Keynote Speakers

Liz McMahon

Liz McMahon – Madison Muir Group

Is your brand YOUR brand?  Brand management in this fake news and social media world

The presentation will explore the effects fake news, social media comments and events you cannot control can have on your brand reputation, purchase intent and brand loyalty and some ideas on how to manage this challenge.

About Liz

Liz McMahon is the Managing Director of the Madison Muir Group – strategic advisors on brand governance, marketing and partnership programmes. She also is a Non-Executive Director of On-White International, a digital prestige clothing brand, Chair of The Sport Safeguarding Partnership and sits on the Sport Policy Task Force of Pro Bono Economics. She was a Non-Executive Director on the London 2017 Athletic and Para-Athletic World Championships board, the Olympic Park Legacy Company/London Legacy Development Corporation and the Sport & Recreation Alliance.

Prior to forming the Madison Muir Group in 2009, Liz was Executive Director, Chief Marketing Officer for Treasury & Investor Services at J.P. Morgan, Director Global Consumer Investments at Citigroup and Director of Marketing Services at the International Olympic Committee in Lausanne, Switzerland.  She also headed International Marketing for the London 2012 Olympic & Paralympic Games Bid.

Working in the USA with 3M, she managed global Corporate Marketing Communications and activated their 1988 and 1992 worldwide Olympic sponsorships.   Liz also held executive marketing positions in New York with Nabisco and Chase Bank.

A graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University with an honours degree in Political Science, Liz did advanced degree work in marketing & finance at New York University Stern School of Business.

Daniel Ravel Ellison

Dan Raven-Ellison – National Park City Campaigner & National Geographic Explorer

How to join the National Park City movement

In July 2019 London will become the world’s first National Park City. A place, a vision and a movement, the London National Park City will inspire people to enjoy the city’s great outdoors, make the city greener, healthier and wilder, and create a new identity for Londoners.

With National Park City movements starting in Glasgow, Galway, Adelaide and other cities, Daniel will explain the thinking behind this big idea, why it’s important, how it will engage people with the UK’s great outdoors and ways for your organisation to get involved.

About Daniel

Daniel Raven-Ellison is a guerrilla geographer, National Geographic Explorer and founder of the campaign to make London the world’s first National Park City. Daniel’s work combines creative exploration, geography and communication to inspire new thinking.

Collaborating with Cisco and National Geographic, he’s walked across all of the UK’s national parks and cities while wearing a headset that recorded his emotions. For another project, he completed 125 micro adventures across the UK over six months with his son.

He’s recently made and launched “The UK in 100 Seconds”, a thought-provoking film in which each second equals one per cent of what the UK looks like from the air and one metre of Daniel’s walk to make it.

He is also the co-founder of Mission:Explore, an award-winning series of children’s books that challenge young people to explore outdoors in creative and new ways. His work now focuses on the London National Park City.

Frederic Hufkens
Seonaid Lafferty
Kieran Miles
Scott Nelson

PASS-ON-PLASTIC – Can personal experience drive organisational change?

How do personal ‘lightbulb’ moments become business strategies for triple-bottom-line sustainability?

Hear Frederic Hufkens speak on his personal experience of the plastic campaign and how he used it to evolve sustainability in business. Our panel will focus on how we can create systemic organisational change to support consumer-facing activism or product development to advance sustainability in our industry. Prioritising the people in our business, the planet we rely on for adventure and our profit is the triple bottom line that will sustain our industry.

Frederic Hufkens – A.S. Adventure

With a wealth of experience across a wide spectrum of retail, as well as experience at the helm of the hugely successful A.S. Adventure Group (Bever, A.S. Adventure, Cotswold & Snow & Rock), Frédéric will offer delegates invaluable knowledge, expertise and insight.

Started in 1995 as a small family-owned operation in Belgium, A.S. Adventure now stocks over 50,000 products, including kit for travel and camping, cycling and running, ski and snowboard, beachwear and gadgets.

Frédéric was brought on board in 2007 to overhaul the corporate structure of the business and breathe new life into the company.

Frederic Hufkens was appointed as Executive Chairman of the A.S. Adventure Group in 2007 and in 2008 he was also appointed CEO of the group and has been involved in the retail business for many years. From 1997 Frederic was an advisor to the Halley Family who owned approximately 20% of the Carrefour supermarkets.

He was involved in several retailers from the purchase of G.I.B in 1997, the largest supermarket chain in Belgium to the German fashion brand Jill Sander. Frederic holds a Master of Business and Economics from the Solvay University Brussels and a Post Graduate degree in Statistics. The A.S. Adventure group has a turnover of approx. €600 million and is active in 7 Countries through 268 stores.

Seònaid Lafferty – Organisational Sustainability Consultant

Seònaid is a PhD Researcher at Cumbria University and with Kendal Mountain Festival, where she is building a values-based measure of sustainability with Lancaster University and Global Eco-Innovations (EU ERDF). The aim is to create a blueprint for best practice, development, social responsibility and delivery of an environmentally and economically sustainable event both from an immediate environmental impact perspective and through the creation of sustainable initiatives.

