REI Announces 2008 Board Election Results at Annual Membership Meeting

Celebrating its 70th anniversary as a retail cooperative serving the gear and apparel needs of outdoor enthusiasts, Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI), announced its 2008 board election results during its annual membership meeting held March 31.
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Cooperative members voted to return incumbents Jesse King, Cheryl Scott and Michael Smith to three-year terms.

King of Evergreen, Colo., is serving his first term on the REI board of directors. In July 2007 he was appointed by the board to a one-year term. King is the managing director for Fulcrum Advisors where he consults corporate, government and non-profit sectors in philanthropy, organizational strategy and leadership development.

Scott of Seattle, Wash., is serving a second term after her initial election in 2005. Scott currently serves as the chief operating officer of The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and is a clinical professor for the University of Washington School of Public Health.

Smith of Seattle, Wash., is entering his sixth year on REI's board after his initial appointment in 2002. He is currently the president and CEO of Bag, Borrow or Steal, the first “luxury on loan” company that offers women's designer accessories. He is also the former CEO of Lands' End, Inc.

The REI board of directors also selected its officers for 2007. Anne Farrell, former president and CEO of the Seattle Foundation, was-elected as chair. Ivar Chhina of Burlingame, Calif., was elected vice chair.

At the membership meeting REI president and CEO Sally Jewell thanked outgoing chair Doug Walker for his service to the co-op. As the outgoing chair, Walker is retiring from the board in accordance with co-op term limits.

“As an avid climber and cyclist, Doug has always brought the soul of an active outdoors enthusiast to the REI board and epitomizes how individuals can help get others recreating outdoors. Combined with his exceptional business experience and community service, he has been an important part of shaping REI during the past 12 years,” said Jewell.

During Walker's tenure with the board of directors, the co-op achieved many significant milestones, including growing REI from $500 million in sales to more than $1 billion, and expanding from 44 stores to nearly 100 stores while maintaining its position on FORTUNE's “100 Best Companies to Work For in America” list.

Last month, the cooperative announced its 2007 sales of $1.3 billion, representing an increase of 13.5 percent from the previous year. The company also distributed $62.8 million to 3.4 million active members through the annual patronage dividend. Based on its 2007 operating profits, REI will dedicate $3.7 million through its grants program in support of conservation and recreational access in the coming year. Since 1938, more than 8.75 million individuals have become REI members.

REI is a national outdoor retail co-op dedicated to inspiring, educating and outfitting its members and the community for a lifetime of outdoor adventure and stewardship. Founded in 1938 by a group of Pacific Northwest mountaineers seeking quality equipment, REI operates retail stores nationwide, two online stores – http://www.rei.com and http://www.REI-OUTLET.com – and an adventure travel company, REI Adventures. REI offers products from all of the top brands for camping, climbing, cycling, fitness, hiking, paddling, snow sports and travel, including its own line of award-winning outdoor gear and apparel. While anyone may join or shop at REI, members pay a one-time $20 fee and receive a share in the company's profits through an annual member refund based on their purchases. As an active supporter of the communities in which it does business, REI is committed to promoting environmental stewardship and increasing access to outdoor recreation through education, volunteerism, gear donations and financial contributions.

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