OIA Conference 2022 speakers

Keynote Speakers

Noah Reis

Noah Reis – “Establishing a New Outdoor Culture in Japan”

MD, Head of Overseas Business, Snow Peak

Presenting – 16:50 7/9/22

When Snow Peak started making tents, a price point over £60 was unheard of. Snow Peak challenging the status quo by innovating a new style of camping creating the comforts of the home outdoors. 60 years later Snow Peak are selling tents retailing at £2,600  and Noah reflects on how Snow Peak has create a new style of camping and where this will lead to in the future.

About Noah

Noah joined Snow Peak in 2017 following an MBA @ Alliance Manchester Business School and 5 years working in management consulting in projects ranging from strategy to M&A in industries from energy to finance. Since joining Snow Peak Noah has occupied roles ranging from supply chain, IT, and more recently his appointment as the leader for overseas business growth which is a central component of Snow Peaks global growth strategy. On a personal note Noah joined Snow Peak as an outsider to the outdoors but now sees the nature not as scenery but as experiences and it is this journey that he is passionate to share with others through his work and personal life.

Suzanne3 copy

Suzanne Shaw – “Music to Marathons”

Presenting – 15:40 7/9/22

About Suzanne

Singer, actress and TV personality Suzanne Shaw became a member of the chart- topping band ‘Hear’say’ in 2001, selling over 1.5 million records and holding a world record for the fastest selling non-charitable single. She won series 3 of ‘Dancing on Ice’, was series regular Eve Jenson in the popular UK soap opera ‘Emmerdale’, and has numerous West End and touring theatre credits.


From the age of 19, Suzanne has lived under the scrutiny of the media, which in-turn played a big part in her 19-year battle with her mental health. After years of unhealthy living and anti-depressants, Suzanne had finally had enough of living this way and went on a mission to find her ‘happy’ again.

At the start of 2020, Suzanne completely changed her lifestyle – quitting alcohol, changing her diet to plant-based, taking up running and studying nutrition, mindfulness and coaching. Determined to change the perception of mental health, along with the overwhelming pressure and information from the fitness and diet industry, Suzanne documented an honest account of her journey through her online platforms and was overwhelmed by the response from her audience and the media.


Since then, Suzanne has thrived within the wellness industry and made quite the name for herself in the running community. In May 2020, she ran for 19 hours, covering 60 miles, all to raise awareness for the 19 people who take their own lives every day in the UK and raising money for the suicide prevention charity, ‘Samaritans’. This has led to her becoming a public speaker, speaking and running workshops at the National Running Show, Festival of sport and in schools around the UK.


With her ultra-running, plant-based eating and sober living, Suzanne has worked hard to grow and engage with her social media audience and has a respectable following of over 250,000 over her social media accounts. She is also the founder of ‘The Happy Health Club’; an online community for people to enjoy learning more about the benefits of sober living, nutrition, movement and mindfulness without being overwhelmed with crazy goals or too much information. In only a short space of time, The Happy Health Club has now become a wonderful wellness community in its own right, gaining brilliant results in helping people take a break from alcohol, eating a wider variety of fruit and veg and working on mindfulness.


Suzanne continues to push her limits and demonstrates through her lifestyle and challenges that we are able to achieve anything with the right mindset.

Suzanne’s brand new podcast ‘Dare To Be Happy’ is available to download on all podcast platforms.

Will Pike

Will Pike – “Why should We Make The Outdoors Accessible?” 

Presenting – 10:30 8/9/22

About Will

Will Pike is a disability rights campaigner, public speaker, and disability consultant. His work is centred around the normalisation of disability and seeks to address the barriers, both physical and prejudicial, that prevent disabled people from accessing society.

Will draws on his own lived experience as a terror attack survivor and disabled man to explore themes such as adversity, masculinity, identity and diversity.

He has been a guest on programmes including Good Morning Britain, Victoria Derbyshire and Sky News; and has written articles in The Times, iNews and Huffpost. Will’s film ‘Yes I Can, If’ went viral in 2016 and has been viewed by over a million people on Facebook and YouTube.

Will works with The Hobbs Consultancy and is always available to discuss your company’s approach to disability inclusion.

