As my team was visioning the 2015 Utah Recreation Summit, I knew I wanted Kenji on board to offer his unique perspective on how businesses can benefit from the use of events like Outdoor Retailer to power their businesses and the outdoor industry. He has a strong presentation voice and he was an excellent complement to the speakers in this year’s lineup.
If you’ve read Gladwell’s “Tipping Point,” you understand how valuable the “connectors” are — those who have a special gift of bringing people together. Kenji is my connector to the outdoor industry. He has the eyes and ears of some of the most influential buyers, retailer, and press in the industry, which is why he’s the Group Show Director of OR. And while juggling these responsibilities, he still manages these relationships with intregrity and sincerity. He treats me as if I am the only one who calls him with industry questions or advice.
Kenji is a guy who you immediately realize is a lovely/virtuous person, who is extremely rewarding & fun to work with, with lots of powerful ideas. Plus, I dig the way he interacts with others both professionally and personally. There aren’t many earthlings that ride the ball the way he does. It’s why I like to stand next to him and/or man hug him every chance I get. Any organization or individual that has the chance to work with Kenji should jump without hesitation because he will certainly provide positive results times ten. I guarantee it.
As a young woman entering the world of outdoor adventure Kenji gave me the chance to lead at Adventure 16. I have to credit this opportunity not so much to my own talents but to Kenji’s ability in bringing out the best in everyone. He has a gift for inspiring others to achieve more than they thought they were capable. Kenji continuously strengthened his joie de vivre by giving selflessly to his staff, his students, and his environment – a rare quality that he has carried with him for over 20 years in the outdoor industry. I was proud to work for Kenji then, and am prouder now to call him still a trusted friend and advisor.
I have worked with Kenji as a fellow member of the Adventure 16 retail team, and then when he was a sales person for Outdoor Retailer. I now work with Kenji both as a member of the media reporting on the trade shows he manages and as an exhibitor. Kenji’s commitment to and understanding of the outdoor industry and to the companies he serves as the director of Outdoor Retailer is remarkable. Few can match his passion and desire to ensure his company both benefits and serves the industry in all that he does. He is a strong advocate for the outdoors and his vision is certainly a strong reason the Outdoor Retailer show continues to be successful.
Kenji Haroutunian is an old friend, and a respected colleague. I worked with him for five+years while at Outdoor Retailer, and he was nothing short of professional, innovative and action-oriented. Kenji fittingly has risen through the ranks at Outdoor Retailer to become Show Director. When I heard of his appointment as director, I knew that the industry was in for a positive change. Kenji has ushered in a fantastic, fresh approach that brings tools and insights found only in an entrepreneurial mindset. I would have expected nothing less, coming from the authentic background he brings. We are fortunate to have him directing such a critical aspect of our industry.
Kenji’s commitment to colleagues, clients, and the Outdoor Industry as a whole has been exemplary. His positive, solution oriented outlook is inspirational and serves as a model for personal and professional integrity.
As an avid athlete and outdoorsman, Kenji not only works in but also lives in his customer’s marketplace. This gives him invaluable insight for his customers and a keen insight into the mind of his customer’s customer. He is the go-to-guy when you need an effective and realistic trade show and event plan. His experience is money in the bank.
Kenji is a leader without trying. He is a business magnet; meaning companies and people are naturally attracted to him. He has a rare talent in business today, he does the right thing for the people and companies he serves. He is honest. He is a friend.
Kenji has always been a straight shooter and an enthusiastic promoter of all things outdoor. What may not be obvious to those meeting him today is that his rise through the ranks of responsibility and influence came organically. This isn’t evident because he carries himself as a consumate professional, but that professionalism is steeped in grass roots experience, starting in sales on the floor at A16, and then deliberately moving forward and up. That’s his track record, which reflects his attitude: onward and upward.