Panel #1: Economic Development: In the face of competition from around the country, how can Boulder, Fort Collins, and surrounding communities maintain and grow their outdoor sectors?
Keynote: Luis Benitez, Director, Colorado Outdoor Recreation Industry
Judy Amabile, President, Product Architects, Inc. (Polar Bottle®)
Nicole DeBoom, CEO & Founder, Skirt Sports, Inc.
Clif Harald, Executive Director, Boulder Economic Council
Amy Roberts, Executive Director, Outdoor Industry Association
Steve Sashen, CEO & Founder, Xero Shoes
Panel #2: Innovation in the Outdoor Space: Hear these dynamic leaders discuss some of their companies’ latest innovations — and what it takes to develop cutting-edge products in the epicenter of the outdoor industry.
Jeff Bowman, CEO, 37.5/Cocona Inc.
Gear Fisher, CEO, Peaksware
Ken McDonald, Chief Growth Officer, TeamSnap
JP O’Brien, CEO & Managing Director, Black Lab Sports
Over the course of a decade, Luis Benitez has quietly emerged amongst a growing field of inspirational adventurers as one of the more experienced, respected and busiest professional guides and leadership development consultants in the world. Throughout his career, Luis has summited the top of the famed “Seven Summits” a cumulative 32 times, including being a six-time summiteer of Mt. Everest. Benitez also has attempted the famed K2 in 2010.
Between managing expeditions on some of the most remote peaks in the world, while consulting with a deep and varied group of clientele, Benitez works to tie the lessons available from the mountains and carry them back to the everyday challenges of life and business during his keynote presentations and seminars.
As Chief Growth Officer at TeamSnap, Ken oversees all marketing and sales efforts to drive TeamSnap’s growth. During his four years at TeamSnap the company has grown from 500,000 individual users to over 11 million users and 2,000 B2B accounts.
Judy Amabile is the President and Co-founder of Product Architects, Inc. The company manufactures and distributes reusable plastic water bottles under the Polar Bottle brand. The company began operations in 1994. Polar Bottle branded bottles are sold through retailers such as Dick’s Sporting Goods, Target, Academy and many others. They are also sold internationally to over 45 countries around the world. The Sport and Ergo line of bottles are manufactured entirely in the USA, mostly in Denver and Boulder, CO.
Nicole founded Skirt Sports in September 2004 with the mission of helping women find inspiration, confidence and courage through the transformative power of running and fitness. Today, Skirt Sports is a national women’s apparel brand offering a full line of products that fit real women’s bodies and support their busy running lives. Currently, you can find Nicole chatting with customers at the Skirt Sports Boulder flagship store, helping women change their lives through her non-profit organization Running Start, interviewing visionaries for her popular podcast Run This World and chasing around her 4-year-old girl, Wilder.
Clif was named the Executive Director of the Boulder Economic Council in 2011. He has over a dozen years of economic development leadership experience in Boulder County and the metro Denver region. He has held management positions in private industry, including financial services and IT, and founded his own management consulting practice. Clif has a Master of Urban Planning degree from the University of Washington and an undergraduate degree from the University of Colorado.
Amy Roberts is the Executive Director of Outdoor Industry Association, which is the trade association and voice of the outdoor recreation industry, serving more than 4,000 manufacturers, distributors, suppliers, sales representatives and retailers.
Jeff Bowman is a business executive with unique experience and success in the outdoor equipment, apparel, footwear and medical device industries. He obtained an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania after previously attending Washington State University. Jeff holds numerous patents, and has served as an expert witness and management consultant in the outdoor and medical industries.
Gear graduated from Colorado State University in 1991 with a Bachelors of Science degree in Civil Engineering. After 6 years, it became clear his head and heart were not aligned, so he followed his passion and changed careers, becoming a web developer for a local internet consulting firm in 1997. Learning everything from database architecture, programming and IP networking, he rode the tidal wave of growth surrounding the greatest innovation in our recent lifetime: the world wide web. Having grown up in Colorado, he enjoys skiing, cycling, golf and spending time with his wife and two daughters.
JP O’Brien is an entrepreneur. His underlying passion beings with building strong teams and executing in rapidly growing and changing markets. JP is CEO and Managing Director of Black Lab Sports, a sports tech incubator and investment company based in of Boulder, CO. He prefers to start new conversations by understanding core purpose. He invests in people and execution ability over idea or product. JP believes the impossible is possible with the right people.