Phil Young

Phil Young – “The Outsiders Project”

Presenting – 11:15 8/9/22

THE OUTDOORS IS FOR EVERYONE. Yet outdoor culture and access to rural landscapes still remain elusive to many people from marginalised communities. Join Phil Young, director of the Outsiders Project, as he presents the findings from their new report ‘Beyond Representation: The Future of Diversity and Inclusion in the Outdoors’

About Phil

Having been Involved in sports and culture all his life via skateboarding, snowboarding, bikes, surfing, and running, Phil set up the Outsiders Project with view to raise awareness of the lack of diversity in ‘Outdoors with the ambition of making the outdoors, across Europe, a safe and welcoming space for everyone.

A longtime advocate for diversity in the outdoors, as well as his ‘day job’ as a respected producer and director, Phil is also the co-founder of Colour Collective, one of the founding members of Black Trail Runners and a co-founder of the cross brand initiative ‘OUTO’.

Insights & Partners

Charles Ross photo (002)

Charles Ross – “Sustainability”

Presenting – 14:20 7/9/22

CSR – does it really matter? Can we really play an influential part in it?

Every so often things pop up that seem to be around environmental impact, but business continues. It is possible to continue in our ways as we can effect little change in the grand scale of things? Charles will attempt to summarise what has become more prominent in recent times; & try to contextualise them (especially as far as concerns the customer pull & regulations). It will range from the big question (can we make profit without selling so much stuff?), to how the incoming EU Green Deal will change practice (clue the Higg Index status!).

About Charles

Charles started his career as an Outward Bound Instructor, but gave that up when he returned to a wet, dark, windy, & cold UK. Fortunately it coincided with the transition of the Outdoor industry to AthLeisure roots. He started his career in retail at Rohan, became a mature student, then got volunteered to teach Performance Sportswear Design & has ended up with some Ingredient Suppliers. He is meant to focus on teaching the PSD pathway at the Royal College of Art, but is more visible at Performance Days & the Functional Fabric Fair. His work has always had the theme of the next generation of materials, especially in relation to progress in sustainability. Others highlight his best ability as dumbing things down so everyone else can understand the issues.

Simon McGrath

Simon McGrath – “Shaping the Future of Outdoor Enjoyment Through Camping

Head of Communications and External Relations, The Camping & Caravanning Club

Presenting – 15:20 7/9/22

The presentation will give an exclusive preview of the future direction of the oldest camping organisation in the world and the launch of a major new study commissioned by The Camping and Caravanning Club on the powers of outdoor life.

About Simon

Simon McGrath is the Club’s Head of Communications and External Relations and an author in the outdoor sector.

Sabina Voysey, Director General of The Camping and Caravanning Club[1] copy

Sabina Voysey – “Shaping the Future of Outdoor Enjoyment Through Camping

Director General, The Camping & Caravanning Club

Presenting – 15:20 7/9/22

The presentation will give an exclusive preview of the future direction of the oldest camping organisation in the world and the launch of a major new study commissioned by The Camping and Caravanning Club on the powers of outdoor life.

About Sabina

Sabina Voysey is the Director General of The Camping and Caravanning Club, and is also a board member of the OIA.

Nick Barrett photo for OIA

Nick Barrett – “OIA Partner”

CEO, The Outward Bound Trust

Presenting – 8:45 8/9/22

Nick will talk briefly about Outward Bound’s enduring relevance, of how the pandemic affected the organization and how this might influence the future development of this great heritage brand.

About Nick

Nick has been Chief Executive of The Outward Bound Trust since 2006.

Outward Bound in the UK works with 25,000 young people and over 400 schools and corporates each year and its mission statement is “to inspire young people to believe they can achieve more than they ever thought possible”. Outward Bound currently operates from six residential centres in North Wales, the Highlands and the Lake District.

Every year Outward Bound raises in excess of £4 million to ensure that financial disadvantage is never a barrier to participation in an Outward Bound course.

Nick was Chief Executive of The Ramblers Association for five years during the culmination of the “right to roam” campaigns in the early 2000s that saw the implementation of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act and the Land Reform (Scotland) Act – key moments in opening up access to the countryside, in the name of equity, well-being, health and the protection of the environment.

For twenty years before all of this, Nick worked for a range of international development NGOs and lived and worked in both Africa and Asia.

