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Camber Outdoors welcomes new executive director

Emily Newman hails from a California social-impact consultancy to lead the organization in its "equity in the outdoors" efforts.

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Camber Outdoors just announced Emily Newman as the Boulder-based organization’s new executive director, ending a national search that lasted nine months.

Newman is described by Camber as a compassionate connector with extensive executive experience in long-term bridge building and leading solutions that help empower inclusive communities.

She founded Beechwood Partners, Inc., a social-impact consultancy in California. Her accomplishments include championing equity and inclusion in hiring practices as well as helping architect a widely recognized Tribal Government charitable giving program, to name a few.

“I am delighted to welcome Emily into the Camber Outdoors family and as a Board, we eagerly look forward to the fresh perspective and community-minded leadership that she will bring to the organization, as well as to the Outdoor Industry,” said Camber Outdoors Board President Steve Meineke. “Emily is a compassionate connector with extensive experience in inclusive systems-thinking that will help to propel workplace equity among our partners.”

Leadership transition at Camber Outdoors

The search for a new executive director began in February, when Deanne Buck resigned after making a controversial statement at Outdoor Retailer Snow Show. She called Camber’s CEO Equity Pledge—signed by 60 mostly white men—the “first of its kind.” The pledge was created to hold leaders accountable for improving DEI (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion) efforts within their companies and to more directly engage under-represented sectors of the U.S. population, specifically people of color (POC).

But within minutes of the announcement, people were upset over two aspects of Buck’s presentation, from the claim that the pledge was the first of its kind to the lack of POC involved in its planning and execution. Months earlier, Teresa Baker, an African-American environmental justice activist, created the Outdoor CEO Diversity Pledge.

Camber Outdoors apologized and brought in Diana Seung as interim director. Baker even issued a statement in May forgiving Camber and “extend[ing] my hand in equitable collaboration.”

The organization also paused its Workplace Equity Working Group efforts while it underwent a review by a third-party consultant. The group was created after Camber announced a shift in its mission from “Equality for all women in the outdoors, from the backcountry to boardroom,” to “Equity in the outdoors, from boardroom to backcountry.”

Now, Camber is ready to move forward with important work in the DEI conversation with Newman at the helm.

“I am proud to join Camber Outdoors as executive director and am committed to advancing the promise of supporting our corporate partners in building diverse and inclusive workplaces,” Newman said. “The Camber Outdoors team and partners, new and old, all play an important role. I look forward to galvanizing our collective voices to inspire a stronger workforce for the future of the active-outdoors community.”

Camber in its announcement said Seung supported the organization “through a period of significant growth and development, and was a powerful asset to the organization in its nationwide executive director search.”

Seung will continue to serve as a member of the Camber Board of Directors, however, she has joined Jack Wolfskin as its general manager of North America.