Lise Aangeenbrug

EDITOR’S NOTE: In the following letter, Lise Aangeenbrug announced she was stepping down as executive director of the Outdoor Industry Association.

Dear OIA members,

With deep appreciation and mixed emotions, I am writing to you today to share that I will be resigning as executive director of the Outdoor Industry Association as of Aug. 19.

Despite the many challenges we have seen as an industry and nation over the last two and a half years, the outdoor industry remains strong, and our members remain engaged. The outdoor industry’s trade association is traveling in the best direction possible, which gives me confidence as I leave OIA to take some time to recharge outside and then join the National Park Foundation. Protecting and restoring public lands and waters and ensuring an outdoors for all has always been a major focus and motivation in my career.

I am grateful for the opportunity I have had to serve the outdoor industry and be a part of the accomplishments that the OIA team achieved for our members over the past several years. Like our industry, we had to pivot as the pandemic upended our business and personal lives, but we came out stronger for it.

Together, we bolstered OIA’s state and federal advocacy for the outdoors; championed trade and tariff policies that benefit the outdoor industry; represented the outdoor industry at the White House; built partnerships such as the Outdoor Industry Business Certificate programs with universities; enhanced our research capabilities; created and implemented a new community grant program for the Outdoor Foundation; launched and championed the Climate Action Corps; created The Summit, a new industry thought leadership event; and built a new business model that reflects OIA member priorities.

Under the leadership of the OIA Board of Directors and COO Dr. Arlene Charles and powered by a dedicated and talented staff, OIA is poised to continue to deliver member value and bring the outdoor industry together around collective action for business, people, and the planet.

It truly has been an amazing two and a half years at OIA and two years prior to that with OIA’s charitable arm, the Outdoor Foundation, working with a range of industry companies, from mom-and-pop shops to large iconic brands. As I transition into a more philanthropic role in partnership with many in the outdoor industry, I would like to thank you all for the opportunity you have given me to serve our industry and lead its work.

The OIA Board is actively searching for an interim executive director with strong industry and management experience, and the search for a permanent executive director will begin shortly. We will share more information about that process with the industry in the coming weeks.

Please do not hesitate to reach out to me; Arlene Charles, COO; or Phyllis Grove, OIA Board chair, if you have concerns or questions.