest/

Sarah Knapp’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/srhknpp

May 24, 2017

“People have some of the richest, most exciting experiences outdoors, and it’s hard for them to leave” - Sally Johnson

Sally Johnson is the senior manager of events marketing at REI, and the leader of a very exciting project from REI, Outessa. Outessa is an event that gives women the chance to experience the outdoors, to form relationships and bonds with other women who appreciate and enjoy the outdoors, and to have the experience of understanding themselves better through their time in the outdoors.

As Sally explains, a lot of women have had the experience of initially coming to the outdoors through some male figure, whether it is a brother, father, spouse, or someone else. But Outessa is working to give women ownership of the outdoor experience, as themselves, and the opportunity to form true and lasting relationships with other women who share their passion for the outdoors.

In a time where commitments pile up, stress builds up, the world seems like a crazier and crazier place, giving women the chance to unwind for a moment, have these experiences, and truly build community among themselves is Outessa’s mission.

Bulletpoints

  • A lot of women have a hard time allowing themselves to really enjoy the outdoors. There’s something holding them back
  • There’s a lot of women who want to be in the outdoors more, all we have to do is open up access
  • When women spend time outdoors, it can be incredible time to get to know themselves better
  • A lot of women come to the outdoors through a man, whether father, brother, spouse, etc, and it’s important that they discover and reframe their experience and relationship with the outdoors as themselves
  • Women who appreciate and take advantage of the outdoors form very strong bonds and community with each other
  • REI and Outessa is trying to reframe of the story of the outdoors, with women being a central component
  • There is a strong desire among women in general today to do their own adventures, and Outessa is a response to that desire
  • REI believes that a life outdoors is a life well-lived
  • The moments when we are outdoors can be life-savers, and keep us going in the rest of our lives and whatever is difficult

Links

Outessa.com

REI.com

May 17, 2017

“The experience of reading is going to be luxurious. It’s going to be giving yourself the room and the space to sit down and make a real connection with something.” - Steve Casimiro

What does it mean to be adventurous? How often do you find yourself connecting with the outdoor community in a quiet place, without the distractions of cell phones and other devices? With everything now available on your iphone, ipad, or other mobile/desktop devices, we find ourselves moving further away from print publications. Steve Casimiro believes in providing outdoor adventure publication pieces to provide the reader with an experience they can connect with.

Steve Casimiro joins us to discuss the Print industry and his own publication, “Adventure Journal.” Steve has been doing print for over 30 years, and working with National Geographic since 1998. He currently resides in Monarch, CA.

Bulletpoints

  • Steve has been doing print for 30 years.
  • Steve has spent the last 7 years building a customer base and proving himself to Advertisers.
  • Pre web, if you did a story that upset people you didn’t really hear much. Nowadays it’s easier to voice your opinions via internet.
  • The web makes it easier to hold writers accountable for their work and it’s success/failure.
  • A key part of building Adventure Journal is keeping it small and manageable at the moment.
  • Steve wants to do the stories that he feels are best, not the stories that are going to jump off the newsstand.
  • The stories in the [Adventure Journal] quarterly will only be available in print.
  • The nature of the stories being put out are thoughtful pieces to explore what it means to be adventurous.
  • Steve is doing Adventure Journal exactly the way he wants -- in order to create an experience for readers.
  • There is around 112 pages of editorial in each issue.

Links

Steve’s Pieces: https://www.adventure-journal.com/author/steve-casimiro/

Adventure Journal: https://www.adventure-journal.com/

Steve’s IG: https://www.instagram.com/stevecasimiro/

May 3, 2017

“WIth an electric bike, it reduces the barriers of distance, of speed..electric bikes just give you a little boost and make the bike a more viable solution.” - Jenn Dice

Bikes can be a great solution to your common car commuting woes. Whether it’s a traditional bike, or the up and coming e-bike, they certainly clean up the commute for many of us out there. Did you know about the PeopleForBikes community, who actually look out for your biking rights, and ensure you get to keep the rights that make it so fun? For us outdoor enthusiasts, we may not realize all the work that goes into getting our amazing gear.

Jenn Dice joins us to discuss PeopleForBikes, a community of bikers housing over 1.3 million members. Jenn is the VP of PeopleForBikes, a company that unites millions of individuals and hundreds of communities making it easier to ride! Prior to that, she worked at the International Mountain Biking Association for 10 years doing government affairs. She’s been helping the outdoor industry for many many years, even being inducted into the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame as of September 2014!

