Jim Hauptman, Blaze Partners
One year ago, while out in Salt Lake City attending Outdoor Retailer, a handful of us met for beers and kicked around the idea of establishing an alliance of Maine outdoor brands. Little did any of us know—or could have imagined—what MOB would become in the short period of time since then. With nearly 50 brands and supporter members, MOB has come to life in a very big, very strong way. It’s important to acknowledge the many people who have lent their energy, talent, and passion to the cause:
James Morin*, Flowfold
David Koorits*, Good To-Go
Alicia MacLeay*, Trailspace
John Milburn*, Stabil
Brian Threlkeld*, BST Photography
Jenna Klein Jonsson*, Jessie Gilligan*, Kevin Kayne, and Shawn Cohen, Blaze Partners
Nancy Fendler, Fendler PR
Nancy Marshall, Nancy Marshall Communications
David Currier, Warren, Currier & Buchanan
Ben Lombard, S.A. Hutnak & Associates
The MOB Advisory Board (names starred above) has been meeting monthly to divide up responsibilities and get the work done. It’s been fun to watch and even more fun to be part of this process. Recaps from each committee lead are below. If you are interested in getting involved, please feel free to reach out to any of the leads. I’m sure they’ll be more than happy to hear from you.
And if you want a more formal intro, send an email to email@example.com and we’ll take care of the rest. Of course, if you know of any outdoor brands, nonprofits, or supporters who might be interested in joining MOB, please steer them to our (awesome) website at www.MaineOutdoorBrands.com.
Executive Director Named
I also would like to introduce our acting/interim executive director, George Kiesewetter. George, Jenna, and I worked together at L.L. Bean for many years. No longer at the company, George reached out soon after the MOB media event in November and asked how he could help.
George has considerable experience in the outdoor industry having been L.L. Bean’s VP/Divisional Merchandise Manager over all of its outdoor business units—camping, hunting, fishing, biking, snow sports, and a few more. Before his time with Bean, George held management roles with the likes of Converse and Adidas, to name just a few. With MOB firing on all cylinders I can’t think of a better person to help keep the alliance moving forward.
If you’re heading to Outdoor Retailer in Denver next week, George will be there. And if you don’t catch him there, I’m sure you’ll see him at a member event in the near future. If you want to drop him a note in the meantime, send one to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Board of Directors
Over the next couple of months, I’ll be focusing more of my time and attention on the MOB Board of Directors. (Many people don’t realize that MOB is a registered non-profit, 501(c)6.) The advisory board has done an incredible job of getting things up and running. The board of directors will augment that work by providing critical support and guidance in ensuring our long-term success. I look forward to sharing updates on our progress in next month’s newsletter.
Best wishes for an amazing 2018, and I hope to see many of you in Denver next week!
John and I have been heading up the membership committee for the past several months. It’s been a busy stretch. We currently have 34 product and service brand members who’ve paid their 2018 dues. Another six companies have submitted their membership applications—we’re just waiting on payment. (You know who you are.)
In response to the overwhelming interest in companies wanting to join MOB, we’ve made some minor adjustments to the membership categories. While we initially launched with just two categories (Brands and Partners), we now recognize three categories: Brands (who will always be the core of the organization), Supporters and Non-Profit Partners.
360 Media Ventures
Allspeed Cyclery & Snow
Brant & Cochran
Hyperlite Mountain Gear
Maine Outdoor Film Festival
Maine-Lee Technology Group
Malone Auto Racks
Sabattus Disc Golf
Shaw & Tenney
Summer Feet Cycling
Tick Me Off Maine
Wallace James Clothing Co.
MOB Supporters fall into three distinct subcategories: Trailhead ($1k), Treeline ($2.5k), and Summit ($5k). Visibility and interaction with MOB member brands is commensurate with level of giving. You’ll be hearing much more about our Supporters in future newsletters and events. If you know of a business that might be interested in becoming a MOB Supporter, please share my email or John’s. And most importantly, please support our Supporters. They’ve got our back—let’s help get theirs.
Supporters (To date)
Nancy Marshall Communications
Portland Design Co.
S.A. Hutnak & Associates
Warren, Currier & Buchanan
MOB’s been approached by nearly 20 non-profits, from AMC to Winterkids, wanting to join our cause. In the spirit of collaboration, we’re waiving dues for conservation/recreation non-profits. In exchange, we’re asking these non-profits to display the MOB logo on their website and to feature MOB in a member newsletter and/or event. There could be other opportunities as well, but more to come on that.
