Outdoor Industry Association Leadership Conference:Coming to Chattanooga October 11 – 14, 2006

The Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) will hold its annual leadership and learning conference, the Rendezvous, in Chattanooga Tennessee October 11 – 14. The event draws hundreds of high level outdoor industry professionals to one location for seminars, speakers, and active outdoor recreation excursions that promote the growth and success of the outdoor industry.

BOULDER, CO – The Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) will hold its annual leadership and learning conference, the Rendezvous, in Chattanooga Tennessee October 11 – 14. The event draws hundreds of high level outdoor industry professionals to one location for seminars, speakers, and active outdoor recreation excursions that promote the growth and success of the outdoor industry. This year, OIA selected Chattanooga for the conference because of its connectedness and commitment to outdoor recreation, and the community's focus on an environmental and sustainability ethic.

“Chattanooga is a community that clearly supports outdoor recreation; the driving force behind the success and growth of the outdoor industry,” remarked Frank Hugelmeyer, President of OIA. “The location provides a reflection of the lessons in learning and professional development that occur at the Rendezvous.”

Furthermore, the outdoor industry has a strong presence in the Southeast with product manufacturers, specialty outdoor retailers, and other industry services and businesses. A recent report by the Outdoor Industry Foundation cited the $730 billion economic contribution of active outdoor recreation to the US economy. In the Southeast, outdoor recreation equipment and trip sales alone amount to an astounding $65 million to the regional economy each year. Chattanooga's commitment to keep outdoor recreation a priority in planning, development, and preservation has not gone unnoticed by the outdoor industry.

Rendezvous Programming – Drawing from local resources
Along with the beauty of fall in Chattanooga the area offers speaker opportunities that integrate the regional flavor into the Rendezvous. Former Tennessee Senator and U.S. Trade Representative William E. Brock will share his experience with trade policy, the current political climate of global trade and its impact on the global outdoor industry market. The agenda also features a panel entitled Chattanooga: A Model of Sustainability in Community. This session will include Philip Grymes of Outdoor Chattanooga and Jim Bowen of RiverCity Company, two active participants in recent local community economic development efforts, in discussing the inclusion of extensive outdoor recreation opportunities in Chattanooga's recent development plans.

Outdoor Recreation at the Rendezvous
Most conferences don't schedule play time for canoeing, kayaking, trail running, climbing, and hiking. These activities make up the heart of outdoor industry markets; part of the OIA Rendezvous experience is enjoying regional outdoor recreation opportunities. Local outdoor retailer Rock Creek Outfitters will lead an outing to introduce Rendezvous participants to the recreation opportunities in the Chattanooga area.

Rendezvous Service Project
Since its inception over a decade ago, the Rendezvous has conducted a service project in the local host community that gives event attendees the opportunity to give back to the outdoors. This year, Rendezvous attendees will conduct a service project at McClellan Island, the Chattanooga Audubon Society Preserve, which will enhance the recreation and education opportunities for visitors to the area.

The OIA Rendezvous will be held October 11-14, 2006 in Chattanooga, TN. The conference will be held at the Chattanoogan Hotel. For a complete listing of speakers and events go to http://www.outdoorindustry.org/events.rend.agenda.html

Presenting sponsors for the OIA Rendezvous are Timberland, Kenco Logistic Services, REI, RBC Capital Markets, CenterStone, and Nalgene. Sustaining sponsors are Banff Mountain Film Festival, Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce, CGPR, Dunham Bootmakers, GE Consumer Finance, GoreTex, ISPO, JanSport, Merrell, Outdoor Retailer, Sportsnewsource, and Yellow. Supporting sponsors include Fendler Communications, GearTrends, GoLite, Rock Creek Outfitters, SNEWS, and The Whiting Group. Contributing sponsors include Chattanooga Visitors Center, Kinesys, and Larabar.

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About Outdoor Industry Association
Outdoor Industry Association® (OIA) is a national trade association whose mission is to ensure the growth and success of the outdoor industry. A wide spectrum of leading manufacturers, distributors, suppliers, and retailers of outdoor recreation equipment and services, as well as other related business entities make up OIA member base. OIA programs include representation in government/legislative affairs, cutting edge market research, member cost saving benefits and outreach initiatives to grow participation in outdoor activities and promote healthier lifestyles. Outdoor Industry Association is the exclusive endorser of the Outdoor Retailer tradeshow. For more information go to http://www.outdoorindustry.org or call 303.444.3353.

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