Mike Seaman

Mike Seaman – “OIA Partner”

CEO, Raccoon Events

Presenting – 8:45 8/9/22

Mike will be sharing some consumer insight and feedback from the National Outdoor Expo 2022 and the developing vision for the National Outdoor Expo 2023.

About Mike

Mike is the CEO and founder of Raccoon Events, a multi-channel media business that provides content and connections for people who love being active outside.

Mike is the CEO and founder of Raccoon Events, the company behind the National Running Show, The National Snow Show, The National Cycling Show, The National Outdoor Expo and OutsideAndActive.com. He is a keen runner who loves ultramarathons and generally being outdoors at any opportunity.

Raccoon Events operate media properties that deliver year-round content and advice to specialist, self-identifying consumers that share a love of being outside and active. They also organise large-scale exhibitions that are well-timed, community-driven, tightly focused and passion-led. They bring buyers and sellers together to see cutting edge innovations in a fun and exciting way.

Dr Catherine Flitcroft

Dr Catherine Flitcroft – “OIA Partners Outdoor Manifesto Panel”

Access and Conservation Officer (Policy), British Mountaineering Council (BMC)

Presenting – 9:30 8/9/22

About Cath

Having completed a BSc in Environmental Archaeology at the University of Edinburgh, Cath spent many years in the Scottish wilderness as an archaeologist.  She then undertook her PhD at Edinburgh looking at Blanket Peat initiation in south west Scotland.  She moved to the Peak District in 2000 and began working with the Peak District National Park Authority (Moors for the Future) as Research Manager and Blanket Bog expert.

In 2006, Cath joined the BMC as their Access and Conservation Officer. Her work covers a wide range of areas including policy and legislation, providing Secretariat to the Mountaineering APPG, campaign work, and leading on the BMC’s sustainability and climate change work.

Ben Seal[1]

Ben Seal – “OIA Partners Outdoor Manifesto Panel”

Head of Access & Environment, British Canoeing

Presenting – 9:30 8/9/22

About Ben

Having grown up on the edge of the Peak District National Park, Ben has always had a keen passion for being outdoors. Inspired by Scouting and early family adventures, Ben qualified as a Mountain Leader, climbing, canoeing and caving instructor, spending 7 years working in outdoor education. Ben has worked for British Canoeing for over eleven years, having started his career as a sport development officer.

In his current role as Head of Access & Environment, Ben leads a national ‘Clear Access, Clear Waters’ campaign, championing the case for opening access on rivers in England and greater environmental protection. His team work across a range of issues, from access to invasive species, plastic pollution and water quality. Ben is a Trustee of his local canoe club and of two other charities based around the River Derwent.

With two very active young sons, outdoor adventures are very different these days, but Ben spends every opportunity he can get outdoors road cycling, climbing and paddling (mainly when the sun is out).

Tom Platt

Tom Platt – “OIA Partners Outdoor Manifesto Panel”

Ramblers Director of Operations and Advocacy

Presenting – 9:30 8/9/22

About Tom

Tom is passionate about the Ramblers mission to enable more people to enjoy the benefits of walking and to protect the places people love to walk. In his role as Director of Advocacy and Operations, Tom is responsible for the charity’s campaigning, path protection and walking programmes. This includes supporting over 500 walking groups and over 70 thousand people to be more active and live healthier lives through the Ramblers Wellbeing Walks programme.

Before the Ramblers, Tom spent 8 years at Living Streets in various campaign roles and was on the Board of the International Federation of Pedestrians. He is now a Council Member for the National Trust.

Nick Chamberlain

Nick Chamberlin – “OIA Partners Outdoor Manifesto Panel”

Policy Manager, British Cycling

Presenting – 9:30 8/9/22

About Nick

Nick Chamberlin has worked in the fields of active travel, sport and physical activity for over 20 years in the UK and Australia. Nick’s role at British Cycling is to represent the interests of the organisations 150,000 members across a diverse cycling and sporting landscape. Equitable access to the outdoors is of significant importance to the future health and wellbeing of our society. Enabling more responsible cycling access in the countryside is of great interest to the organisation and is of vital importance to the future sustainability of the sport of cycling.

Paul Donovan

Paul Donovan – #BeAdventureSmart: Making your good day better!