If you’re interested in offering a discount on your product or services to MOB members, please reach out to David Koorits (email@example.com). Our company, Good To-Go, will offer a 40% PRO discount to employees of fellow MOB Brands and MOB Supporters. The discount program is still a work in progress, but the more of us willing to give each other a break, the better.
– Alicia MacLeay, Trailspace
It was incredible to see so many MOB members gather at Bayside Bowl in December for our very first member meet-up. We had more than 50 attendees turn out, which was impressive for such a busy time of year. Thanks to everyone who came out. Trailspace was excited to sponsor this event, and it was wonderful to get to know so many of you better over bowling. We hope you made some new connections for the new year too.
If you’d like to help organize and sponsor the next member meet-up in March, or at another future date, please let me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or another Advisory Board member know. Quarterly meet-ups are a great way to connect with other outdoor industry members in casual, fun settings. They can be held around the state and in whatever basic format inspires you and your brand. Pick a place and a date and go from there!
Maine Legislature Hall of Flags: March 20
Mark your calendars for Tuesday, March 20. MOB has reserved the Maine Legislature’s Hall of Flags starting at 1 p.m. Please join us in the State House in Augusta that afternoon to meet legislators and their staff, offer up refreshments and snacks, and spread the word about your Maine outdoor brand and MOB’s mission. We’ll have more information for members on this event in the next newsletter, so please stay tuned.
Following the Hall of Flags event, we hope you can join us for our next member meet-up, hopefully to be held in the Augusta area. If you have suggestions for the event or want to help organize or sponsor it, please let me (email@example.com) or another Advisory Board member know.
Good To-Go Hosts OR Happy Hours
In the meantime, if you’ll be at Outdoor Retailer out in Denver next week, please join us for happy hours hosted by Good To-Go at 4 p.m. at the MOB Booth (25220-SL) on Friday, January 26, and Saturday, January 27. Or stop by the MOB booth any time during the show. We’d love to see your Maine faces while in Colorado.
We’re excited to be gearing up for MOB’s first ever Outdoor Retailer show happening January 25-28 in Denver, Colorado. The 10’ x 20’ MOB booth will feature product from many of our amazing member brands and will highlight the unique talents from our great state of Maine. With well over 20,000 people attending the trade show, we’re hoping to get all eyes on Maine. If you’ll be out at OR, be sure to stop by the booth (25220-SL) and say “hi.” And don’t forget to take plenty of pictures of the MOB booth for your social media feeds.
A big thank-you to all of our members, our wonderful Advisory Board, and of course Kevin Kayne (Blaze Partners) and Nimlok for helping dial in our booth design and layout. This was truly a team effort and we’re looking forward to the impact MOB will have in Colorado to bring more outdoor recreation business back to Maine.
From the start, we’ve been adamant that Maine Outdoor Brands contribute significantly to Maine’s economy and that outdoor recreation lends itself to a younger more energized workforce. As a result, one goal of MOB has always been to contribute to economic development here in Maine by keeping and drawing in young professionals to work in our outdoor industry.
We have begun talks with Maine colleges and universities to better understand how we can support their initiatives while also getting in front of students and educating them on opportunities with MOB member companies. For starters, there are three immediate ways MOB members can partner with Maine and regional colleges and universities.
1) participate in career fairs,
2) host or co-host career events on campuses, and
3) list job openings for any MOB member on college’s respective career listing websites.
We also may be able to partner with campus internship programs. If any MOB members have open jobs, please email a link to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get them listed on the MOB website. Also, several members have expressed interest in sharing a summer intern. If you’re interested as well, please drop a note to George Kiesewetter, MOB executive director, at email@example.com.
– Jessie Gilligan, Blaze Partners
MOB’s social presence will be an important channel for communicating MOB accomplishments and news, sharing goings-on with the broader outdoor and Maine community, and supporting our members’ online initiatives. We’re currently establishing MOB’s online presence and building our following (find us on Facebook and Instagram), and in 2018 will focus on increased engagement and organic growth.
We encourage all of our members to share events, photos, and announcements with us so we can create a rich, purposeful social experience that people look forward to seeing. If you’re interested in an Instagram takeover or just have something cool you’d like us to share and promote on your behalf, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please like and follow MOB on Facebook and Instagram and, of course, always share our content.