Bulletpoints

  • PeopleForBikes works to make every bike ride better by getting more people riding, more often!
  • Jenn started at PeopleForBikes four years ago!
  • PeopleForBikes has around 1.3 million members at the moment.
  • P4B is for everybody, enabling all types of riders, providing more access. Everyone is welcome.
  • The biggest area P4B has been active in, in the state and local arena, is electric bikes.
  • There are 770,000 jobs in the biking industry alone.
  • An electric bike is just like a regular bike, with a boost.
  • There are three different classes for the electric bikes.
  • E-bikes appeal to an older crowd as well, who may have issues riding regular bikes.
  • E-bikes are a great solution to commuting.
  • There were plenty bad bike bills in the year 2016, including one that proposed a required license and registration!
  • 99 times out of 100 PeopleForBikes kill bad bike bills.
  • PeopleForBikes coalition has a “dues paying” team of around $200,000.
  • Get involved in advocacy! What can you do locally for cycling?
  • There’s a lot of overlap between tech and bikes.

Links

People for bikes: www.peopleforbikes.org

People for Bikes: https://twitter.com/peopleforbikes @peopleforbikes

Jenn’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/jenndice @jenndice

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jenn-dice/

Apr 26, 2017

“I like to build products as tools for specific purposes for all users.” - Martin Zemitis

Being an outdoor enthusiast, means you most likely own a tent. Tents are the basic go-to when it comes to camping. But what is the thought process behind actually designing, building, and manufacturing them? Are they built to sell, or built to act as a real tool for you in your time of need? You might be surprised how much time, effort, and thought our guest Martin puts into designing his tents.

Martin Zemitis joins us to discuss his experience in the tent industry with building and designing specialized tents. Martin is the founder of SlingFIn Inc, which is a tech company headquartered in San Francisco, specializing in tent design. Martin has been serving the outdoor industry for an impressive 33 years, putting out some of the best tent designs within the last three decades.

Bulletpoints

  • Martin has been one of the industry’s top tent designers for the last three decades.
  • Martin has worked for companies such as The North Face, Sierra Mountaineering, Sear Designs, Mountain Hardware, and finally, SlingFin.
  • Martin is a design innovator.
  • SlingFIn emerged in 2010.
  • SlingFin came from a mix of finding a short word available that covered mountain and water sports.
  • Martin makes his own patterns and does his own sewing.
  • Larger companies look for awards and publicity, but for Martin it’s about meaningful products.
  • Martins tents are meant to withstand various situations, including all the extremes!
  • Martin made the first tent to ever camp on Mt. Everest.
  • Martin used We Fundr for funding purposes in regards to launching his business.

Links

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/martin-zemitis-14b83469/

SlingFin http://www.slingfin.com/

SF Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company-beta/6383904/?pathWildcard=6383904

SF Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SlingFin/

SF Twitter: https://twitter.com/slingfin?lang=en @SlingFin

Apr 19, 2017

“For us, there’s no project without the success of a sustainable environment.” - Johannes Ariens

As cities continue to grow, our spaces get smaller and smaller. It can be hard for us to break free and find somewhere to hike, bike, or surf. As outdoor enthusiasts, we like to define ourselves as communal, people who work together towards the same goals and outcomes. We surely don’t mind sharing a hiking trail with our outdoor friends. That’s exactly what Johannes Ariens is doing for the community. He brings the experience to us, by providing alternative developments.

Johannes Ariens joins us to discuss alternative development within the outdoor industry. What exactly is an alternative development? How do they help the outdoor industry? Tune in to find out what exactly Johannes does to help YOU find your next adventure.

Bulletpoints

  • We are stewards of the environment!
  • Alternative developers develop places in the outdoors to create access and experiences for people.
  • Radify Development is a development company, building a company around outdoor experience.
  • Radify aims to bring cohesion in development within the outdoor industry.
  • The necessity for getting out is what is driving the outdoor industry.
  • When you’re out using the natural environment, you’ll become more concerned with it, thus making people more aware of the dangers it faces.
  • Radify is a solutions driven community.
  • Development is what needs to happen in order for people to use the outdoor communal spaces.
  • Loge Camps is Washington’s first and only cold water surf destination camp.
  • Loge Camps opens up Spring of 2017!
  • As access grows for alternative developers to create space, the industry will only get tougher to succeed in.
  • Alternative Developers jump through many hoops in order to make these communal spaces available.
  • More people are getting out, which calls for more access being created.
  • The industry is calling for more alternative development.