Presenting – 12:20 8/9/22

About AdventureSmart UK

AdventureSmart UK is a national behaviour-change campaign which addresses the question of ‘how do we encourage people to enjoy our waters, coastlines, hills and countryside whilst also taking responsibility for their own safety?’ Behind AdventureSmart is a partnership of 100+ organisations with an interest in outdoor recreation and tourism who have put their combined heads together to take a fresh look at how we get the right messages out to the people who need them. We shared our expertise to come up with a comprehensive set of messages to ensure we give positive, consistent, friendly safety advice to those who have the potential to be rescue statistics.

The aim of the campaign is to reduce the number of avoidable incidents which the rescue and emergency services deal with each year. The objective is to establish a comprehensive set of clear and consistent safety messages and to work with the outdoor sector in its broadest sense to promote these.

About Paul

Paul has been involved in the outdoor sector throughout his career. He has worked with public, private and third sector organisations in providing safe and rewarding experiences and opportunities to enhance personal and social development as an adventure activity coach, leader and guide. Paul’s experiences as a paddler and mountaineer have enabled him to lead expeditions and explore rivers, seas and mountains across all continents.
Currently, Paul runs his own business offering outdoor activity coaching and technical consultancy. In addition, Paul is Chair of the Wales Adventure Tourism Organisation and Outdoor Alliance Wales (representative groups for outdoor activity providers and sector organisations in Wales), and secretariat for a Welsh Government Cross Party Group for the outdoor sector.

Paul leads the AdventureSmart campaign, alongside Emma Edwards-Jones (Snowdonia-Active), together they are committed to encouraging people to get out there, have a good time and come back safely.

Daniel Raven-Ellison

Dan Raven-Ellison – “Slow Ways”

Founder and Chief Exploration Officer of Slow Ways

Presenting – 12:30 8/9/22

About Dan

Dan Raven-Ellison is Founder and Chief Exploration Officer of Slow Ways, the grassroots phenomenon to create a national network of walking routes that connect all of Great Britain’s towns, cities and national parks. His work focuses on challenging himself and others to see the world in new ways. He does this by combining creative exploration, geography and communication to tackle social and environmental challenges.  Dan is a guerrilla geographer, National Geographic Explorer, OS GetOutside Champion and is the founder of the National Park City movement. He’s also a co-author of the Mission:Explore children’s outdoor activity books and produces short films, including ” The UK in 100 Seconds”. You can connect with Dan on Twitter at @DanRavenEllison.

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Nick Hall – “Employee Owned Trusts”

Managing Director, GoApe

Presenting – 13:00 8/9/22

About Nick

Nick joined Go Ape in 2013 becoming Finance Director in 2015 and Managing Director in 2020.  Over almost 10 years he has been involved in the start up of the trampoline business, Air Space, and its sale in 2018, a roller coaster ride during Covid-19 closures in 2020 and early 2021, the growth of Go Ape in the USA and its successful sale this year and the transition of Go Ape in the UK from founder shareholder owned to an employee-owned business in October last year.  “Those 10 years have been exciting, challenging, fantastic fun and it has been a privilege to be part of the Go Ape adventure.”  Prior to Go Ape Nick spent over 15 years in mergers & acquisitions in London buying and selling businesses for clients, advising on debt and equity fundraisings, and providing strategic advice to a range of corporates.


Richard Pyne – “Employee Owned Trusts”

Commercial Director, Paramo Directional Clothing

Presenting – 13:00 8/9/22

About Richard

Richard Pyne is the current custodian of Páramo Directional Clothing and possesses over a decade of experience working for the brand. He began his career at the business working at the Páramo shop in Wadhurst. Subsequently he worked his way up to store manager and then in 2016, he joined the head office team. Richard has been in his current role as Commercial Director for the last four years.

Prior to joining Páramo, he spent 12 years working in the Theatre industry in the UK, across various technical roles, both as resident and touring staff. Eventually settling in a theatrical workshop as a carpenter and metalworker, he became the head project and workshop manager for almost 8 years before leaving to take some time out to look after his (then) 1 year old son. This led him to take a part time job in the Páramo shop and begin his ten year career at Páramo!

The outdoors has always been a place that he escapes to. Riding his bike and exploring the many hills, paths, rivers, and coastlines around the country provides an escape from the now all too familiar, zoom calls and in addition, offers the opportunity to enjoy our rich and varied environment.

