Founded in 2013 by a small group of gear manufacturers, the Outdoor Business Alliance now includes more than 100 member companies and organizations representing the entire outdoor industry in Western North Carolina. Our members include: Gear Builders, Experience Providers, Skills Instructors, Outfitters, Retail Shops, Supporting Businesses, and Nonprofits.
In local sourcing
Matt has been an advocate, business leader, connector and educator in our outdoor industry for many years. He has been engaged with the OBA since the early days serving as a founding board member including a term as board chair before exiting in 2020. In partnership with the OBA and Mountain Bizworks, he developed the Waypoint Accelerator, an outdoor entrepreneurship and innovation accelerator program for early-stage, outdoor-focused companies which he has led for the past 4 years.
He loves being outside fly fishing, paddle boarding, hiking, camping and skiing. The Appalachian Mountains hold a special place in his heart, having spent the majority of his life living in Western North Carolina with his wife and two boys. Matt studied business and outdoor recreation management at Appalachian State University and earned an MBA from Western Carolina University. He believes that providing a platform for collaboration, networking, the exchange of ideas, best practices and connections is one of most important value propositions the OBA offers their member companies. This platform spurs innovation, competitive advantage, business growth and overall positive impact within our outdoor economy and community.
Board of Directors
Anna has over a decade of experience working in the outdoor industry namely in the events, sales, and marketing sectors. Currently, she is the Marketing Director at Eagles Nest Outfitters, Inc (ENO) spearheading the events program, strategic partnerships, and public relations, all combining her passions of building and growing relationships, environmental stewardship, and expanding diversity, equity, and inclusion within her local community and the outdoor industry. She relocated to WNC in 2011 and currently resides in Mars Hill, NC with her husband, dog, cat, and many chickens. Outside of the office, she enjoys hiking, surfing, mountain biking, gardening, and getting people outside.
Stacey is an outdoor industry veteran with more than 17 years of experience in trade show management. She was appointed Executive Director at the beginning of 2020. During her tenure, she’s helped the organization grow to over 600 members with 14 annual shows servicing 3,000+ retailers. Her and her husband are long-time residents of West Asheville, NC. When not walking their dog in the neighborhood, you’ll find them on weekend adventures hiking, biking or at the beach.
Adam began his outdoor career in 2005 while working the retail floor at Mast General Store. This is where his passion for the industry took shape, and he became interested in the “business” of all things outdoors. After putting his gear to good use as a guide at a wilderness therapy program, he transitioned to a management role with Eagles Nest Outfitters (ENO). He spent the next 10 years with ENO developing a deeper understanding of the industry and was successful in launching ENO’s international sales program. It was through this experience that Adam was connected to European outdoor brand distributor, Sport Hansa, and in 2018, he accepted the position as Director of Business Development. The years of industry experience culminated at Sport Hansa and Adam was given the opportunity to develop several house brands from concept to market. Earning shelf space at some of the nation’s largest outdoor retailers was the highlight of his career. After the birth of his twin sons in 2021, Adam reconnected with ENO and transitioned back as their Chief Financial Officer. Adam has earned his MBA from Louisiana State University at Shreveport, and when he’s not crunching numbers, he can be found playing outside with his three boys and sneaking in evening runs.
Abby really found her footing in the WNC outdoor community (literally) when she first joined the NC Mountain Trail Runners (NCMTR) back in 2016. After spending 2 years serving as President of NCMTR, she continued being actively engaged within the community, serving on the board for the RUN828 Foundation, working on creating more trail running opportunities for women, and co-founding WNC’s first and only hundred mile race, the Hellbender 100 Miler. If you haven’t already guessed by now, Abby loves trail running, but what she’s valued most from it are the new connections and insights she’s made from people of varying backgrounds in the outdoor industry. Currently, she is the Digital Marketing Manager for White Blaze Marketing, where she works on developing, implementing and managing marketing campaigns for a number of businesses. In her role, she has produced targeted marketing campaigns, social media and display advertising along with email campaigns to help increase brand awareness and loyalty for companies both small and global. When she isn’t immersed in the digital marketing world, Abby loves digging into a good book, trying out new recipes, and tagging high peaks with her partner.
Decades of wrenching on bikes and guiding backcountry cycling trips throughout the US led Tim to Kitsbow Cycling Apparel where he’s now the Technical Team Manager, responsible for overseeing the efficient operation of all the machines on the production floor. He fuels his days with coffee, pizza, chocolate, and a passion for problem solving to stay focused on constantly improving the manufacturing process. He fills his free time enjoying the outdoors and laughing with his family or daydreaming about where to go on the next bike adventure.
Joanna Postlethwaite Brown is a 15-year resident of Western North Carolina. Early in her career, she earned her marketing chops serving as the National Marketing Manager for Green Festival, the nation’s premier sustainability event. For the subsequent almost decade, she spearheaded the marketing and beer-buying efforts of one of Asheville’s highest award-winning craft beer bars and microbreweries, while serving as a pillar on the AVL Beer Week steering committee and in various event marketing and hospitality capacities for large-scale music events and venues across WNC.
Joanna is currently the Brand and Communications Manager for the MADE X MTNS Partnership. She is passionate about enjoying the outdoors, increasing access to outdoor recreation, and being an environmental steward. In her free time, you’ll find her mountain biking, hiking, and SUPing. Joanna currently resides in Gerton, NC with her husband and dog.