Seònaid is on the board of Cumbria Action for Sustainability and holds an MSc from St Andrews University in Sustainable Development

As a consultant, Seonaid focuses on innovation, strategy and organisational change. Her professional experience encompasses primary tendering to co-facilitating team development days, organisational development tools and models, sustainable businesses research, collaboration with leaders in PIB’s Leadership Diamond model and environmental analysis.

Kieran Miles – Duco

Kieran Miles is the founder and Chief Executive of the rock climbing apparel brand; Duco, which this year was named as the GB Climbing Team Kit provider.

Duco has been built over the past 3 years as a lifestyle focused, environmentally driven, direct to consumer brand, with a clear mission to Climb Higher.

Prior to Duco, Kieran worked in a range of businesses and sectors, from advising global brands on consumer and current trends, to working in digital media and online radio.

Recognised as an Associate Fellow of Her Majesty’s Royal Commonwealth Society, named Startup Entrepreneur of Year EoE by Barclays Plc 2018 and one of the Top 5 Rising Stars in Retailprop in 2017 by Revo, Kieran has a passion for entrepreneurship, changing education and environmental sustainability.

Scott Nelson – European Outdoor Group (EOG)

Scott Nelson manages the single use plastics project with the European Outdoor Group (EOG). The project will create a roadmap to significantly reduce single use plastics in the value chain of the outdoor industry. Prior to working with the EOG, Scott worked for Apple for several years, completed an MBA at the University of Cambridge, and has a bachelors degree in Marketing.

Ben Saunders

Ben Saunders – My life at the extremes: How Grangers help him survive and succeed in the toughest places on Earth

Ben Saunders has spent much of his career in the harshest conditions on the planet. For over 17 years, he has led expeditions to the ends of the earth, becoming the third person in history to ski solo to both the North and South poles. His proudest achievement is leading The Scott Expedition, the first completion of the expedition that defeated Captain Scott and Sir Ernest Shackleton and a 2,888km journey in Antarctica that broke the record for the longest ever human-powered polar expedition.

Ben has used Grangers products for three decades since he first started hillwalking and climbing in the UK aged 11. He will share stories from his pioneering journeys in the Arctic and Antarctica and will focus on how Grangers products have helped to keep him warm and dry on his adventures.

Ben is a passionate advocate of the importance of living adventurously and spending time in the great outdoors, and, in partnership with Grangers, intends to keep inspiring and equipping people to #GetOutside for many years to come, because #withgrangersyoucan.


Andrew Denton – Outdoor Industries Association

Our Chief Executive, Andrew Denton will take centre stage to deliver the conference 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.

Breakout Sessions

Andy Atkins - Skye

Andy Atkins – Resonant

Outdoors Retailers or Brands. Who Benefits Most from the Digital Revolution of the Next 5 Years, and why?

Brands and retailers have always been in competition and interdependent at the same time, but the digital age has introduced dramatic new opportunities and challenges. New routes to market bring both growth and new channel conflicts; new marketing options bring lower costs but more fragmentation of message; new distribution models and cross-territory trading alter the value-chain and legal frameworks.

From amongst all the technological innovations, business practice changes and new strategic challenges that confront the sector, Andy will identify key themes, reflecting on what these mean for outdoors retailers and brand owners or distributors.

Along the way, we’ll cover some diverse ground – such as what Amazon’s impact on retailing and brand-building is likely to be (not all bad!), the impact of virtual and augmented reality, the relationship between physical and virtual consumer interaction, the growing systems integration requirements and, finally, the likely critical success factors driving outdoors retail and brand in 5 year’s time.

About Andy

Andy runs Resonant, a digital marketing consultancy now specialising in the outdoors sector. A former FMCG NAM and marketer, Andy began his digital business career 20 years ago as General Manager of Sage’s eBusiness Division and has since consulted for numerous SMEs as well as corporates like Sainsbury’s, New Look and Kavli. He’s a Fellow of the Institute of Leadership & Management, a serious photographer and a dedicated mountain plodder.

Philipp Gruentker
Jonas Wand

Philipp Grüntker & Jonas Wand – Foursource Group

Resource chain management, sourcing and production

Foursource will demonstrate how its digital solution overcomes market challenges and offers buyers an alternative to the traditional way of sourcing on a highly fragmented sourcing market.

During the presentation, Foursource will demonstrate how buyers can search for and connect with garment manufacturers across the world and get directly in touch with, build and manage their supplier network at their desk; saving time and cost.

Philipp Grüntker – VP Sales

Philipp Grüntker has been in the fashion industry for more than 19 years and has profound experience in buying, sales and category management. He has worked for various companies in the German and International market such as UK & Eastern Europe. He holds a degree in Textile Management/ BTE from the textile school in Nagold/ Black forest Germany.



