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Asheville, NC— Roanne Miller, President of Grassroots Outdoor Alliance, will be departing the organization at the end of this summer. Miller’s decision to leave the organization comes after five years of steadfast leadership, during which time she has helped transform Grassroots into one of most trusted and respected voices in the industry
In making the announcement, Miller said, “My role at Grassroots has been the culmination of 34 years in the outdoor industry. I’ve been able to take my experiences in retail, manufacturing and guiding and roll them all into one job that supports something that I have always been passionate about: ensuring that the independent outdoor specialty retailer remains a key part of the outdoor industry. The reason I got into this business was not only my love of the outdoors and the lifestyle it promotes, but the people that have made this industry a special and unique place. No one represents that better than the 50 independent outdoor retailers and the vendor partners with whom I have had the honor to work and represent for the last five years.”
Roanne joined Grassroots in fall 2009 and was tasked by the Grassroots Board of Directors with maintaining the high standards and rigid qualifications for Grassroots membership while growing both retail membership and vendor partnerships; refocusing the Grassroots trade shows to make them more valuable for retailers and vendors alike, creating a professional and highly regarded organization within the outdoor industry and increasing the group’s leadership in the areas of community development and conservation. Miller added, “I believe I have achieved the goals I was challenged to accomplish five years ago, and I am ready to spend more time with my family and have additional time to explore some of the other goals and passions I have on my bucket list! Grassroots stands stronger than ever and is in a great position to move forward to keep independent outdoor specialty vibrant and strong.”
Starting in the industry when she was seventeen, Miller’s career has spanned more than thirty-four years and has included stints with Marmot, Patagonia, and Levi Strauss.
Gordon Seabury, the CEO of Toad & Co, commented, “Roanne has been a close friend, professional colleague and a truly incredible leader and advocate for the Grassroots Outdoor Alliance. She has built partnerships that will last a lifetime and has single handedly changed the nature of relationships between innovative outdoor retailers and like-minded vendor partners. It is hard to fully articulate her impact on Grassroots and its importance to the Outdoor Industry in the 21st century. While I am so sad to see her go, Roanne can proudly leave knowing she has changed all she has touched and that she is considered family for those of us lucky enough to have known her as a friend and colleague.”
Roanne’s five years with Grassroots reflect an incredible commitment to the specialty retailer’s importance to the outdoor industry, and throughout her tenure the organization has seen impressive growth:
- 78% increase in Retail Members (to a total of 50 Retailers, representing over 100 storefronts across the US)
- The addition of a second fall trade show to compliment the Grassroots Spring Summit
- 76% increase in Vendor Partnerships
- Surpassed milestone of $250M in Retail Member sales nationwide
- Facilitated Grassroots raising over $800,000 for local environmental and social causes
Grassroots Outdoor Alliance has not issued a statement on who will replace Miller this fall, but a search team is currently recruiting her successor. Dawson Wheeler, owner of Rock/Creek and also a Grassroots Board Member sums it up well, “You do not replace a Roanne Miller; you honor her by carrying her legacy and accomplishments at Grassroots Outdoor Alliance forward. She was hired to fulfill a mission for Grassroots, and she far surpassed her goals. Under her leadership, we nearly doubled the number of retailers in the group, and we grew our sales significantly; well over 40%. Today Grassroots Outdoor Alliance members are better positioned to face competition and change and flourish in the outdoor specialty environment. Our membership, both retailers and vendors, are better aligned to meet each other’s goals thanks to Roanne’s hard work. Grassroots’ brand and voice is centered and focused and poised for continued success.”
Grassroots Outdoor Alliance unites 50 independent outdoor retailers with over 100 doors in 28 states, as a strong voice to protect and promote the experience of outdoor enthusiasts across the United States. To learn more about Grassroots Outdoor Alliance, visit our website at www.grassrootsoutdoors.com.