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Outdoor Gear Builders Announces Matt Godfrey as New Executive Director

Published June 3, 2022

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June 3, 2022 – Asheville, NC – Outdoor Gear Builders, the first outdoor industry association of its kind, is excited to announce the appointment of Matt Godfrey as the organization's full-time Executive Director. The Outdoor Gear Builders (OGB), whose mission is to cultivate, connect, and support a community of outdoor industry leaders, has grown to over 75 members including businesses and organizations that represent the entire outdoor industry in Western North Carolina.

Matt has been an advocate, business leader, connector, and educator in our outdoor industry for many years. The Appalachian Mountains hold a special place in his heart, having spent the majority of his life living in Western North Carolina, including studying business and outdoor recreation management at Appalachian State University and earning an MBA from Western Carolina University. He aims to grow membership and member opportunities that spur innovation, competitive advantage, business growth, and overall positive impact within our outdoor economy and community.

"The OGB board is thrilled to have Matt at the helm as we continue to grow as an organization and solidify WNC as the outdoor industry hub of the East" said Anna Rawlins, the OGB Board Chair. "His history as a founding board member of the OGB, business development expertise, and drive to support outdoor industry businesses are key assets that the board sees as essential in achieving its ambitious goals."

Godfrey developed the Waypoint Accelerator, an outdoor entrepreneurship and innovation accelerator program for early-stage, outdoor-focused companies and will continue to manage that program in his new role. He'll also spearhead the OGB's involvement with the WNC: Made By Mountains brand initiative to build our outdoor communities across the region.

"It's an exciting time to be part of the OGB and I feel like I've come full circle from past volunteer roles to now serving as the Executive Director", said Godfrey. " Our outdoor economy is vibrant and our member companies are strong and growing. I'm fortunate to work with such a dedicated, talented, and energetic board of directors. The culture within the OGB is one that places value on collaboration, cohesiveness, networking, education, and business growth, while not forgetting to have fun along the way. There's no better place to launch, relocate, or grow an outdoor business."

Godfrey officially started as the Executive Director of the Outdoor Gear Builders on June 1, 2022. For more information on Outdoor Gear Builders and the efforts they are making in WNC, please visit Godfrey can be reached at

About the Outdoor Gear Builders

The Outdoor Gear Builders are Western North Carolina-based companies collaborating to share talents, encourage new ideas, and inspire each other. Our member brands are dedicated to creating exceptional outdoor gear and experiences with a focus on responsible manufacturing, cutting edge innovation, and economic growth in our region.

Since its founding in 2013, Outdoor Gear Builders has grown to over 75 members, all joining in the common mission to cultivate, connect, and support a community of Outdoor Industry leaders. Our members include: Gear Builders, Experience Providers, Skills Instructors, Outfitters, Retail Shops, Supporting Businesses, and Nonprofits. Interested in joining as a member company or supporter? Learn more here.

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