 

Links

Johannes Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/johannesariens/

Johanne Twitter: https://twitter.com/johannesariens?lang=en @johannesariens

Johanne IG: https://www.instagram.com/johannesariens/

Loge Twitter: https://twitter.com/logecamps

Radify: http://radifydevelopment.com/

Wefundr.com

Apr 12, 2017

“I feel like I’m on top of the world. I can do whatever I want, and whatever I want, which is to give this feeling to women everywhere.” - Niki Koubourlis

As women, we are strong, we are powerful, and we can do anything we want! Take Niki Koubourlis for example. Niki came in and bridged the gap for women interested in novice outdoorsy experiences in the Metro Denver Area. She got Bold Betties out of it by taking a huge risk in her personal, and career driven life.

Niki Koubourlis joins us to discuss Bold Betties, an online community offering outdoorsy meetups for women of all shapes, sizes, colors, and skill set! Bold Betties truly believes in making Outdoor activities easily and experiences available for like-minded women. More than just a meetup however, there is an entire community available on Bold Betties website, as well as some awesome apparel!

Bulletpoints

  • Niki knew she was going to have to make a change to find her happiness, so she took a large leap, lost weight, got divorced, and left her job!
  • Niki forced herself to not accept a job during her beginning months in Denver.
  • Niki began starting meetups for women in the Denver Metro area, to have a variety of outdoor experiences.
  • The meetup group grew to 200 members within the first week.
  • Niki bridged the gap for novices to comfortably join the outdoor world!
  • Niki’s research and learning became the core offering of the business.
  • The hardcore stereotype backfired on the industry.
  • When women are in a transition period, they checkout meetup.com
  • Outdoor activities can help with any difficult lessons in life.
  • Bold Betties has been all word of mouth up until this point.
  • For technical pieces, Bold Betties partners with guides.
  • Bold Betties is part of a passion industry.
  • Bold Betties gives you customized packing lists and mainstream women based on the trip you take.

Links

Bold Betties: https://www.boldbetties.com/

Bold Betties Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/boldbetties/

Bold Betties Twitter: @boldbetties https://twitter.com/boldbetties

Nikki Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nikikoubourlis

Nikki Twitter: https://twitter.com/nikikoub @nikikoub

Apr 6, 2017

“To do creative stuff, most people just need permission. And they just need to give it to themselves. They’re afraid to suck, so they don’t do something. My career has contained a lot of suck, but I was trying and wasn’t afraid to fail.”

-Brendan Leonard

Contrary to popular belief, the American Dream of landing your dream job doesn’t come quickly or easily. But if you give yourself permission to try and if you channel enough grit, you will get there. Or so believes Brendan Leonard, a climber, ultra-runner, blogger, author and gritty guy behind the hilarious, highly popular website semi-rad.com, which serves a tribe of adventurers who are super passionate but not the best.

A pillar in the outdoor community, Brendan constantly works, creates, and networks to fuel the get-outside stoke. Like his ceaseless creative quest, his journey to everyday adventurer icon wasn’t easy. Brendan toiled away at a full-time job, sent countless pitches to outdoor magazines for four years, and squeezed in launching his website during after-work hours before finally getting his big break.

The mastermind behind viral sensations like the Pooping in the Outdoors flowchart and Why I Hate Running (but why you should try it), Brendan has also written six books. His most recent creative foray into filmmaking, Chocolate Spokes, will premiere this month at the 5Point film festival.

A guy who would “rather spend Sunday doing sh*t than sitting down watching somebody else have fun,” Brendan insightfully, humorously speaks to the everyday adventurer. And he successfully marries his passions for writing and adventuring into an unconventional, fulfilling, full-time job. Whether you are looking to follow in his footsteps, enhance your own career path, or simply want a laugh, Brendan provides solutions and limitless, real-life enthusiasm to get after it.

Bulletpoints:

