Utah State University’s Outdoor Product Design and Development (OPDD) program officially formed its industry advisory board, which consists of leading companies in the outdoor recreation industry. The advisory board meets twice a year and guides the OPDD program, lending valuable industry experience by helping develop curriculum, create design challenges for students, provide internship opportunities and ensure that OPDD leads the nation in preparing students to succeed as product designers and developers in the outdoor industry.
“The OPDD program emerged from partnerships with key industry voices who were calling for a degree to prepare tomorrow’s workforce,” said OPDD Director, Professor Sean Michael. “The OPDD Advisory Board continues that partnership with an exceptional group of leaders from across the industry. The board’s membership supports and guides the program, working hand-in-hand with OPDD faculty to prepare the next generation of designers and developers.”
The board is comprised of industry veterans and leading companies from across the spectrum of the outdoor industry. Represented companies include: Patagonia, Black Diamond, Altra Footwear, Cabela’s, Vista Outdoors, Backcountry.com, Cotopaxi, Burton, Klim, Klymit, Simms Fishing and ENVE Composites. Also serving on the board are Leslie Howa, founder of American Hardwear, now Mountain Hardwear, and Tom Adams, director of the Utah Office of Outdoor Recreation.
The state of Utah has been an active supporter of the OPDD program from the beginning with Adams representing the Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development and the Office of Outdoor Recreation.
“USU is on the cutting edge of workforce training for the ever-growing outdoor recreation economy,” said Adams. “It’s moving to see such a strong, passionate and successful list of board members and businesses all willing to donate their time to support this ground-breaking program.”