The Transylvania Times -

Allison To Lead N.C. Outdoor Recreation Industry


October 14, 2019

On Thursday in Asheville, in front of the 500 attendees at the Outdoor Economy Conference, N.C. Senate Majority Whip Rick Gunn announced the appointment of Asheville businesswoman Amy Allison as the next director of the N.C. Outdoor Recreation Industry Office.

In this position, Allison will market the state’s tremendous outdoor recreation industry assets while proactively identifying and recruiting companies interested in relocating to North Carolina or expanding into the state.

Working as part of the Economic Development Partnership of N.C. (EDPNC), Allison will be fully dedicated to growing the state’s outdoor recreation industry, which already employs 260,000 people and generates $28 billion annually in consumer spending in North Carolina.

“We’re thrilled to have Amy in this role,” said Christopher Chung, chief executive officer of the EDPNC. “She has years of public relations and marketing experience in the state’s outdoor recreation industry, developing both domestic and international strategies. And her participation and leadership in organizations committed to growing the industry, including the Outdoor Gear Builders of Western North Carolina, means she is well-connected and able to rally the partnerships that will be needed to support her success.”

Chung continued: “We’re particularly excited about the impact of her position in rural counties, whose natural assets are one key reason why North Carolina is an East Coast hub for outdoor recreation. The industry can be a real economic engine in those communities.”

It is fitting that Allison’s new role was announced at the Outdoor Economy Conference. She has been deeply involved in planning the event over the past year as a member of the Growing Outdoors Partnership’s Advisory Council, as the marketing director for Asheville-based Eagles Nest Outfitters, and as the board chair and a co-founder of the Outdoor Gear Builders of WNC, a collaboration of outdoor product manufacturers.

“Amy has seen every aspect of the outdoor industry,” said Noah Wilson, program director at the Growing Outdoors Partnership. “She got her start as a camp director and wilderness guide, traveled 55,000-plus miles a year as a senior trainer for Leave No Trace and has experience in outdoor industry media. She’s gotten outdoors with everyone from kindergartners to the CEOs of multi-billion-dollar companies.”

“And she’s an amazing marketer,” continued Wilson. “She helped ENO – Eagles Nest Outfitters – achieve tremendous growth in both sales and social/environmental impact, year after year, in a very strategic way. I couldn’t be more excited about having her in this role; she’s going to be such a catalyst, and can really cement the state’s reputation as the East Coast hub for the outdoor industry.”

“Through work and personal adventures, my husband and I have had the opportunity to visit and recreate in each of the lower 48 states. My husband is a native of N.C. I moved to North Carolina in 1998, but we left to travel for Leave No Trace from 2005 to 2008,” said Allison. “When we decided to choose a place to settle back down after years of travel, we felt the pull of the Blue Ridge Mountains and knew that we would once again call North Carolina home. I couldn’t be more excited to represent this great state and play an even bigger role in growing our outdoor recreation industry from the mountains to the coast.”

Growing Outdoors Partnership

The Growing Outdoors Partnership is an initiative of more than a dozen nonprofits, businesses, academic institutions and government agencies working together to expand the outdoor industry and build a thriving outdoor economy across 25 counties in Western North Carolina. For more information, visit


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