  • After graduating from college with a BA in Marketing, Brendan earned a master’s degree in Journalism from the University of Montana so he wouldn’t have to work in marketing. (Although both degrees now prove useful in marketing himself, his website, and his six books!)
  • Brendan wrote his master’s thesis on peak bagging, the activity of trying to reach mountain peaks.
  • Brendan is the creative mastermind behind semi-rad.com, his hilarious portal for the everyday adventurer.
  • But creating a hit website and becoming a respected author didn’t happen overnight. Brendan hustled in the journalism and marketing industries for eight years, working a few newspaper jobs while delving into outdoor adventures on the side. After realizing he wanted to write about adventure, climbing, and the fun things he was doing on the weekends, he slowly tapped into the outdoor creative industry.
  • Brendan faced a lot of failure, pitching to publications like Climbing and Backpacker Magazines for three or four years before any of his work landed in print.
  • He earned about $40 from his first year of freelancing, thanks to an article on peak bagging in Oklahoma Today.
  • Brendan launched semi-rad.com so he wouldn’t lose touch of his outdoorsy side while working from home writing marketing content for a software company.
  • Brendan didn’t go into blogging thinking he wanted to build a brand, but it ended up happening. The moniker “semi-rad” works for people: it lends for short social media handles, and is vague enough to enable him to explore and write about all of his interests. It also appeals to most people, who aren’t crushing that hard, but are invested in the outdoors and need quality gear.
  • Brendan’s new book, The Great Outdoors: A User’s Guide, epitomizes this ethos. Illustrated by the talented Seth Neilson, the book humorously answers questions for people just getting their feet wet in the outdoors. It tells readers everything from how to put a kayak on your car, to whether it’s okay to drink your own urine. (Short answer: this is a free country!)
  • Trade shows and film festivals have proven instrumental in his success, both for networking and demonstrating that if you want to do something, you can.
  • Brendan’s first film, Chocolate Spokes, will release at the 5Point Film Festival.
  • The most highly trafficked topics on his website are dating and poop, preferably via flow chart.
  • Brendan’s two biggest pieces of advice for people trying to break into the creative outdoor industry: 1) give yourself permission, and 2) have grit!

Links:

 

 

Mar 29, 2017

“There’s a lot of same old stuff being sold in the same old way, and those retailers are going to go away. You have to be doing something different.” - Ken Gart

What is going on in the retail world today? From small companies, to the big ones, to the online retailers that have been dominating the industry, we discuss ways you can still win within today’s extremely competitive retail market.

Ken Gart joins us to provide tips and tricks at how to dominate the retail industry, already having done so himself. Ken Gart is the Bike Czar of Colorado, as well as one of the best retailers in the game, having transformed the market in Colorado. Besides dominating the retail industry, Ken has a strong passion for outdoor activities such as skiing and cycling.

Bulletpoints

  • Ken was born into a family involved in the sports business!
  • Amazon is the biggest factor into why Sports Authority has gone bankrupt.
  • The retail will continue to be shattered by the spread of Amazon-like verticals.
  • Every retail player is vulnerable at this point in time.
  • However, change brings opportunities.
  • The product or service you offer that is distinct will become an opportunity in the future.
  • You have to be doing something different in the retail industry in order to survive.
  • Ken is the “The Bike Czar of Colorado.”
  • Ken was able to hold conversations with the governor regarding health and wellness, where he came up with the term “Bike Czar.”
  • The most powerful thing is when you get consumers emotionally bought into it.
  • Everybody can bike! It’s a great way to share the same health initiative.

Links

Gart Company site: http://www.gartcompanies.com/

Ken Gart Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ken-gart-48794b43/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/kgcolorado @kgcolorado

Mar 22, 2017

“You can reach people just by being yourself and telling your story.” - Sonya Looney

Athlete? Entrepreneur? How about both? Some of us are born and bred an entrepreneur. We often find ourselves in comfortable positions, dreaming of taking the plunge and leaving our full time jobs to pursue our true passions. Most of us don’t take that leap, but for some of us, we jump in head first.

Welcome Sonya Looney, joining us to discuss the athlete as an entrepreneur. Sonya is an outdoor adventurist and ultra endurance mountain biker. Sonya is more than just an outdoor enthusiast though, she is also a motivational speaker, author, and world champion! Sonya is described as an ambassador for the brands she represents. Talk about being busy!

Bulletpoints

  • Sonya started as an Electrical Engineer.
  • Sonya transitioned from an Engineer to a position as a Brand Ambassador and Marketing professional at age 25.
  • Sonya then transitioned to an entrepreneur at age 30.
  • Sonya’s specialty is ultra endurance mountain bike racing.
  • Stage racing is an awesome way to make an international network.
  • Partner with brands that have the same reach desire as you do.
  • Sonya won the world championship in 2016!
  • The biggest part of Sonya’s day is education.
  • Sonya has her own speaking series called “On Dirt.”
  • Sonya wanted to become an athlete to promote the brands she enjoyed most.
  • The bottom line of brand sponsorship is to sell more product and getting their name out there.

