Grassroots Outdoor Alliance announces New President

Rich Hill

ASHEVILLE, N.C.—August 4, 2016— Grassroots Outdoor Alliance today announced the appointment of Rich Hill as its new president.

“We had over 80 candidates for this position, which speaks very well for our organization,” said Wes Allen, President of Grassroots. “The talent of the applicants was amazing. After an exhaustive search by our search committee, we drilled it down to a small group of interviews, and Rich Hill received our offer. His diverse skill set, coupled with his executive experience, gives us 100% confidence he can lead Grassroots Outdoor Alliance into the future.”

Rich brings over 25 years of outdoor industry experience to his leadership position at Grassroots – from his adventure-filled beginnings as a river guide to his results-focused rise to a senior executive. Most recently, Rich managed the Wholesale, Direct, Retail, Pro Integration, and Growth Management aspects of the agency Compass and Nail. Rich and his partner at Compass and Nail, Craig Wilson, presented several compelling educational seminars at the most recent Grassroots Summit + Connect in Albuquerque, sharing key strategies for growing and sustaining customer loyalty. 

“The opportunity to speak with retailers, reps, and vendors at Grassroots Summit and Connect in Albuquerque illuminated how far this organization has come, and provided a hint on how far it can go,” said Hill.

"Rich Hill is the right person at the right time for Grassroots,” said Chairman of the Grassroots Board, Chris Howe. “He has a breadth of relationships within the industry and almost thirty years of experience with vendors, brands, manufacturers, retailers and just about everyone in between. Rich is fully equipped to guide the growth and positioning of Grassroots in the greater outdoor industry."

The spirit, skill, and deep understanding with which Hill steps into his presidency will help guide Grassroots to achieve its vision of keeping independent outdoor retail vital and central to the outdoor industry as a whole. 

 “Rich Hill will be a great leader for Grassroots moving forward,” said Allen. “Rich brings the rare combination of a background in both manufacturing and specialty retail, as well as a genuine passion for independent outdoor specialty. I have great confidence that by focusing on community, culture and sustainability, Grassroots Outdoor Alliance will continue to provide a unified voice to keep independent outdoor specialty vibrant and strong.”

For Rich, independent specialty retailers – and the relationships they are able to establish with outdoor brands – lie at the heart of the outdoor industry.

“I’m thrilled to be able to move into this position,” said Hill. “Grassroots is in a fantastic spot – strong retailers, industry-leading brands, and an exciting way forward. I believe strongly that independent, specialty retailers – and the brands that have the vision to partner with them in truly meaningful ways – have a bright future.”

Throughout his long tenure in the outdoor industry, Rich has developed a very customer-focused approach – an approach he knows will meld well with the independent specialty retailers and brand partners who comprise Grassroots.

“Grassroots retailers have always set the benchmark when it comes to really connecting with core customers in a retail setting,” said Hill. “The brands that are part of Grassroots are a who’s who of companies that care about our communities and focus on doing well by their customers. I’m excited to have the opportunity to partner with, and learn from, the leaders of the retailers and brands that form Grassroots.”

Rich looks forward to carrying on a legacy of exceptional Grassroots leaders. “Having worked closely with Grassroots since its inception, I feel a deep responsibility to continue to build on the great work laid down by our previous leaders Dave Matz, Roanne Miller, and Wes Allen,” Hill said. “Grassroots is the intersection of retailers, brands, sales reps, and consumers, and it is our job to better serve and create lifelong outdoor advocates.”

Now in its twenty-second year, Grassroots Outdoor Alliance unites 61 independent outdoor retailers with over 127 doors in 31 states, as a strong voice to protect and promote the experience of outdoor enthusiasts across the United States. To learn more about Grassroots Outdoor Alliance, visit