360 Adventure Collective (360 AC), the member association that has brought regional, focused events for sales reps and retailers for more than 40 years, is saying goodbye to its long-time executive director, Debbie Motz. Effective this March, Motz will retire after more than 30 years with the non-profit, member organization formerly known as Eastern Outdoor Reps Association (EORA). The organization’s board of directors has approved and appointed Stacey Gellert, industry veteran and current 360 AC regional director, to assume the executive director role.
Motz is well-regarded as the dedicated and prominent leader of 360 AC, which has become the go-to for independent and non-independent sales representatives alike for outdoor apparel, footwear, accessories, gear and virtually all things from sea to ski. Working alongside a rotating number of board members, Motz served as a constant who always operated with the organization’s best interests in mind, said the group.
“Debbie’s unwavering integrity and humble disposition has always served us well,” noted Allison Frazer, former president of EORA. “We have been so fortunate to enjoy her dedication, positive attitude, and sincere commitment to our organization for so long.”
Motz found her passion for the outdoors growing up in the high country of Colorado. She began her outdoor industry journey in the early 1970s working with the likes of Camp 7, Banana Equipment, one of the first manufacturers of Gore-Tex garments, and Lowe Alpine. Following a move to Asheville, N.C. in the 1980s, she started part-time with Eastern Outdoor Reps Association (EORA).
From the beginning, Motz gave her all to the organization and developed a membership directory and produced five trade shows all on her own right out of the gate. At that time, EORA was only 60 members, but today since the merger with New England Snow Reps that Motz was instrumental in to form 360 AC, it has grown to just less than 700 members and produces 13 shows and two on-snow demos a year.
“I have truly loved my carrier in the industry,” noted Motz. “I’m so thankful to the people I have met and the special friendships that have formed over the years. It is an amazing web that one develops over time and I would do it all over again. It’s been a privilege.”
Motz still resides in Asheville and says she’ll continue to be a part of the area’s outdoor life and industry, but on a limited basis.
“I am looking forward to having more time in my community,” said Motz. “I currently sit on the board of directors for the local Literacy Council, one of my passions, and will dedicate much more of my time to this group. My plans also include new adventures exploring new cultures, achieving some of those long-held goals, and spending time with friends, family and, of course, my most amazing grandchildren.”