Outdoor Gear Builders of WNC Names New Executive Director

Outdoor Gear Builders of WNC (Western North Carolina), the first gear builder association of its kind in the outdoor industry, announced the appointment of Andy Williamson to the new executive director role. Celebrating its seventh year in existence, Outdoor Gear Builders (OGB) has grown to more than 50 members.

Outdoor Gear Builders’ mission is to cultivate, connect, and support a community of outdoor industry leaders. The new part-time executive director position will enable the organization to focus on goals set forth at the beginning of 2020, as well as grow membership and benefits for members. Wiliamson, principal of Active Strategies, was instrumental in the strategic planning process with Outdoor Gear Builders and has a history of working with nonprofits to assist them in charting a course for a more sustainable and impactful future, said the group.

Williamson’s background in the outdoor and cycling industries includes work with organizations such as Bikepacking Roots, DRAFT, A People for Bikes Meetup, and International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA) as director of programs. He has also designed, implemented and supported numerous catalytic programs, events and workshops at the Outdoor Economy Conference in WNC, Gateway Outdoor Summit in St. Louis, and IMBA Trail Labs in Arkansas.

“The board has a high level of confidence in our selection of Andy as our new ED,” said OGB executive director, Matt Godfrey the OGB Board Chair. “His background leading organizations in the outdoor industry and nonprofit space were key factors in our decision, as well as his strong desire to be a contributing member to our outdoor community. He is the right person to work closely with our board and membership to assist in taking the OGB to the next level of outdoor industry leadership and influence within Western North Carolina and beyond.”

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The new executive director role will replace OGB’s network manager Kaylee Larkin Masters, who decided to step down from her position this summer. As the OGB’s first paid employee, Larkin Masters played an important role in growing the membership of the organization to where it is now, improving communication and providing more networking opportunities for members.

“Over the winter I got to spend a great deal of time getting to know the OGB board and I’m looking forward to supporting them and the membership in growing the organization,” Williamson said. “I’m grateful for the time they and Kaylee put into getting the organization where it is today. This opportunity will allow me to be more engaged in my community while also continuing to work with my other amazing clients and partners across the US. I can’t wait to get out there to meet and listen to all of the companies and stakeholders that make the OGB so special.”

Williamson will start with the Outdoor Gear Builders in a part-time capacity officially on July 1. He can be reached at ED@outdoorgearbuilders.com.