Links

Personal Website: http://www.sonyalooney.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/looneysonya/?hl=en

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/looneysonya/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SonyaLooney @SonyaLooney

On Dirt: http://www.sonyalooney.com/ondirt

TedTalk: http://www.sonyalooney.com/single-post/2015/12/07/Watch-my-TED-Talk-here

Mar 15, 2017

“We have that motivation behind us because we have this ridiculous force in front of us that’s trying to squash us all.” - Dave Thibodeau

Dave Thibodeau joins us today to discuss the journey of his business, Ska Brewing, and all the awesome beer they brew in Colorado. Dave’s journey is one radical ride into the brewing industry, which started back in the early 80’s, all while underage! On this episode of “Take me Outdoors,” we discuss the product, brand, and experience of Ska Brewery.

Dave Thibodeau is the co-founder and president of Ska Brewing, a company located in Durango, Colorado, where Ska Brewing has been successfully in business for the last 21 years.

Bulletpoints

  • Ska Brewing started with Dave and Bill making beer in Dave’s living room!
  • Bill and Dave moved to Durango in 1993.
  • They got their first warehouse in 1995, where Ska Brewing was born!
  • Their competition offered to put them on tap, which came to a big surprise for them.
  • Every time they learned something new, they became more aware how much more they needed to learn!
  • In order to improve their business, they had to be willing to give up as much information as they were seeking.
  • Ska Brewery creates an experience through their brand.
  • Ska’s marketing platform came out of comic books.
  • The Ska brand is a direct reflection of what Dave, Bill, and Matt like to do.
  • Ska does not want to create a factory-like atmosphere for their workers.
  • Ska is partnering with Race Across America.

Links

Ska Brewing: http://skabrewing.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/skabrewing/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/skabrewing @SkaBrewing

https://www.instagram.com/skabrewing/

Mar 8, 2017

“You have to find a combination of things that you love, things that you’re good at, and things that people pay you to do.” --Zander Nosler

 

Mountain biking isn’t just a sport, it’s a lifestyle! From where they ride, to who they ride with, to what they wear, every piece plays an important role in their day to day life. That’s why Zander decided it was time to bridge the gap in mountain biking apparel. He found most apparel to be poorly constructed, and was tired of having to buy into it.

Zander Nosler is what you might call a cycling obsessive. Zander is the CEO and Founder of “Kitsbow.” What is that, you ask? Kitsbow is the highest end, most awesome mountain biking apparel available, where they represent craft, style, and function. The company was launched in 2012 and has grown widely successful ever since.

Bulletpoints

  • Zander’s first start up was a coffee equipment company.
  • If you’re thinking about a startup, you should work for one first!
  • Zander sold his coffee company in 2008.
  • You can build a company a lot of different ways!
  • Zander started Kitsbow by focusing on building a brand first.
  • Zander has not interfaced with the outdoor industry that much, surprisingly!
  • Zander wanted to create an outfit that felt like an outdoor outfit, but still maintained style.
  • Kitsbow has a high end consumer approach
  • Kitsbow products have a higher price, but last a long time, and are made very well.
  • Fabric can change your mountain biking experience completely!
  • Kitsbow goes over their seam twice to ensure it stays flat and does not irritate while riding.

Links

Zanders Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/zander-nosler-21476/

Kitsbow website: http://www.kitsbow.com/about-us/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/zandern @Zandern

Mar 1, 2017

Chasing your dream can really pay off...even if you didn’t mean to chase it. That’s the case with Oliver Steffen, who fell into a series of events that turned his hard work into well deserved success. How did all of this play out, though?

Oliver Steffen joins us to discuss his practically overnight success with his back country ski products, and all the work it took to get there. Oliver is the founder behind G3, which stands for Genuine Guide Gear. G3 is a global brand that manufactures skins, skis, splitboards, climbing skins, and more! G3 is also the leading brand in the back country ski culture.

Bulletpoints

  • In Oliver’s first product production experience, he was given a mere 30 days to make the desired item for the agency!
  • Don’t be afraid of falling in the process. Get back up and keep going!
  • If you worry too much about the consequences, it will hold you back.
  • The idea for Oliver’s company name came from a very straightforward thought process: Genuine Guide Gear.
  • Oliver wanted gear that no one was selling at the time, so he created it himself!
  • When building your idea, ask yourself: “How do I get into the headspace of the person that is going to buy my product.”
  • The million dollar question is: “What do people want?”
  • When Oliver took road trips to present to clients, he slept in his van!
  • Be sure to have patience, and perseverance.

Links

G3: https://www.genuineguidegear.com/

Oliver Steffen Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/oliver-steffen-74b49928/

Feb 15, 2017

“Climbing and the American Alpine Club have grown substantially over the last 10 years, and this growth allows us to do more of what we want to do: more good in the world.” --Phil Powers

 

LISTEN: Outdoor Entrepreneurism, Education, and Activism with Phil Powers

 

Famed climber and alpinist Phil Powers has pioneered thirty personal expeditions around the globe, including the first ascent of the Washburn Face of Denali and climbing K2 without supplemental oxygen. His visionary leadership and roles as entrepreneur and educator in the outdoor industry have grown equally influential. Phil currently serves as the CEO of the American Alpine Club, where he has vastly expanded the organization’s membership base and education and conservation efforts.

