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Outdoor retail co-op Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI), the nation’s leading retailer of quality outdoor gear and clothing, has hired Catherine Walker to the position of vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary.
As vice president, general counsel, Walker will oversee the company’s legal issues, provide legal guidance and counsel to REI leadership and serve as corporate secretary.
She began her legal career in private practice in Seattle, working on commercial litigation and business reorganizations. She later joined Westin Hotels & Resorts where for 10 years she led the legal department, managing a breadth of international and domestic legal issues before joining Seattle University six years ago. While at Seattle University she served as vice president for administration/university counsel and secretary, providing oversight to several university departments, including legal, human resources, information technology and bookstore.
Walker is a member of the Washington State Bar Association, King County Bar Association and the Northwest Women’s Law Center. She previously served on the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission, as well as REI’s board of directors, a post she resigned last month to join REI’s staff. In addition, she co-founded and volunteers for the Plymouth Healing Communities â€“ an organization that provides supportive housing for formerly homeless people who are in treatment for mental illness â€“ for which she currently serves as its board president. She’s also an avid outdoor enthusiast who enjoys backpacking, cycling, hiking and cross-country skiing.
REI is an outdoor retail co-op dedicated to inspiring, educating and outfitting its 2.8 million active members and the community for a lifetime of outdoor adventure. Founded in 1938 by a group of Pacific Northwest mountaineers seeking quality equipment, REI operates retail stores nationwide, two online stores â€“ REI.com and REI-OUTLET.com â€“ and an adventure travel company, REI Adventures. REI offers products from all of the top brands for camping, climbing, cycling, hiking, outdoor fitness, paddling, snow sports and travel, including its own line of award-winning gear and apparel. While anyone may join or shop at REI, members pay a one-time $15 fee and receive a share in the company’s profits through an annual member refund based on their purchases. As an active supporter of the communities in which it does business, REI is committed to promoting environmental stewardship and increasing access to outdoor recreation through education, volunteerism, gear donations and financial contributions.