Tyler was raised exploring the wilds of the Adirondack mountains, and made the choice to come to Western North Carolina to find his true calling in the outdoor industry. He turned his background in marketing into a career in outdoor leadership spanning volunteerism, outfitting, trails advocacy and guiding. During his 15 years in Asheville, he has worked with some of the area’s top outdoor companies, was instrumental in organizing the Mountain Sports Festival, and worked with independent outdoor retailers across the country via Grassroots Outdoor Alliance. Along the way other outdoor pursuits led him to advocate for trails with Pisgah Area SORBA and was part of the the inception of the Outdoor Business Alliance of WNC. Currently, his role as the Marketing Director for French Broad Adventures focuses on bringing guests from around the country into the backcountry of Pisgah National Forest and onto the storied French Broad River. He brings a passion to connect people with the outdoors and encourage people of all ages to access public lands for recreation and health.
Ashley is new to the Outdoor Industry and spent most of her career as an elementary school teacher. She and her family have lived internationally for years and chose to move back to Western North Carolina to be close to their families, to enjoy the beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains and have many opportunities to enjoy an active lifestyle.
Currently, Ashley is a sales representative and events coordinator for Recover Brands, spreading the good word about sustainability and environmental responsibility. Most of the time you can find her riding her mountain bike on the local trails with her husband, daughter, and friends during any season. Ashley brings her high energy optimism and passion for community, relationship building, and promoting equal access to outdoor spaces.
Steven was made and raised in WNC and takes great pride in authentically representing the area. He has worked in the outdoor industry for over a decade starting in 2010 when he became an Ambassador for Big City Mountaineers’ Summit for Someone program which gave him the opportunity to work closely with some of the world’s premier mountain guiding outfits like Jackson Hole Mountain Guides and Sierra Mountaineering International. During those fundraising climbs he quickly realized that he excelled at sharing the stoke of adventure and that mountain guides are the coolest people on the planet! In 2014 Steven founded The Appalachian Adventure Company in an effort to bring the awesomeness he had discovered out west back to his North Carolina home. In 2015 Steven created the worldwide social media cleanup effort known as #trashtag which has now been utilized over 120+ million times online. He recently served as the Director of Adventure for Black Folks Camp Too where he helped ignite the Unity Blaze which is designed to make everyone feel safe and welcomed in the outdoors! Aside from owning and operating The AAC, Steven currently serves as Backpacker Magazine’s Brand Ambassador where he guides experiences and creates content to help further their endeavors.
Jesse is an attorney working primarily in land use law and civil litigation, who also advises small businesses on a range of matters including entity formation, operating agreements, and contracts. In the past, he has worked as a raft guide, a bicycle mechanic, and a full-time wheel builder. It was his work in the bicycle industry and his love for the trails in Pisgah National Forest that first brought him to WNC over a decade ago. Not long after, he pulled up his new roots to attend law school in Chapel Hill and then returned to Asheville and put them back down, where he and his wife do their best to cultivate a love of biking, hiking, and paddling in their two sons.
While Jenna is new to the outdoor industry, the outdoors have been a part of her life since she was a kid growing up in the mountains of western North Carolina, Northern Georgia and the upstate of South Carolina. Jenna comes from the non-profit management and victim services industry where she coordinated volunteers, worked on strategic partnerships and community building, fundraising, marketing, and event planning. During her 7 year tenure in the non-profit world, Jenna would escape on the weekends to the mountains to play and decided to jump all the way into the outdoor industry. Jenna currently works as Marketing Leader at Cane Creek Cycling Components and is responsible for leading all marketing, promotional, public relations, advertising, sponsorship, social media and sales support initiatives. When she’s not in the office, you can find Jenna mountain biking, hiking, skiing (when it’s cold enough) or climbing with her friends.
Jake’s career took root in the automotive industry, where he honed his supply chain management skills in a fast-paced, dynamic environment. While the automotive and outdoor industries may seem worlds apart, Jake’s path led him to Eagles Nest Outfitters (ENO) in 2016. Here, he eagerly embraced the opportunity to align his profession with his passion for outdoor pursuits.
Before joining ENO, Jake’s exposure to the professional side of the outdoor industry had been limited to selling ski gear on the shop floor at Boyne Country Sports in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. This early retail experience would later provide invaluable insights into the needs of both outdoor enthusiasts and dealers. As the Chief Operating Officer, Jake now oversees the inbound flow of materials and finished goods through ENO’s global supply chain, the Warehouse/Material Handling Team in Asheville, and the outbound distribution of products to customers throughout the United States and abroad.
Driven by tenacity, Jake expanded his undergraduate studies in supply chain management by earning an MBA from North Carolina State University in 2022. Outside the office, you’ll find him on the trail, either mountain biking or hiking with his wife, dog, and young son in tow.
Chris credits his grandfather, a founding member of the Great Smoky Mountains Hiking Club, for inspiring his love of the outdoors but it wasn’t until college that he really got hooked. Mountain biking and hiking the area around the campus of Western Carolina University was where he decided the outdoors would always be a part of his life. After college he found whitewater raft guiding and his true passion. Chris was a raft guide for 12 years on the French Broad River and continues to paddle recreationally almost every week throughout the year. Chris comes to the OBA as a nine-year co-owner of Second Gear, an outdoor gear consignment shop in the River Arts District. With a mission to make the outdoors more accessible to all socioeconomic classes and keep gear out of landfills Second Gear has been thriving for the last 18 years. Chris is excited to be a part of the OBA and to explore new ways to get more exposure for local makers’ products.