 

Phil formerly served as the vice president for institutional advancement at Naropa University and worked for seventeen years with the National Outdoor Leadership School as chief mountaineering instructor and development/partnerships director. An entrepreneur and author, Phil also owns Jackson Hole Mountain Guides and wrote NOLS Wilderness Mountaineering.

 

In this episode of the Take Me Outdoors podcast, Verde founder and CEO Kristin Carpenter-Ogden sits down with this mountaineering, climbing and outdoor industry legend to talk about the role of the outdoor industry in conservation and outdoor activism in a rapidly changing political climate. They also discuss how to the AAC works to improve climbing safety and education as the sport continues to diversify and grow, so that everyone can get outside. Phil shares what he learned working for NOLS for 17 years and mountaineering around the world; how he became an author; how business taught him to pause and be mindful; and ultimately, why despite all of his epic adventures, Phil would rather be rock climbing in the sun with his family.

 

Phil is a visionary and inspiration to everyone excited about getting outdoors and preserving the planet, and we hope you enjoy this conversation as much as we did!

 

Bulletpoints:

  • Established in 1902 by climbers and conservationists, the American Alpine Club (AAC) is a goods and services organization that supports climbing and climbing landscapes. In addition to providing lodging and rescue services for its members, AAC plays an instrumental role in conservation, advocacy, and encouraging people to get outside through grants and education.
  • After expanding its membership from 4,000 to 18,000 over the past 10 years, AAC is capitalizing on its blossoming base to do more good in the world, especially by deepening its commitment to public policy. AAC advocates for federal policies that protect and preserve public lands to ensure that organizations and individuals can get outside and can learn to do so the right way.
  • AAC partners with organizations like the Outdoor Alliance, Outdoor Industry Association, and Access Fund to find and forward state and federal legislation that funds conservation and prevents the transfer of public lands to new ownership that would limit people’s access to them. AAC also mobilizes support through motivating members to participate by writing letters to and calling legislators.
  • AAC continues its legacy of funding climbing, conservation and research projects through its grants program, which is larger than ever before. AAC will give away $60,000 in Live Your Dream grants this year.
  • AAC is committed to expanding its education program, which entails streamlining education across the country and improving educational quality. This consists of working with institutions effectively to make sure climbing curricula are similar and by beginning to certify climbing instructors.
  • Climbing is expanding and diversifying. Passionate about making climbing and exploration accessible to all, Phil and AAC welcome new climbers at the gym to the outside by increasing education.
  • AAC Universal Belay Program strives to standardize belaying across the U.S. so that every American climber is armed with the knowledge and practice to belay in fundamentally sound way. The curriculum promotes three fundamental principles of belaying technique.
  • Phil has written two books, an expedition planning guide (Climbing: Expedition Planning (Mountaineers Outdoor Expert) and the work he is most proud of, the textbook for mountain climbing at NOLS (Wilderness Mountaineering).
  • As the Vice President for institutional advancement at Naropa University, Phil learned the power of pause. Punctuating the beginning of a time you want to spend with friends, family or colleagues enables you to come together collectively and mindfully. A pause is situational, and can entail bowing before dinner, summoning people together with a gong, or honoring partnership-- the most central aspect of climbing-- through formally checking each other before you start.

 

Links:

 

American Alpine Club: https://americanalpineclub.org

 

Jackson Hole Mountain Guides: http://jhmg.com

 

Outdoor Alliance: http://www.outdooralliance.org

 

Outdoor Industry Association: https://outdoorindustry.org/

 

Access Fund: https://www.accessfund.org/

 

AAC’s Live Your Dream grant program: http://americanalpineclub.org/live-your-dream-grant/

 

National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS): https://www.nols.edu/

 

Climbing: Expedition Planning (Mountaineers Outdoor Expert): https://www.amazon.com/Climbing-Expedition-Planning-Mountaineers-Outdoor/dp/0898867703

 

Wilderness Mountaineering: https://www.amazon.com/NOLS-Wilderness-Mountaineering-Library/dp/0811735214

 

Naropa University: https://www.naropa.edu/

Feb 1, 2017

The 3rd Annual Silverton White Out Fat (Snow) Bike Event/Gathering takes place Feb. 4, 2017. This episode of the Take Me Outdoors podcast celebrates the founder and director of the Silverton White Out, Sarah Tescher. Sarah is also the co-founder of Durango’s junior development cycling program, DEVO, an educator and entrepreneur, and mom of two boys. She’s also a wonderful friend of mine, and a complete inspiration to so many!

