PORTLAND, Maine (September 30, 2021) — Maine Outdoor Brands (MOB), the outdoor business alliance working to strengthen Maine’s outdoor recreation economy, is pleased to share a leadership shift leading into the new year: Kay Henry succeeds Jim Hauptman as Maine Outdoor Brands’ board president.
Kay Henry has been a MOB board member for three years, but her experience in the outdoor industry is more accurately measured in decades. She was one of the original founders of Mad River Canoe, and upon selling the company in 1998, together with her husband, Rob Center, created the non-profit Northern Forest Canoe Trail – a 740 mile water trail that follows historic Native American travel routes. She’s a former board member of American Rivers, the New England Advisory Council of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, University of Vermont’s Rubenstein School of the Environment, the Outdoor Industry Association and Maine Island Trail Association. Henry will continue to help fuel MOB’s growth, as well as that of the state’s outdoor recreation economy.
“The pandemic has shown us how important outdoor recreation is to Maine – and to its future. Maine’s outdoor brands are uniquely positioned to meet rising demand for outdoor gear and services, and become a larger economic driver in the state, said Kay Henry, incoming president of Maine Outdoor Brands. “As an entrepreneur in the outdoor industry, I’ve learned first-hand what it takes to build a successful brand. MOB has a valuable role to play in being a catalyst for growth and uniting the industry, and I am humbled to serve as board chair.”
“For the past four years as MOB’s president, I’ve had the honor of guiding our alliance from its infancy to the vibrant and highly respected organization it has become today,” said Jim Hauptman, outgoing president of Maine Outdoor Brands. “Kay is infinitely qualified to take over the role and will no doubt continue to help fuel MOB’s growth, as well as that of the state’s outdoor recreation economy.”
Hauptman, managing partner at Blaze Partners, in Yarmouth, will continue to serve on the board for another year, focusing his time and energy on MOB’s sister organization, the Maine Outdoor Foundation, founded in 2020.
Maine Outdoor Brands is also excited to announce the addition of two new board members to its roster: Ponch Membreño and Jen Brophy.
Ponch Membreño started his career in the outdoors as an outdoor educator and wilderness trip leader. He later applied those leadership experiences to work in business and management on the business side of the outdoor industry. He has been the Wilderness Trip director at Merrowvista, a Senior Manager at Toad&Co and most recently teamed up with the founder of Intrinsic Provisions, an outdoor lifestyle shop that connects consumers to socially conscious and sustainable brands.
A County native, Jen Brophy is the second-generation owner of the Red River Camps, in the Deboullie township. She has been active in advocating for the sporting camp and outdoor industries since she took over the business in 2009, serving as the president of the Maine Sporting Camp Association for five years, as a member of the Aroostook County Tourism board, and as a member of advisory and steering committees for Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and Land Use Planning Commission.
“With the addition of Ponch and Jen to our board, we expand our reach across the state and deepen our bench of outdoor industry expertise,” said Jenny Kordick, executive director of Maine Outdoor Brands. “Both have a wealth of experiences in – and outside of – Maine that will provide valuable perspective to our efforts to strengthen Maine’s outdoor recreation economy.”
About Maine Outdoor Brands
Maine Outdoor Brands continues to work to unite, grow, and give a voice to the state’s outdoor recreation industry, supporting knowledge sharing, collaborative marketing, and commerce efforts and access to professional resources. MOB is committed to seeing Maine-based products, services, and retail brands thrive, and today has over 130 members and supporters that are a part of the mission. The organization was formed by leaders from Blaze Partners, Good To-Go, Flowfold, Trailspace and Stabil (now owned by Implus) in 2017.