Kitty Bradley was selected Sunday as the Outdoor Industry Women's Council's winner of its first award for women who have been pioneers in the outdoor industry. She was chosen from an elite group of women, all of whom could have been the winner of the award that was based partly on how much someone has helped and mentored other women, and had an impact on other women's careers.
Moved nearly to tears during a short acceptance speech, Bradley discussed growing up with her sisters and the 'hood (sisterhood), as they called themselves.
"I am most flattered to be the recipient of the award," Bradley told an audience of about 150 at a reception at the show. Her advice to others was to mentor other women, as she said she was mentored: "Look back and remember how you got there."
Her suggestions: Return a phone call to someone you don't know. Do an interview with someone who wants to be in the industry. Help a college student. Listen to ideas.
Other nominees were: Nona Barker, Amber Brookman, Carolyn Cook, Neide Cooley, Christine Downs, Andrea Gabbard, Sally McCoy, Melissa McKenzie, Melodie Miller, Liz Robbins and Ellen Wessel.
Bradley began her outdoor path in retail after college at The Boulder Mountaineer, mostly because she wanted the discounts. After becoming manager there later and staying for nine years, she moved on to management positions at Lowe Alpine Systems, Nike ACG, Harley Davidson (don't ask), back to Nike, to the Salomon Design Center, consulting work, and work with the Outdoor Industry Association. She recently joined Catalyst Communications in Boulder.
The Pioneering Woman Award will be given each year at Winter Market, while the Leadership Award will be given at Summer Market.