2022 has been an incredible year for Páramo. The team has celebrated 30 years of the brand by incorporating the Miquelina Factory in Colombia into a newly formed Employee Owned Trust. By doing so, they have secured the future for many individuals across the globe. An incredible achievement for a small outdoor brand.

Richard says: “I now lead a team of inspirational, committed, and resilient colleagues, who will continue Nick Brown’s legacy; to provide high quality protective kit for outdoor enthusiasts, whilst ensuring we do no harm to the environment we love and highlighting the brand’s three decades of social sustainability and accomplishments.”

Jonathan Capper

Jonathan Capper – “Employee Owned Trusts”

Managing Director (Technical), Lyon Equipment

Presenting – 13:00 8/9/22

About Jonathan

Jonathan Capper is the Managing Director at Lyon Equipment Limited and has been with Lyon for 38 years! Probably time for him to retire you might think. Not at all! There is still plenty for Jonathan to do at Lyon, especially after their change to employee ownership in May 2022.

Jonathan joined Ben Lyon back in the eighties when there was a team of three making caving ladders, selling caving equipment and Petzl headtorches from a small shed in the Yorkshire Dales. The business today employs nearly 100 talented staff and operates out of a purpose-built facility on the edge of the M6 between the Yorkshire Dales and the Lake District. Lyon manufactures products and distributes leading brands to retailers in the outdoor, water sports and cycle markets. Additionally, it is a leading supplier to the work at height and rescue industry with its own training facility.

Lyon prides itself on technical excellence in all the disciplines it works in and the provision of the best possible customer service. The team at Lyon have a “can do“ attitude and support the company motto of providing equipment and expertise to venture further.

One of the fundamental corner stones of Lyon has always been to be fiercely independent and as the original founders and owners became older the time came for a serious think about how this principle could be continued in the future. Various schemes for succession were explored and it became clear that employee ownership fitted the culture of Lyon.

So now the next evolution for Lyon; led by a team of directors and owned by all the employees. Jonathan will give you an insight into the process of succession planning and employee ownership with some top tips and some mistakes that Lyon nearly made!

OIA Board


Andrew Denton – Outdoor Industries Association

As well as welcoming delegates, opening and closing the conference and AGM, Andrew will be presenting the OIA’s Annual Review and apart from presenting his own sessions he is the main moderator for the whole event.

About Andrew

Our Chief Executive, Andrew Denton will take centre stage to deliver the conference agenda and explain what the OIA had been doing over the last 12 months.

Andrew has been working in the outdoors since 1984, starting his career in outdoor education and then moving on to a series of senior management & ownership roles in businesses such as Rohan, Mountain Equipment, Sprayway, the Outdoor Sports Company and now ownership of several indoor climbing walls.

He is best known as the modern founder and co-owner of the international technical brand Mountain Equipment where he built the brand over 17 years and then sold in 2003 to The Bollin Group. Andrew has been CEO of the OIA since August 2011.

Nick Giles - Director of Marketing and Communications

Nick Giles, OBE

Chairperson, OIA

About Nick

In October 2013 Nick took on additional responsibility for retail business at OS and in September 2015 also took on the executive responsibility of Director of Marketing & Communications. He became a Non-Executive Director of Dennis Maps Ltd in December 2015. Nick now leads all consumer activity within OS with the focus on helping more people to get outside more often.

In May 2018 Nick also became a Board member of the UK Outdoor Industries Association and is now the Chair of the Association.

Nick is an avid outdoor enthusiast, an enthusiastic mountain biker and is passionate about the benefits of an active outdoor lifestyle.

In January 2022 he was awarded an OBE for his work in improving the health of the nation.


Andy Green – “OIA Sustainability Update”

Commercial Director, SportPursuit

About Andy

Andy is Commercial Director at SportPursuit, the UK’s leading flash sale site for outdoor and sports enthusiasts. He has worked in the Outdoor trade for 20 years now having previously been Merchandise and Logistics Director at Outdoor & Cycle Concepts.

Andy passionately believes in the physical and mental benefits of participating in sports and the outdoors and is keen to bring this passion to the Development Board. He spends his spare time outside, trail running, hiking and skiing.