At an Inclusivity Lunch a few years ago, we featured as a keynote speaker David Labistour, CEO of MEC. MEC (known as the REI of Canada) was undergoing a seismic rebranding effort to change from a ‘core mountain shop’ style of retailer to a more inclusive, welcoming outdoor recreation community hub. This meant shedding it’s prior mantle of gore-laminated fleece-hatted muscle-bound and ice-bearded mountain master appeal to show a more ‘everyperson’ face, where even picnicking and walking to the corner coffee shop was acceptable as outdoor adventure. It was a bold move… change is hard for people, and entire societies.
David Labistour showed exceptional leadership in guiding his brand forward even as he endured much passionate criticism from all around him. In this short clip video-story, David is shown under the ‘credits’ section, and has an eloquent message for all of us venturing into the winter backcountry, as well as for Avalanche Canada, a group doing excellent work in helping snow-goers be as safe as possible in the backcountry.
I can’t help but think about the parallels in business and in politics of today in America. Thanks to you David for the vision and courage you display for a more inclusive and educated outdoor adventure audience.