The OIA Development Board’s First Meeting

The OIA ran its first Development Board meeting, on Friday 23rd of November fittingly hosted by the Youth Hostel Association at their Manchester City Venue.

The Development Board is a new OIA initiative with the UK outdoor industry future as its focus. During a 9 month consultation period, over 60 future industry leaders were interviewed on their perspectives on the OIA and the changes facing the industry, and how they thought they could steer both if given the opportunity.

The board will act as a platform for the younger members of the OIA and as a directive to the whole organisation on developing our membership, communication, diversity and sustainability; the four key threads of operation that came out of the consultancy.

There will be a digital forum to engage the entire group consulted, and future interested parties, and a physical board of 10 -12 which will meet 3-4 times a year. The next meeting will be at the OIA AGM, and the DB will run a workshop on the second day on their objectives which we welcome you to attend.

The Development Board members are:

Sam Fernando, Sales Director, Keela – Chair

Andy Green, Commercial Director , Sport Pursuit – Vice Chair

Tom Caine, Senior Buyer, Go Outdoors

Rob Birell, Marketing Director, AMG Group

Terry Stephenson, Head of Marketing and E-commerce, Montane

James MacNamara, Managing Director, Craghoppers

Alex Messenger, Head of Communications and Marketing, BMC

Ronnie Legg, Design Manager, Alpkit

Claire Carter, Engagement Officer, OIA

David Bowler, Marketing & Communications, OIA

During their first meeting, the Development Board elected Sam Fernando as Chair and Andy Green as Vice Chair. Both are passionately committed to the initiative, and to the time ahead for UK industry.Sam Fernando commented ‘I think there is real energy, enthusiasm and commitment to push ahead and make a real difference for the industry as a whole’.

In the discussion, the board expressed a commitment to achieving real, measurable outcomes within their first year. The initial focus of these will be an evaluation of OIA communication and previous research, with intent to commission new research to engage a growth in membership.

If you are interested in joining the Digital Development Board forum or have any questions, please contact