Outdoor Retailer - July 2017 - 50

2000s

Sally McCoy

Outdoor Retailer 35th Anniversary

during her tenure was when TNF head of
skiwear Tom Lane began working with renowned climber Pete Athans on an idea
to build a one-piece snowsuit suitable for
climbers to wear on Mount Everest.
Lane, of course, would need people to
test the suit. TNF thought they should send
someone from inside the company. Lane told
McCoy, "You're the only person dumb enough
to do it," so she went to climb Everest .
Bad weather turned the team back, but,
"It was a great investment for the company,"
she says. "On a mountain like that, you sit
around forever. Lead guide Peter Whittaker
and I came back and put together expedition
layering systems. And a good friend of mine,
Chris Noble, provided photos." The new designs, and a catalog featuring a photographic

number for a launch item. Sierra Designs had
already committed to a full line of women's
clothing. Sales took off when W.W. Gore gave
them co-op money to promote it, says McCoy.
At Sierra Designs, she led a team to "recreate what the brand had originally been, in
the sixties, when founders Bob Swanson and
George Marks were at the helm," she says.
They were the perfect pair to emulate: They
designed the Airflex dome tent, the first to
utilize a combination of bent and straight
poles, as well as the Cloud Series Down Bag,
the first American-made bag with 700-fill
goose down.
McCoy brought an understanding of
the importance of diverse teams to Sierra
Designs, something she'd learned at The
North Face. During her nine-year tenure,

Lane, of course, would need people to test
the suit. TNF thought they should send
someone from inside the company.
Lane told McCoy, "You're the only
person dumb enough to do it." So she
went to climb Everest.
style that's now iconically TNF, positioned
the company as "extreme."
McCoy became vice president of marketing
and product. Ann Krcik, TNF senior director of brand communication, says, "Sally really stood out as an executive. There had been
women here and there in leadership before,
but nobody quite like her. It was remarkable
what she did to keep people positive, working together, and moving forward. I never reported to her directly, but she opened up a lot
of doors for me at the company."

WITHIN A YEARAT SIERRA DESIGNS,
McCoy has overseen the introduction fo
the first women's-specific sleeping bag, the
Calamity Jane, a nod to "women who go outside the norms and are labeled 'outlaws.'"
Sierra Designs knew they'd "get panned for
doing a women's bag, even though it made
absolute rational sense," says McCoy.
The Calamity Jane sold 18,000 units, a big

50 OUTDOOR RETAILER

/ 35th Anniversary 2017

she helped grow the wholesale side of the
business by 40 percent. After leaving, she cofounded Silver Steep Partners, a financial advisory firm focused on the specialty outdoor
and active lifestyle industry, and helped small
and large brands-including Helly Hansen,
Eagle Creek and Montrail-navigate the overwhelming waters of selling a business.
In 2006, she became CEO of Camelbak,
which was then "very core in mountain bike
and military," she says, and set about expanding the brand to include all hydration, not just
hands-free systems. The company also took
on the "big, hairy, audacious goal" of eliminating the need for single-use disposable water.
That focus on a company as a change agent
fit into McCoy's grand plan. She believes that
businesses can be instruments for improving
people's lives.
"Companies can provide good jobs and live
by their values," she says. "Sure, we can be accused of hypocrisy because we make consum-

er goods, but goods will be made and desired,
and businesses and consumers can move the
market to better practices all the time."
McCoy left CamelBak last January. She
currently serves on the Outdoor Foundation
Board. In her "free" time (relative: she has
twin 13-year-olds and serves on several other
outdoor-related boards), she's been doing a
lot of thinking and reading about the unique
dynamic of the outdoor industry.
"I'm very interested in seeing how brands
are formed and in what's evolving in retail,"
she says. "I think businesses are on the cutting edge of profound social change. How do
you keep our society in touch with the outdoors and hence value public parks, public
lands, the planet and themselves?"

SHE GETS ADMIRATION BACK IN SPADES.
OIA's Executive Director Amy Roberts says,
"If you look at our industry's main institutions, Sally has had a role in the formation
of every one. She's mentored many industry
leaders. She has an ability to quickly grasp
the current state of an organization and figure out what it needs."
Deanne Buck, executive director of
Camber Outdoors, says there's something
about the way McCoy shows up in the outdoor industry that earns people's respect.
"She's contributed more to the economic
growth of the outdoor industry than probably anyone," Buck says. "She's so savvy about
the way she addresses women as consumers."
And REI CEO and president Jerry Stritzke
received an unsolicited call from McCoy
when he first took on the role in 2013. "Even
before my first Outdoor Retailer or outdoor
industry event, she called and introduced
herself," he says.
McCoy has since given him "hours and
hours of time," helping him "understand the
context of how the outdoor industry formed
and how it's structured today," he says. "She
has some deeply held beliefs about what
leadership should do in the outdoor industry and what it needs to stay healthy. She's
not only willing to share these ideas but takes
them as a set of theology that she'll advocate."
If the outdoor industry is reaching the
headwaters of a new river, chances are its
most important players will look to Sally
McCoy for ways to navigate it. O.R.



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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