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North Carolina-based Outdoor Companies Drive Initiative to Create New State Level Position

New position to promote economic development in outdoor-based recreation and manufacturing

Brevard, NC: From the Outer Banks to the Blue Ridge Mountains, North Carolina has long been a destination for outdoor adventure and businesses alike. As a $19.2 billion industry, outdoor recreation provides 192,000 jobs in North Carolina and is steadily growing. Recognizing the importance of the outdoor industry to the state’s economy, Tom Dempsey, President of SylvanSport, a North Carolina-based, recreational vehicle manufacturer, and several other industry leaders have led the drive to establish a new state level position to promote North Carolina and assist in bringing new businesses to the state.

The new Outdoor Recreation Recruitment Director is modeled from similar positions in Utah, Colorado and Washington, with Dempsey believing that North Carolina could be the leader in outdoor-based economy in the East. Through a collaborative effort of outdoor gear manufacturers throughout the state, a proposal was submitted to the North Carolina State Legislature in Raleigh.

“Growing the outdoor recreation economy in North Carolina has been a passion of mine for 20 years,” says Dempsey. “North Carolina is truly a leader in this space, and it is gratifying to see our state’s leadership in this regard. Many thanks to the other industry leaders and to Senator Rick Gunn of Alamance County for joining me in making this happen!”

Ross Saldarini, President of Mountain Khakis, VF Corporation in Greensboro, and the Outdoor Gear Builders of Western North Carolina, a coalition of outdoor gear manufacturers in the western half of the state, were among many outdoor businesses in North Carolina that joined forces to make this new position a reality.

“This was truly a team effort,” said Saldarini. “We are thrilled to see the hard work pay off, and now we start on the next phase of the campaign, to get more outdoor businesses here in North Carolina and to grow the massive outdoor recreation economy.”

The Outdoor Recreation Recruitment Director is included in the 2018-19 budget as introduced by the North Carolina legislatures on Monday, June 19, 2017.

“A lot of credit goes to the outdoor industry leaders in North Carolina for their tireless and unwavering drive to get this position established and funded,” says Alex Boian, Vice President of Government Affairs for the Outdoor Industry Association. “We hope to see others build on their example.”


About SylvanSport

SylvanSport is the US-based manufacturer of the award-winning GO Camping Trailer and the revolutionary ‘GO Easy’ Adventure Trailer. GO has been called the Swiss Army Knife of camping trailers and the Coolest. Camper. Ever. by National Geographic Adventure. The all-new ‘GO Easy’ is the most innovative and feature-packed bike, boat and cargo hauling, utility/camping trailer on the market. For more information, visit our website


One thought on “North Carolina-based Outdoor Companies Drive Initiative to Create New State Level Position

  1. As a Retired Marketing Director with 3M Aerospace, long term Scouter, Backpacker and Kayaker I would be interested in learning more relative to the Outdoor Recreation Recruitment Position if it is still available.
    I my varied sales and marketing background also includes stints as New England Sales Representative for Seda Kayaks and Canoes out of Chula Vista CA and serving on the Board of the Davidson Lands Conservancy.
    Thanking you in advance for consideration.
    Russ Gavitt 704-904-6288

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