The Outdoor Foundation board of directors announced that Executive Director Chris Fanning is resigning to become the natural and historical resources chief for Prince George’s County (located just outside of Washington, D.C.).
The Outdoor Foundation board, the philanthropic arm of Outdoor Industry Association (OIA), has established a search committee to lead the leadership transition process. Fanning will leave her post on January 24, 2017.
The Outdoor Foundation works with and supports OIA to advance the outdoor participation pillar of the industry. It raises nearly $2.5 million annually to fuel three key strategic initiatives: youth engagement, community investment and participation research.
“We appreciate Chris’ strong vision and leadership, which have helped drive the Outdoor Foundation’s impactful fundraising, grant-making and programming, reaching tens of thousands of youth annually,” said Jim Zwiers, chairman of the Foundation board of directors and president of Wolverine outdoor & lifestyle group. “These initiatives have mobilized resources within and outside of the outdoor industry to activate outdoor participation, and we want to thank Chris for her work and lasting impact. We look forward to collaborating with the OIA and industry leaders in this transition as we partner to accelerate outdoor engagement and participation for future generations.”
“It has been a privilege working shoulder to shoulder with so many dedicated people who care deeply about the vitality of the outdoor industry and engaging a new generation of outdoor champions. I appreciate the tireless work and generous collaboration of my team, industry members, nonprofit partners and the many funders that I have had the honor to work with. I look forward to the continued progress of the Foundation in its mission,” said Fanning.
Fanning was the Outdoor Foundation’s first executive director and worked with the board and staff to build an organization that is inspiring a new generation of outdoor enthusiasts. Ivan Levin, deputy director for the Outdoor Foundation, with support from the board and OIA Executive Director Amy Roberts, will be leading the Foundation’s work during the transition.
Looking ahead, in partnership with OIA, the Outdoor Foundation will continue to work with industry partners, nonprofit organizations and other funders and stakeholders to increase outdoor participation among youth.