Asheville, NC (February 4, 2019) - Kicking off the new year with a new position, the Outdoor Gear Builders of Western North Carolina (OGB) - a collective of 30+ outdoor brands based in WNC - welcomes the first paid position to their ranks, Kaylee Larkin. Larkin, who is an active member of the greater Western North Carolina community and an avid lover of the outdoors, will fill the new role of Network Manager. Her background in promotion, sales, and events marketing make her the perfect candidate to work with the OGB to expand the boundaries of the growing outdoor community in Western North Carolina.

The position has been made possible by the POWER grant the OGB received at the end of 2018. As the Network Manager, Larkin will focus on member communication and enable the organization to expand its footprint, and impact, by adding more network partners, affiliate partners, and sponsorships.

“I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to work with the community of talented people within the OGB and Western North Carolina,” said Larkin. “I was attracted by the organization's collaborative mission to foster and encourage a close-knit network in order to further grow the expanding outdoor industry of the region."

Kaylee Larkin is the OGB's first official hire

Kaylee Larkin is the OGB's first official hire

The OGB was founded in 2013 as a collaboration between Sylvan Sport and Eagles Nest Outfitters. It has since flourished into a regional member group that holds its own outdoor festival - the Get In Gear Fest - and media camp annually. The brands involved range from newcomers like Fifth Element Camping to industry vets like Astral. The member brands focus on supporting and collaborating with each other to help the area’s outdoor industry flourish. Run entirely by a voluntary board up until now, the group’s Vice Chairman, Kyle Mundt of SylvanSport, is excited about the new position dedicated to growth.

“All of us at the OGB are thrilled to bring Kaylee on board,” he said of Larkin. “We have a fantastic opportunity to grow and improve the OGB and help our member companies reach new levels of success. Kaylee will be a key driver in this exciting stage of growth for our organization.”

The OGB Network Manager position is tasked with advancing the OGB’s mission and strategic goals by increasing member engagement via regular communications and recruiting levels of membership and sponsorship. It will also assist in seeking out opportunities for member companies to increase exposure and sales, as well as coordinate with the Growing Outdoors regional initiative (learn more at to expand WNC’s outdoor industry.

“I intend to apply my networking and communication skills to increase membership engagement, cultivate community partnerships and help secure long-term growth and success for the OGB,” Larkin said of her new role.

The OGB credits Mountain Bizworks and the Appalachian Regional Commission for the ability to hire this new position. Without the $124,250 gifted to the group from the POWER Grant, it would not have been possible to hire Larkin to be an integral part of the OGB community.

To learn more about the Outdoor Gear Builders and its members, please visit:




The Outdoor Gear Builders of WNC are Western North Carolina-based companies collaborating to share talents, encourage new ideas and inspire each other. Our member brands are dedicated to creating exceptional outdoor gear with a focus on responsible manufacturing, cutting edge innovation, and economic growth in our region. Our motto is: “Extraordinary Gear Made Here.”