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Outdoor Retailer Highlights

The outdoor show featured a keynote speech from the Secretary of the Interior

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Outdoor Retailer's Winter Market 2014 took place from January 22 - 26. Ranked one of the fastest-growing trade shows by attendance, OR is the place for retailers, manufacturers, industry advocates and media to conduct the business of outdoor recreation. In addition, it offers and supports retailer education, advocacy, responsibility and face-to-face business initiatives within the outdoor industry. 

Keynote Speaker: Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell

On the opening day of OR’s Winter Market 2014, U.S. Secretary of the Interior and former REI CEO Sally Jewell gave a keynote talk which encouraged a public-private partnership to get more young people involved in the outdoors. She relayed to the audience a plan to create opportunities for the millennial generation to educate, volunteer and work at national parks, monuments and wildlife refuges.  

“It is up to all of us to make sure that the outdoors and nature are relevant to this generation,” she remarked during her speech.

Jewell mentioned that within the next five years, one third of the Department of the Interior’s employees will be able to retire, quickly putting the millennial generation at the forefront of the boardrooms and accountable for much of the business that manages public lands. Thus, she envisions a “Civilian Conservation Corps 2.0” fashioned after the Civilian Conservation Corps of the 1930s, a government-funded workforce that provided job training while planting billions of trees, creating thousands of miles of trail and fighting fires over millions of days.

This time around, the “CCC 2.0” has a $20 million goal—and Jewell isn’t waiting for Congress to act. She’s calling for private companies to within the outdoor industry to generously chip in.

“I want to stand this up in a hurry. We just have to get young people out working on the land,” she concluded.

A Must-See Event: Outdoor Inspiration Awards

On January 25, the fourth annual Outdoor Inspiration Awards winners were announced. These awards identify individuals, groups and companies who break new ground and inspire others to take part in outdoor activities. This year’s winners consisted of Timbuk2, NOLS: Expedition Denali and Timmy O’Neil. This year, the Lifetime Achievement award was given to Jeff Lowe, an American alpinist recognized for his climbing and US and Canadian Rockies first ascents. Today, he cultivates and creates Ogden, Utah’s climbing potential and organizes climbing programs for underprivileged children and children with disabilities.

Greg Thomsen, managing director, adidas Outdoor USA, said that “this year’s winners are incredible brand ambassadors for our industry. Each has found the time to impart the amazing benefits of outdoor pursuits and have made us a better community. Jeff is an inspiration to all of us, as he finds the strength to battle his challenges today. We thank them for their absolution devotion and commitment. It is always especially tough to choose finalists because all the nominees are all heroes in their own right.”

One Night Only: Fashion Show

For just one night only, doors opened for the "completely re-imagined for 2014" Around the World Runway show, featuring the latest apparel, footwear and accessories. The event started at 6:00 p.m. on January 22, and guests were treated to cocktails and appetizers.

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