Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 39

1990s

Outdoor Retailer 35th Anniversary
Sierra Mountains. "He took me to the Palisade
Glacier area, which is still one of my favorite
places," he says.
John and Mic not only had a common love of
backpacking, they also shared an entrepreneurial spirit. "From the sixth grade on, I would hang
on Mic's shirttail. He was always an entrepreneur," says Mead, noting that Mic became the
owner of A-16 in 1970.
Inspired by his uncle, John spent his high
school years creating silkscreen T-shirts and
selling them at a local outdoor store. In 1978,
Mead received a business degree from the
University of Idaho and immediately took a job
managing the sewing operation at A-16.
When Mead arrived at A-16, he not only
brought a nose for business, but also the principles he learned as a Boy Scout. "I'm a big believer
in having a mission statement and a list of values that steer your course," he says, adding that
the Scouting principles of creativity and learning have guided A-16.
As president, Mead implemented training
programs, such as Blanchard's "One Minute
Manager," that went beyond typical retailsales and product training to teach leadership
and management skills. "He understands the
value of investing in training and giving people
a path forward," says Kenji Haroutunian, a 14year A-16 employee and former director of the

Over the years, at least 50 former "A-16ers"
have gone on to become outdoor industry
professionals and launch or lead influential companies like Mountain Hardwear,
Mountainsmith, Lowe Alpine, and SNEWS.
Outdoor Retailer Trade Show.
Over the years, at least 50 former "A-16ers"
have gone on to become outdoor industry professionals and launch or lead influential companies like Mountain Hardwear, Mountainsmith,
Lowe Alpine, and SNEWS.
As Mead empowered employees, he also
found creative ways to elevate the business.
Having designed A-16's Journey pack, which
converted into a duffel, Mead was an early
adopter of the adventure travel concept. In the
'90s, he was one of the first outdoor retailers
to emphasize the category and add the word
"travel" to store signs.
A lifelong participant in the Scouts, Mead
also values community service and launched
A-16's Donate-A-Pack program in the '90s.
Each year, stores collect about 1,000 pieces of gear and donate them to Southern
California nonprofits.

AS MEAD BUILT A SUCCESSFUL COMPANY,
he also chased a dream of opening 16 stores.
But, online competition and other market
forces whittled the chain down to four stores
by 2014. "It was painful to give up on that
goal," Mead admits. But he's now focused
on increasing the number of in-store events
(135 this year) to make each shop a true hub
for locals. "We're part of the outdoor community like we haven't been since the '60s,"
he says.
By letting go, Mead also realized that his
life was maybe a little too structured. At age
60, he's more relaxed, especially when he's
outdoors with his family.
"About every two months, I take my grandson camping," he says. "When I took my own
kids outdoors, I was too uptight, and it was
more like a march. With my grandson, I just
let the day flow. I let him lead." O.R.

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35th Anniversary 2017 / OUTDOOR RETAILER 39


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Outdoor Retailer - July 2017

OUTDOOR RETAILER - JULY 2017
CONTENTS
CONTRIBUTORS
FIRST WORDS
THE TRIBE
GREG THOMSEN
YVON CHOUINARD AND GERRY LOPEZ
STEVE BARKER
THE SCENE
JEFF LOWE
PETER AND PATTY DUKE
BEAVER THEODOSAKIS
CARSON STANWOOD
CHAD GALLWITZ
JOHN MEAD
THE TORNADO
THE SCENE
SALLY MCCOY
JOHN STERLING
CASEY SHEAHAN
THE SCENE
MUSIC AND MEMORIES
PETER METCALF
SALLY JEWELL
CONRAD ANKER
JEN TAYLOR
DAN NORDSTROM
JEREMY COLLINS
JOANNA HOSHIMOTO
THE FUTURE
THE BACKSTORY
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - OUTDOOR RETAILER - JULY 2017
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - Cover2
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 1
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - CONTENTS
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 3
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - CONTRIBUTORS
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 5
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - FIRST WORDS
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 7
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - THE TRIBE
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 9
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 10
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 11
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - GREG THOMSEN
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 13
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 14
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 15
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - YVON CHOUINARD AND GERRY LOPEZ
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 17
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 18
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 19
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - STEVE BARKER
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 21
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 22
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 23
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - THE SCENE
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 25
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 26
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 27
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - JEFF LOWE
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 29
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - PETER AND PATTY DUKE
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 31
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - BEAVER THEODOSAKIS
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 33
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - CARSON STANWOOD
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 35
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - CHAD GALLWITZ
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 37
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - JOHN MEAD
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 39
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - THE TORNADO
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 41
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 42
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - THE SCENE
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 44
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 45
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 46
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 47
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - SALLY MCCOY
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 49
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 50
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 51
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - JOHN STERLING
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 53
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - CASEY SHEAHAN
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 55
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - THE SCENE
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 57
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 58
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 59
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - MUSIC AND MEMORIES
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 61
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 62
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 63
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 64
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 65
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - PETER METCALF
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 67
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 68
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - SALLY JEWELL
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - CONRAD ANKER
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 71
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - JEN TAYLOR
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - DAN NORDSTROM
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - JEREMY COLLINS
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - JOANNA HOSHIMOTO
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - THE FUTURE
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 77
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 78
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 79
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - THE BACKSTORY
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - Cover3
Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - Cover4
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