Media Room


Governor Kate Brown
Oregon Outdoor Recreation Summit
Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Thank you all for being here today. You are relentless advocates for Oregon, and your thoughtful contributions and hard work are invaluable.

I am thrilled to join Dan [Little] onstage to talk about one of the topics very close to my heart personally— finding more ways to support people enjoying the fabulous natural beauty our state has to offer.

Oregonians share a special connection with the outdoors.

People flock to our beautiful state for our majesty. But they stay because this is a great place to put down roots—to build their families and their lives—because we value our environment.

We value the land.

We value clean air and water.

We value its contributions to our industry, to our spirits and our livelihoods.

While we are surrounded by incredible natural beauty, we are also infused with something more: a progressive spirit, and a commitment to tangible and effective environmental policy.

This session, I am working on that in a variety of ways:

● Banning offshore drilling in Oregon
● The Oregon Environmental Protection Act
● Cap and invest to tackle greenhouse gas emissions

But you can’t just protect the outdoors, you have to enable access, too.
Getting outdoors is good for well-being, for both physical and mental health.

It’s part of what keeps me grounded. I have loved the outdoors all my life, but Oregon opened new opportunities.

We are incredibly privileged to have at close range an incredible diversity of sights, ecosystems and experiences.

By and large, outdoor enthusiasts come from backgrounds of privilege. It takes know-how and equipment to explore.

But that privilege needs to be extended to be more inclusive by further expanding access and awareness. It is not just the state’s role, but everyone’s role, to do that.

One way is through the Governor’s Task Force on the Outdoors, a group I’ve put together with a clear, time-limited directive to recommend policies, legislation, and initiatives to support economic development in both rural and urban areas.

They have the charge to balance improved recreation access with resource protection, and increase outdoor recreation participation.

Another way we’re working on that is through a new initiative called the Roadmap to the Outdoors. Our First Gentleman, Dan, is helping lead that charge. I’ll hand it over for a quick minute so he can share more.

[Dan Little Delivers Remarks]

Thank you, Dan. I’m thrilled to be able to kick off our first panel today on the gender gap in the outdoor industry.

Our panelists today will dive into the issue and discuss the causes and symptoms of the gender gap in the outdoor industry, the importance of women in outdoor industry leadership roles, how men can be champions for their female colleagues, and much more.

Our moderator is Holly Van Fleet, an REI Co-op Retail store manager with 25 years of leadership experience in the outdoor industry where she focuses on organizational health and the stewardship of the places we love to recreate.

Holly will be leading three fantastic women in conversation:
● Lauren Fleshman. First an international pro track and field athlete representing the US around the world, then social media and blog maven, now entrepreneur and coach.
● Serilda Summers-McGee, whose company helps organizations realize workplace excellence, which she outlines in her book Change the Workgame: Building and Sustaining a
   Diverse Workforce.
● Mona West, a consumer brand marketing, sales, and product management executive. For the past 10 years she has chosen to focus on brands that enable people to have
   transformational experiences outdoors from Thermarest to the National Park Service, and a lot in between.

I’ll hand it over to Holly to take it away--thank you!