OIA adds three new board members

The Outdoor Industries Association has welcomed three new members to the OIA board.

Nick Giles is the first new board member to join the OIA. Giles held senior roles at RSA, LV, Aviva and the RAC, before joining the Ordnance Survey in 2012. He leads all consumer activity within OS with the mission to “inspire and help more people to get outside more often.”

Commenting on his new appointment, Giles said: “I’m absolutely delighted to join the OIA Board and to continue the work we have been doing to help more people to get outside more often. Promoting the benefits of an active outdoor lifestyle is an area I’m passionate about and collaboration in participation activity can only be good for the whole industry.

“GetOutside is perfectly aligned to the core purpose of the OIA and is there for the entire industry to engage, inspire and motivate more people to get outside more often. I look forward to working even closer with the OIA and delivering growth, collaboration and cohesion to the industry.”

Also joining the Board is Robert Brigham, who has been managing director of Ellis Brigham Mountain Sports for almost eight years, having worked in a variety of roles at the company since he was a teenager, starting out in-store. He moved into accounts and the warehouse department, before working on delivering new stores and improved back-office systems as operations manager.

He commented: “The Outdoor and Snowsports industries just seemed to be full of great people doing all the things I loved to do. The truth is I’m just as in love with the great outdoors as I ever was; it’s just that now I’m as much a retailer as an outdoors man! It is such a dynamic environment; every day is different and nothing stands still.”

The third new OIA Board member is Matt Gowar, CEO of Equip Outdoor Technologies. His initial participation will be delayed due to business travel, but from January 2019 he will attend the regular board meetings. Gowar founded Equip Outdoor Technologies in 1991 to retail specialist travel equipment. This led to the development and manufacture of products to his specifications and to sourcing and importing of selected equipment from overseas.

In January 2000 Equip Outdoor Technologies became incorporated with Gowar as the managing director; this role held responsibility at board level to control buying, sourcing, sales and financial control. Equip acquired the brand Rab in 2003, which in 2008 went on to become the largest technical apparel brand in the UK. In 2011 Equip also purchased Lowe Alpine to further enhance their portfolio. Today, Gowar is a board member and CEO of Equip Outdoor Technologies UK, which continues to specialise in the design and marketing of technical outdoor equipment.

OIA chief executive Andrew Denton comments: “As we continue influencing government to develop and support Outdoor Recreation, we need an extensive, experienced Board of Directors to maximise the trade’s impact – Matt, Nick and Robert most definitely fit the bill and we’re delighted to welcome them to the Association.

“We’re incredibly lucky to have such a strong Board, with all 12 Directors volunteering their time, travel and expenses all free of charge, in addition to their companies being fully paid OIA Members.”

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