Building on The Coleman Company, Inc.'s 106-year history of bringing Americans outdoors, Gary A. Kiedaisch, the company's President and CEO, met with President George W. Bush in the Oval Office on Monday to pledge the company's and the outdoor industry's support in connecting America's youth with the great outdoors, and to express appreciation for the president's ongoing support for recreation.
The reasons for the meeting were threefold. First, to thank President Bush for his commitment to outdoor recreation, proclaiming June as Great Outdoors Month, bringing focus to the outdoors as a national priority. Second, to draw attention to the president's stewardship of America's magnificent outdoor recreational resources. And third, to encourage a greater partnership between the government and the outdoor industry in bringing Americans â€“ especially young people â€“ back outside.
â€œOutdoor recreation gets us off the couch, out of our sedentary lifestyle, and back outside to enjoy all that nature has to offer,â€ Kiedaisch said. â€œColeman would like to work with business and government to come up with sustainable solutions to getting Americans back outdoors and recreating. As the world's largest outdoor company, we are already working with outdoor advocacy organizations to reach the public with the message that spending time with nature is the best way to revitalize mind, body and spirit. But there is much more that can be done.â€
In 2002, President Bush issued Executive Order 13266, which directed federal land managing agencies to work together to get the American public more physically active outdoors. Resulting from that order, there is now a working group under the auspices of the President's Council on Physical Fitness & Sports. From that groundwork, Kiedaisch, who previously has served on public/private sector organizations including the United States Olympic Committee and the United States Ski Team Foundation, hopes to see the council's mission expanded to include such lifetime outdoor activities as camping, hiking, climbing, biking and water sports.
â€œAttendance at national parks is down almost 10 percent, and young people are spending as much as six hours a day in front of their computers and TV screens, which cuts into the time they could be recreating outdoors,â€ Kiedaisch said. â€œNature deficit is a real threat to the health of our children. Studies have shown that exposure to nature and being active outdoors may be just the right antidote to an epidemic of obesity and many other problems kids face today.â€
Kiedaisch, who is a long-time friend of the Sununu family, was accompanied by the Senator from New Hampshire, John Sununu Jr.; as well as Martin Franklin, Chairman of Jarden Corporation, Coleman's parent company; and Mike Haugen, an eighth grade science teacher, mountain climber and one of Coleman's outdoor ambassadors.
At the meeting, Kiedaisch delivered a commemorative lantern â€“ one of more than 60 million fuel lanterns produced by the company since 1900 â€“ and a letter to President Bush (attached) discussing the industry's interest in partnering with government to get people off the couch, away from their computer and TV screens, and back into the outdoors.
The Coleman Company, Inc. is an international leader in the innovation and marketing of outdoor products, including its legendary lanterns, as well as stoves, tents, sleeping bags, backpacks, coolers, furniture and grills. Its products are sold and used all over the world. Coleman embraces its leadership role as an advocate for the outdoors, contributing to outdoor causes and inspiring people to get outside. Founded in 1900 and based in Wichita, Kan., Coleman is a wholly owned subsidiary of Jarden Corporation, and can be found online at www.coleman.com. Consumers can contact Coleman by phone at 800-835-3278 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note to media: News releases and images are available upon request or can be downloaded at www.coleman.com/newsroom.
ColemanÂ® is a registered trademark of The Coleman Company, Inc.
Jarden Corporation is a leading provider of niche consumer products used in and around the home. Jarden operates in three primary business segments through a number of well recognized brands, including; Branded Consumables: BallÂ®, BeeÂ®, BicycleÂ®, CrawfordÂ®, DiamondÂ®, ForsterÂ®, HoyleÂ®, KerrÂ®, LehighÂ®, Leslie-LockeÂ® and Loew-CornellÂ®; Consumer Solutions: BionaireÂ®, Crock-PotÂ®, First AlertÂ®, FoodSaverÂ®, HarmonyÂ®, Health o meterÂ®, HolmesÂ®, Mr. CoffeeÂ®, OsterÂ®, PattonÂ®, RivalÂ®, Seal-a-MealÂ®, SunbeamÂ®, VillaWareÂ® and White Mountainâ„¢; and Outdoor Solutions: CampingazÂ® and ColemanÂ®. Headquartered in Rye, N.Y., Jarden has more than 16,000 employees worldwide and is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (symbol: JAH).