REI appoints chief diversity and social impact officer

The co-op has appointed Wilma Wallace, who formerly served as its general counsel and corporate secretary, to take on the newly-created role.

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REI Co-op has created a new C-level position to next level its racial equity, diversity and inclusion efforts at an enterprise level by promoting Wilma Wallace to build and lead a new Diversity and Social Impact Office.

Wallace joined REI in 2017. She was previously the co-op’s general counsel and corporate secretary, while also working outside of REI on a variety of nonprofit boards for organizations focused on equity and human rights, including Camber Outdoors and Landesa

“Since joining the co-op in 2017, Wilma has played a number of critical roles—leading our legal team, serving as executive sponsor of the BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) inclusion network and helping shape our organizational REDI strategy,” says REI Co-op CEO Eric Artz. “Her rich experience in global human rights and her passion for advancing racial equity at the co-op and in the outdoor and retail industries make her the ideal person to lead this work forward.” 

While REI searches for a new general counsel, the legal division will still report into Wallace.

“The co-op is uniquely positioned to lead in transforming the outdoor industry into a more diverse and inclusive space where all can thrive outside,” says Wallace. “This is a moment for the co-op to make a difference, and I am grateful to be able to bring together my life-long commitment to advancing equity, inclusion and justice, my love for the outdoors and my own lived experience and passion for social change in my work.” 

REI plans to recruit for additional roles in the Diversity and Social Impact Office over the coming months. Interested professionals can learn more about available positions and apply online at REI.com/jobs.