Outdoor Gear Builders Announces New Executive Director

Outdoor Gear Builders, the first outdoor industry association of its kind, announced the appointment of Brad Taylor as the organization’s first full-time Executive Director.

The Outdoor Gear Builders (OGB), whose mission is to cultivate, connect and support a community of outdoor industry leaders, has grown to more than 60 members including businesses and organizations that represent the entire outdoor industry in Western North Carolina.

Taylor’s lifelong passion for the outdoors led to a lifelong career in the outdoor industry holding leadership roles with Confluence Outdoor, Merrell, Hurricane Kayaks and Jackson Kayaks. He has served as a consultant to startup paddle sports brands and footwear brands. While being immersed in the business of the outdoors, Taylor is still a passionate outdoorsman, training and racing Standup Paddleboards and hiking the trails in Western North Carolina.

The new full-time Executive Director position, a first for the organization, is made possible with support from the Accelerating Outdoors POWER Grant. The funding allows for the OGB to expand its membership and continue to offer benefits including educational programming, mentorship programs, networking events, and a regional job board.

Taylor is replacing Andy Williamson (pictured) as the organization’s inaugural part-time Executive Director. Williamson stepped down from the position to take on a new role, Growing Outdoors Director, designed to help build our outdoor communities across the region and continue to drive the WNC: Made By Mountains brand initiative. Williamson will remain involved in the OGB as a key partner in his new role.

Taylor officially started as the Executive Director of the Outdoor Gear Builders on January 3. For more information on Outdoor Gear Builders and the efforts they are making in WNC, visit outdoorgearbuilders.com.

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