Choose Outdoors Expands Board of Directors and Staff

Choose Outdoors (www.chooseoutdoors.org), whose mission is to promote outdoor recreation and active lifestyles through support for public lands and waters, today named Michelle Barnes as interim president and announced an expanded Board of Directors.
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Choose Outdoors (www.chooseoutdoors.org), whose mission is to promote outdoor recreation and active lifestyles through support for public lands and waters, today named Michelle Barnes as interim president and announced an expanded Board of Directors.

Barnes replaces founder Bruce Ward who will continue with Choose Outdoors in the role of senior advisor. She has an extensive history of working with the outdoor community, including serving as vice president at Outdoor Industry Association and at Outward Bound, and has broad experience leading nonprofits through various phases of growth. A nation-wide search for a permanent president will commence in spring 2011.

Incoming Choose Outdoors board members include Todd Litzman, president of Brandwise; Jeffrey Olson, a consultant in natural resource management; Elizabeth Simon, sales engineer with Rogers Corporation; and Steve Wilson, marketing director at Waste Management-Recycling. Royal Robbins, a founding Board member, is currently serving as Board chairman.

Board chair Royal Robbins noted, “Over the past 18 months Choose Outdoors has been building recreation coalitions and partnerships to advance outdoor recreation on a local, regional and national scale. We have developed an ambitious strategic plan and are continuing to seek additional Board Members and supporters to further our mission during this exciting transition. Please join us in our important work.”


Bruce Ward and Craig Mackey founded Choose Outdoors in 2009 with support from Outdoor Industry Association, National Ski Areas Association, National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds and America Outdoors Association. A key partner for Choose Outdoors is the US Forest Service. Initiatives in 2009 and 2010 included:
• Provided recommendations and best practices in response to President Obama's America's Great Outdoors Initiative.
• Developed a model for creating recreation oriented collaboratives across the country.
• Worked with 5 USDA Regions to help develop a strategic framework for recreation.
• Created a pilot program for inner-city youth with support from the Mayor of Denver's Safe City office, The North Face, Rotary International Clubs, SOS Outreach, CityWild, Big City Mountaineers and Wonderful Outdoor World.
• Developed a unique partnership with Recareas.com to provide grants to outdoor recreation oriented nonprofits.
• Created the Senate Outdoor Recreation Caucus.
• Developed a communications plan to increase awareness of the devastation caused by the bark beetle in the Rocky Mountain region including establishing various public/private partnerships.


About Choose Outdoors
Choose Outdoors mission is to promote outdoor recreation and active lifestyles through support for public lands and waters; recreation infrastructure; and programs connecting Americans to the outdoors. For more information, please visit www.chooseoutdoors.org, email michelle@chooseoutdoors.org or call 303-949-6483.

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