Sarah does all of this with an intention to serve. Her MO is to get more kids and adults out to enjoy the incredible mountain backdrop that weaves together her four-season outdoor passions.

What’s so unique about Sarah is that she’s driven to serve, and just plain gives back. Sarah has always inspired me and so many others to strive to do the same. And I couldn’t be more excited, or proud, to share her with you here today on the Take Me Outdoors podcast.

Our conversation today starts with the Silverton White Out snow bike event, taking place Feb. 4 in Silverton, Colo. It was an absolutely visionary idea – a 10-hour, mid-winter fat (snow) bike ‘race.’ Put this event together with the amazing draw that is Silverton Mountain, and you have the ingredients to bring visibility and opportunity to what used to be the off-season in one of our state’s most pristine high-mountain hamlets in Colorado.

The White Out delivers altitude, terrain and a big dose of bike culture. EVERONE is welcome! What I love most is the fact that Sarah and her team at Passion Productions (the production organization for the White Out), work to make this wintertime bike culture gathering mesh with the awesome locals of Silverton. This is a truly one-of-a-kind event – we hope to see you there!

You’ll learn in this interview that Sarah is humble and does things in her life that she knows are the right things to do; she seems to be driven by love and by creating opportunities for so many who deserve it. It’s just who she is.

This episode of the Take Me Outdoors podcast honors Sarah and her selfless, passion-driven lifestyle – way of living. I believe it’s an absolute inspiration to so many of us!

Sarah is an educator – she’s highly educated in teaching and non-profit management. She’s also an entrepreneur and a professional cyclist. Aside from that, Sarah and Chad Cheeney founded Durango Devo, the country’s first and, in my opinion, most premiere junior development cycling programs.

Bulletpoints:

  • The third annual Silverton White Out, I’m pretty sure the World’s first 10-hour fat (snow) bike race, was founded by Sarah and a passionate crew of cyclists, operating under the name: Passion Productions. Check it out Feb. 4, 2017 (as in this Saturday), in Silverton, Colo.
  • Sarah is also the founder of Durango Devo, along with Chad Cheeney, one of the best, and first, off-road junior development cycling programs in the United States. She’s not running it day to day anymore, but she’s one of the most effective coaches on staff for Devo.
  • She’s also a former pro cyclist, and very likely one of the most humble
  • Sarah is also an entrepreneur – she’s founded DEVO, the Silverton White Out, and also heads up Durango Academic Coaching, our communities’ top tutoring resource

 

Links

www.silvertonwhiteout.com

www.durangodevo.com

www.durangoacademiccoaching.com 

 

Ep. 9:  Passion-Driven Purpose – Sarah Tescher of the Silverton White Out and Durango Devo

Jan 25, 2017

“Although Bicycle Retailer & Industry News is a trade magazine, it’s really a community magazine with relatives in the outdoor and snow space” - Megan Tompkins

Bicycle Retailer & Industry News, commonly referred to as BRAIN, is one of the best read and most respected trade publications in the outdoor and active lifestyle industries. I was lucky enough to sit down with Megan Tompkins, the current publisher at BRAIN, for this episode of Take Me Outdoors.

Megan never imagined that she’d be heading up a trade publication for the cycling industry. Always athletic and outdoorsy, Megan didn’t immerse herself in cycling until later in life. To add to her industry knowledge and authenticity, Megan essentially “cross-trained” by leaving the editorial side at BRAIN to work on the manufacturing side. She then returned with her expanded knowledge of the bike industry to work as the publisher at BRAIN. Her experience on both sides of the business makes her an invaluable asset to the cycling industry as a whole.

Megan shares her experience as a female in a male dominate industry, digs into the evolving consumer purchasing behavior and lays out how critical it is to protect the integrity of her publication with pure journalism.

