On behalf the board of directors, thanks to you, REI’s loyal members, for your patronage and engagement in the co-op. REI is a unique business and it is our privilege to help guide this great organization.
REI is healthy and growing. We are focusing our energy and resources on meeting and anticipating member needs, and we are committed to ensuring that REI isthe best place for great product, excellent service and the encouragement and inspiration needed to enjoy the outdoors. We continue to pursue business success in ways that reflect the co-op’s values and with respect for the communities in which we operate, the natural places in which we recreate and our employees.
The board’s role is to provide oversight and guidance to management in the operation of the co-op. We have great confidence in REI’s leaders, and we hold them accountable for ensuring the co-op delivers sustainable growth and profitability while meeting your needs. This is especially important given today’s dynamic, complex and competitive world.
The challenges and opportunities in today’s marketplace require the board to keep pace and add the skills and talents needed to guide the co-op into the future. Our directors’ great diversity of backgrounds and skills strengthens the co-op. In recent years, we’ve deepened the board’s retail expertise, providing both the board and management helpful insight and guidance. This year, through appointments to the board and the annual nomination and election process, we are adding depth in business, technology and digital retail.
In 2013, two wonderful board members will step down as required by term limits on board service. Anne Farrell and Joanne Harrell have provided great guidance, wisdom and perspective, and we are deeply appreciative for their years of service.
Additionally, as of the writing of this message the board is awaiting the outcome of the U.S. Senate’s consideration of Sally Jewell, REI’s CEO, as the president’s nominee to be the next Secretary of the Department of Interior. The board is enthusiastic and supportive for her confirmation, as we know she would bring great leadership, a balanced approach to complex issues and her lifelong passion for the outdoors to Washington, D.C. Should she be confirmed, the board is prepared to immediately launch a national search for her replacement.
Thanks for your support of the co-op. I know great things are ahead and we, as your board, remains deeply committed to REI’s purpose – to inspire, educate and outfit for a lifetime of outdoor adventure and stewardship.