Outside Business Journal

Camber Outdoors Promotes Tiffany Smith to CEO

The nonprofit’s former CDO takes the helm to help bring diversity, equality, and inclusion into outdoor industry workspaces

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Camber Outdoors, a nonprofit organization that helps outdoor recreation businesses bring increased diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) into their workplaces, has announced the promotion of Tiffany Smith to CEO. Smith had been Camber Outdoors Chief Development Officer since June 2021.

“I’m super excited to be able to transition from CDO to CEO, and I’m looking forward to the ride,” Smith told OBJ today. “I’m so excited not just about the future of Camber, but for the future of the outdoor industry as well.”

Smith will lead Camber in helping more than 300 outdoor industry partners including REI, Timberline, Smartwool, CamelBak, Topo Designs, Thule, Rivian, Jack Wolfskin, and Yeti implement DEI practices in their workplaces. Services offered by Camber Outdoors include helping companies attract and retain a diverse workforce, salary equity reviews, employee and market surveys, and professional mentorship programs.  

Reggie Miller, co-president of Camber’s board of directors and McDonald’s global chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer, said in a press release, after the news broke, “Tiffany joined the organization with a proven track record of impact and continued the trend of success within the first year at Camber. She established a partner experience which has increased partner engagement by 60 percent, increased partner retention rate, diversified funding streams, recruited and managed leaders as well as enhanced communication strategies.”

Added Miller, “Tiffany was poised for this promotion with her undeniable impact within our organization and within the outdoor recreation economy. Tiffany is a seasoned leader whose vision, energy, and sense of purpose will drive systemic change in building more inclusive, diverse, and equitable workplaces.”

Smith said the upheaval experienced by businesses in recent years makes this an opportune time for companies to re-evaluate themselves, and that business leaders have to consider the reality that everything happening in the world right now is affecting their employees in real and lasting ways.

“Where you choose to work is a form of activism, based upon the value structure and mission of the company,” Smith said. “We help companies view the workplace as a vehicle of change. We spend a majority of our time at work with our colleagues and team members, and the more that we infuse [workplaces with] this inclusive culture, the more we provide resources around equality and equitable systems. I believe that the workplace is a microcosm of the larger world. And if we can get this right, just maybe that impact will go into our communities and we’ll see the changes we’re looking for.”

Smith brings to Camber more than 15 years of strategic leadership experience spanning both the nonprofit and for profit sectors. She has held leadership positions with national nonprofits including the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, the Girl Scouts, and the National Urban League. Smith is currently enrolled in Harvard’s Interdisciplinary Studies–Business Management dual bachelor’s and master’s degree program.

Smith will continue implementing Camber Outdoors’ strategic plan she helped develop as CDO that includes five key priorities: amplifying the narrative of Camber’s mission; catering to Camber Outdoors’ partners with new programming and initiatives; assessing core needs through Camber Survey System; creating a more diverse pipeline of professional talent in outdoor recreation industries; and continuing to find ways to strengthen Camber Outdoors as an organization.

“The outdoor industry is perfectly poised to have a reach that other sectors do not,” Smith said. “Everyone goes outside and has outside experiences—whether it’s hiking on trails or riding bikes in urban communities. Having that point of connection where everyone can relate to being outside opens up opportunities to speak to the huge audience that the outdoor industry has.”