Bulletpoints:  

  • The founding publisher at BRAIN, Mark Sani, is a leader in hiring smart, savvy women in the male-dominated cycling industry.
  • Consumers are now dictating how they want to purchase and they want options. Traditional retail is not going away. Retailers need to take change by the horns and turn this new purchasing environment into an opportunity.
  • Publishing has had to evolve from traditional print to be more flexible and responsive with incorporating robust websites, regular e-newsletters, social media, podcasts, video, etc.
  • Skills acquired from being an athlete can easily be adapted to your career. Athletes learn that losses and mistakes are part of the game and that the coach will not alway soften the feedback. Learn from these experiences, use them to make yourself better and move forward.
  • BRAIN has always kept a separation between advertising and editorial. From a reader’s standpoint, especially with an increase of political discussions and “fake news,” there’s more awareness and value placed on well-researched and honest journalism.
  • Megan’s advice to her 25-year-old self is to be open to opportunities and know that you can’t anticipate where your journey will take you.

Links

Pearl Izumi Giveaway: https://verdebrandcomm.leadpages.co/pearl-giveaway/

Bicycle Retailer & Industry News (BRAIN):http://www.bicycleretailer.com/

IBD Summit: https://www.theibdsummit.com/

Bicycle Leadership Conference: https://www.bicycleconference.com/

Inc.:http://www.inc.com/

Fast Company: https://www.fastcompany.com/

Jan 18, 2017

“It’s an interesting time for outdoor recreation - we were called the sleeping giant just a few years ago. The giant is now awake!” - Jessica Wahl

While it’s easy to be overwhelmed with all of the uncertainties in our turbulent political climate, this week’s guest brings some light to all of the positive things that are in motion that affect our lands and industry. I sat down with Jessica Wahl, the Government Affairs Manager at the Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) who’s on the front lines in DC making a difference at the policy level.

Jessica fell in love with the outdoors when she saw how it changed lives and improved communities through her previous work with the Office of the Secretary on external affairs and youth engagement in the outdoors. Jessica got to work closely with companies like Patagonia, KEEN and The North Face, so joining the ranks at OIA seemed like the perfect next step for her.

When Jessica first came to OIA, more of her focus was on conservation but recently that focus has widened to anything and everything that gets people outside. The lines are blurring  between the traditional “man powered” outdoor industry and opening up to the whole supply chain including motor powered recreationists, hunters and more. When we all join arms and speak up together, our voices become louder.

I hope you enjoy this episode as much as I do!

GIVEAWAY: Verde and OIA partner KEEN are giving one lucky listener a pair of Durand Polar Shell boots!

Bulletpoints:

  • OIA was founded in 1989 by visionary outdoor industry leaders who realized that “outdoor” could be much more than a passing consumer trend. Today, OIA is the leading trade association and voice of the outdoor recreation industry.
  • The Recreations Economic Contributions Act (REC Act) has been signed by President Obama, ensuring that the outdoor recreation economy, including outdoor industry
  • jobs and our economic impact, are measured by the federal government and accounted
  • for as part of the national Gross Domestic Product.
  • Using the momentum from the REC Act, OIA is educating new members of congress and other admin on the importance of this Act and how it touches every district and state.
  • It would be a huge benefit to appoint a Director of Outdoor Recreation, like Luis Benitez, in every state’s governor’s office. With these positions in place, each state can have a point person to take charge with land issues and to look out for outdoor business and recreation.
  • In 2017 OIA wants to make sure there aren’t many rollbacks in recreation assets, public lands and climate policy.
  • The much talked about Infrastructure and Transportation package should benefit trails, protected bike lanes, public lands, roads and bridges in parks.
  • The National Park Service Centennial Act (H.R. 4680) addresses the $12 billion in needed repairs to park infrastructure, such as unmaintained trails and deteriorating buildings and structures that are in danger of falling apart.
  • President-elect Trump does see value in the outdoor recreation economy and the jobs it creates. His pick for Interior Secretary, Cathy McMorris Rogers, was one of the original co-sponsor for the REC Act and helped push it through.
  • Land management is critical and important. There are places to develop and places to leave in their natural state. Having those conversations at the local level is essential to overall success.
  • We must work to keep our lands federally managed as it’s the #1 threat to outdoor recreation at this point.
  • How can you help? Support your local specialty retailers! Buy gear and buy local. Get involved in your outdoor community and conservation efforts.

Links:

Take Me Outdoors KEEN Giveaway: https://verdebrandcomm.leadpages.co/keen-oia-giveaway/

Outdoor Industry Association: www.outdoorindustry.org

Take Me Outdoors Interview with Luis Benitez: http://www.verdepr.com/2016/12/big-wins-for-outdoor-industry/

REC Act: https://outdoorindustry.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/Rec-Act-June-20161.pdf

National Park Service Centennial Act: https://www.npca.org/articles/1422-with-unanimous-support-senate-passes-the-national-park-service-centennial#sm.00019i3wfr4zdcyzs0n1rd7k144cl

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