Jonas Wand – Chief Sales Officer

Jonas worked in the fashion and sportswear business for more than 13 years, primarily in sales, marketing, multichannel management and product development. For the last few years, Jonas was part of the Management Board at Bogner and responsible for the Brand Fire + Ice. He holds an MBA from the University of St. Gallen (CH).

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Gordon Young – Sheffield Hallam

Design for Sport, a new Masters Course, how can we ensure this is relevant to the industry?

The Art & Design department at Sheffield Hallam University is in the process of developing a new Masters Degree course covering Design for Performance Sport. It is intended that this course will sit within an existing multidisciplinary Masters programme and will equip graduates with the skills, knowledge and aptitude to work in a creative capacity across the sports industry sectors. Input and support from all sectors of the industry are sought to ensure that this course matches the aspirations of students and industry.

About Gordon

Gordon is a Principal Lecturer in Design at Sheffield Institute of Arts, Regional and Global Engagement Lead for the Department of Art and Design, and a member of the Department Leadership Team. He is a product designer and design researcher with an interest in critical design, design for a circular economy and extended product lifespan.

Gordon has held the posts of Course Leader and Subject Group Leader for product design degree programmes and taught across undergraduate and postgraduate design courses, and is currently an external examiner at two UK Universities. He has worked in design consultancy on a diverse range of projects that include industrial, commercial and consumer products. He also has experience of working on consumer electrical goods, medical equipment, retail environments, structural packaging and industrial equipment.

Lee Isherwood
David Judge

Lee Isherwood & David Judge – Cornershop.Design

Brand Experience Design

Your business is an experience for your customers and staff. We are Experience Designers. We understand customer journey’s across the physical and digital worlds. Our purpose is to improve the experience of your business – inside and out.

Lee Isherwood – Creative Director

As a graphic designer, Lee worked with clients such as Adidas Group, Fred Perry and New Balance on design for retail projects. Before becoming a consultant Lee worked for one of the foremost agencies in global retail design with further global clients such as MCFC, Virgin and Barclays.

This experience combined with a secondary creative business focused on social content creation gives Lee unique perspectives on the role of a physical retail brand in the modern day.

David Judge – Design Director

David is a brand experience designer with 26 years in the industry creating award-winning experiences for brands such as Adidas, Virgin, Porsche, The All Blacks, Berghaus, Man City, Dubai Airport, Diageo, McLaren, Ford, P&G, to name a few.

He is a specialist in interaction environments that connect consumers to a shared experience of a brand, its story and products by orchestrating all design disciplines at once. He calls this integrated design.

He recently departed his role as Executive Creative Director at StartJudgeGill to establish his own mini group of specialist experience design businesses through which he is currently exploring:

  • Brand store design that concentrates on integrity, community and data
  • Using brand experience, wellness and the Internet of things to turn the workplace into a performance tool
  • Improving educational outcome through environmental experience design

OIA Partner Presentations

The OIA’s Partner Presentations is a special slot on Thursday morning where we’ll hear from four OIA member organisations about some of their key current campaigns and how they are having a positive impact on the industry.

Mark Davey

Mark Davey – Youth Adventure Trust

The Power of the Outdoors

The Youth Adventure Trust demonstrate how they are positively transforming vulnerable young lives through the power of outdoor adventure.

About Mark

Mark has been working with young people in the outdoor environment for the last 20 years. Prior to starting at the Youth Adventure Trust in 2001, Mark was a Senior Outward Bound tutor and Raleigh International programme manager where he spent time in Chile and Belize.

He is also an experienced expedition leader, focusing recently on Arctic expeditions. Prior to the Youth Adventure Trust, Mark was a senior fundraising manager for an international youth organisation. His skills and passion lie in management, leadership and youth development.

Liz Beverley

Liz Beverley – Ordnance Survey

Helping more people to get outside more often

GetOutside is the consumer-facing participation initiative for GB, firmly focused on helping to get more people outside more often. Find out how your brand can join the industry to engage with the initiative, and build a collective voice and to drive mass market participation.

About Liz

Liz joined Ordnance Survey in 2001 and has been leading the GetOutside initiative since 2015. She has grown the OS GetOutside Champion programme from 15-60 ambassadors over the last 3 years and the GetOutside initiative is now engaging over 1 million people a month across web and social.

Passionate about shifting perceptions and driving behavioural change, Liz firmly believes that helping to break down some of the barriers to leading an active outdoor lifestyle will encourage people to step over ‘their’ threshold.

Josephine Lavelle

Josephine Lavelle – The Forestry Commission

Becoming Forestry England – A sneak preview

In April the land managing part of the Forestry Commission family changes its name and identity to Forestry England. Josephine will provide a whistle-stop tour of Forestry England and a sneak peek into what to expect from the rebrand later in the year.

About Josephine

Josephine is responsible for marketing, communications, arts and learning at Forestry Commission England. She has nineteen years of marketing, membership and fundraising experience in the leisure, tourism and environmental sectors.

She is passionate about connecting people with the outdoors in innovative and engaging ways. Using brand partnerships like the Gruffalo she has helped double visitor numbers at forest visitor centres over the last four years.