Camber Outdoors, a non-profit organization with the mission of supporting workplace inclusion, equity, and diversity in the active-outdoor industries, today announced that Camber co-CEOs, Emily Newman and Renita Smith, will step down from their roles effective April 1, 2022.
Camber Board Member Russ Hopcus, a long-time executive within the outdoor industry, will assume the role of interim CEO to lead the organization and collaborate with the board as it completes the search process.
“Under Emily and Renita’s leadership, Camber has sustained incredible momentum and has never been stronger,” said Russ Hopcus. “In order to maintain our momentum, Camber will leverage our industry-leading data, our remarkable partners, and our mission-driven team to bring about lasting change in the outdoor industry.”
“Russ has the full support of the Board, Renita and Emily, as well as the Camber staff,” said Michelle Wardian, co-president of the Camber Board of Directors. “With more than two decades of leadership experience in the athletic and outdoor industry, including as President of prAna, where he launched the first DE&I team in the company’s history, Russ will ensure Camber’s continued focus on mentorship, expanded communications with partners, and advanced evaluation tools.”
Today, Camber is supporting its partners in establishing mentorship programs, identifying gaps and developing solutions for their workplaces, and establishing the core infrastructure for a robust diverse talent pipeline. The findings of the most recent Camber Survey System, to be released in the second quarter of this year, showcase the meaningful progress Camber partners are making. Nearly 100 percent of the Camber partner survey cohort are now setting and measuring progress against goals for workplace DE&I, and fully 78 percent of partners have embedded DE&I goals and practices into their organizational policies, a year-over-year increase of 20 percentage points.
Camber partners are sharing how Camber’s programs help with their own DE&I progress. “The value of Camber to us is unquestionable. By participating in their survey work I see a path for how to keep our workplace evolving to the next level. It lays the foundation for real change,” said Kim Miller, CEO, SCARPA.
Another recent program is the MENtor Allyship program, which supports men in being more effective mentors, sponsors, and allies for the next generation of women leaders. “The Camber MENtor Allyship program is exceptional,” states Wylie Robinson, Founder & CEO of Rumpl, a Camber partner. “The facilitators literally wrote the book on this topic and as a group, the male leaders in the program all learned how to go from good intentions to developing industry talent in a more inclusive and diverse manner. The MENtors came away both inspired and equipped to bring these skills back to our own organizations. This is such a powerful and practical program to add to our DE&I efforts.”
The call to action is clear: our workplaces are evolving, and the outdoor industry must be ready to compete for top talent. Camber aspires to be a leading catalyst for DE&I by creating, measuring, and setting goals, and working to sustain inclusive, equitable, and diverse workplaces in the Outdoor Recreation Economy. Together with over 300+ partners, Camber is building an industry that better reflects the constantly growing diversity of the customers it serves and the planet we inhabit – from boardroom to basecamp.
The succession committee of the Board, led by Co-Presidents Reggie Miller and Michelle Wardian, will initiate a nationwide CEO search with an external Partner. The search is expected to conclude in the second quarter of 2022.
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