More than 125 women and men turned out for the Outdoor Industry Women's Council winter reception in Salt Lake City, Utah, where Rachel Ligtenberg, general manager of REI's Seattle flagship store, received the group's second annual Pioneering Woman Award.
Presenter Kitty Bradley, last year's award recipient, said Ligtenberg received numerous nominations from men and women whose careers she had influenced over the years. The award is given to a woman who has demonstrated leadership and been a mentor for other women.
"Receiving this honor is an affirmation of the place leaders and women can play in creating environments in which women can be successful," said Ligtenberg. "Young women can look at what powerful women do and see how they create opportunities for them."
Ligtenberg was in good company for this year's award. Fellow nominees included Nancy Coulter-Parker, editor of Hooked on the Outdoors Magazine; Sally McCoy, president of Sierra Designs; Kathy Murphy, general manager of Tubbs Snowshoe Co.; and Dawn Riley, president-elect of the Women's Sports Foundation.
As part of the award, $1,000 is donated to a non-profit organization of Ligtenberg's choice. She selected Passages Northwest, which will use the donation for its "Girls Rock" and "Girl's Wilderness" programs.
The reception also included a presentation by Sean Patrick, founder and organizer of the first annual HERA Ovarian Cancer Climb for Life fundraiser in Salt Lake City, Utah. Patrick shared details of the event, which was designed to raise money for research and raise awareness of the under-recognized threat to women's health.