Tying In | Spring 2024 Leadership Update

In this piece from Mountaineer magazine, read a leadership update on branch banquets and how these events tie into our strategic plan, Adventure with Purpose.
Tom Vogl Tom Vogl
Mountaineers CEO
March 12, 2024
Tying In | Spring 2024 Leadership Update
Tulips in the Skagit Valley. Photo by Skye Michel.

About a year ago, we unveiled our recently-updated strategic plan, Adventure with Purpose. We have shared the implementation plan details and progress toward our goals with our community in various ways, including at our Annual Meeting, at the State of the Organization presentation, and through blog posts. We’ve also been doing Adventure with Purpose updates at each of our board meetings, highlighting one of our three strategic priorities: Lead Innovation in Outdoor Education, Engage a Vibrant Community of Outdoor Enthusiasts, and Advocate on Behalf of the Natural World.

At our January 2024 board meeting, staff leadership shared highlights, challenges, and upcoming priorities related to our Lead Innovation in Outdoor Education (LEAD) strategic priority. One highlight was our change to incorporate organization-wide leadership award presentations into each of our seven branch banquets. This idea was largely based on feedback from leaders across the organization and was intended to further build community across The Mountaineers. Members of the board and staff leadership attended each branch banquet to help thank Mountaineers volunteers for their service to our community and to recognize branch and organization-wide leaders who have gone above and beyond.

As we recently shared in our LEAD update to the board, this branch banquet format was a huge success. Especially after a pandemic hiatus on most branch banquets, we heard from many people how nice it was being back together to celebrate our leaders, students, and The Mountaineers. I had the opportunity to attend both the Olympia and Kitsap banquets. Meeting folks I didn’t already know and reconnecting with others who I hadn’t seen in a while was a wonderful treat. I felt inspired hearing stories about the dedicated work by our volunteers to put on programs and help students become safe, responsible outdoor explorers. Each of our branches recognized leaders for exceptional service and it was an honor for me to recognize organization-wide leadership and service award winners.

Sometimes strategic plans can seem esoteric, non-specific, and without actionable outcomes. Our recent branch celebrations highlighted the fact that Adventure with Purpose is a tangible, forward-looking strategy rooted in our community, especially our leaders. Thank you to everyone who played a role in the branch banquets and to all our Mountaineer volunteers for your exceptional dedication to sharing your expertise and experience with our students.

As we look ahead, we will continue to work toward the vision laid out in our strategic plan. For the past 100 years, the core of our mission has been to connect people to the natural world and to each other. We envision a world where our adventures extend beyond the reach of our own personal enjoyment, where all people confidently enjoy and are inspired to protect the natural world, where we adventure with purpose.

This article originally appeared in our spring 2024 issue of Mountaineer magazine. To view the original article in magazine form and read more stories from our publication, visit our magazine archive.

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