REI Co-op announces three new executive leaders

Dec 14, 2017

SEATTLE – Today REI, the nation’s largest consumer co-op, announces three recent hires to lead its teams in legal, information technology and REI Co-op Brands: Wilma Wallace, Christine Putur and Chris Speyer.

“I couldn’t be more excited about the talented group of leaders joining the team this year. Our board of directors and leadership team have a long-term commitment to make a positive impact on our employees, our members, our business and society,” says REI CEO Jerry Stritzke. “Each of these leaders will contribute significantly to that mission.”

Wallace joined REI in October as the co-op’s new vice president, general counsel and legal secretary. Wallace joins REI from an interim general counsel position at Enveritas. Prior to that, she spent more than two decades as a senior leader on the legal team at Gap Inc., overseeing many of the company’s legal, compliance, social responsibility and public policy efforts. At REI, Wallace will lead all legal efforts on behalf of the co-op. Wallace has a lifelong enthusiasm for the outdoors. She loves to spend time trail running, biking, kayaking and paddle boarding with her family.

“I’m excited by the timelessness of the co-op’s purpose, balanced with the ability to evolve the business to be relevant, inclusive and thriving. I’m also moved by the co-op’s commitment to members and stewardship of the environment,” says Wallace.

Putur joined REI as the co-op’s new chief information officer in November after four years as executive vice president and CIO at Coach. Prior to that, she was at Staples for 13 years and held numerous IT roles before taking on the global CIO role in July 2011. She is also on the board of Information Services Group, a global technology research and advisory firm. In her spare time, Putur enjoys running, biking and travel. At REI, Putur will lead a team responsible for the co-op’s technology strategy, implementation and operations.

“Joining the co-op presents an incredible opportunity to have a positive impact on two things I care about: the outdoors and personal wellness. I am particularly excited about advancing the use of technology to enable the next generation of outdoor experience,” says Putur.

Speyer joined REI in October, after nearly five years as chief operating officer and then chief executive officer at Accell North America. He previously spent 10 years at Calgary’s Forzani Group, serving in operational and merchant roles. Speyer served on the board of People for Bikes in his capacity at Accell, and will rejoin the board as a representative of REI in early 2018. He is an honorary board member and past president of the Bicycle Product Supplier Association, and past board member of Beeline Bikes. At REI, Speyer will oversee the design, production and sales of all REI Co-op products, including apparel, technical gear and a newly announced line of Co-op Cycles. In his free time, Speyer enjoys running, cycling and alpine skiing.

“REI is truly a different kind of company. We are committed to the outdoors and to our members in a truly authentic and unique way. The chance to develop product that will carry the promise of the co-op logo is a once in a lifetime opportunity. I’m excited that I can give back to the outdoors and the outdoor community, and that I can be part of a team of people that is super talented and passionate about what they do.”

About the REI Co-op

REI is a specialty outdoor retailer, headquartered near Seattle. The nation’s largest consumer co-op, REI is a growing community of 23 million members who expect and love the best quality gear, inspiring expert classes and trips, and outstanding customer service. REI has 181 locations in 42 states and the District of Columbia. If you can’t visit a store, you can shop at REI.comREI Outlet or the REI shopping app. REI isn’t just about gear. Adventurers can take the trip of a lifetime with REI’s active adventure travel company that runs more than 100 itineraries across the country. In many communities where REI has a presence, professionally trained instructors share their expertise by hosting beginner-to advanced-level classes and workshops about a wide range of activities. To build on the infrastructure that makes life outside possible, REI invests millions annually in hundreds of local and national nonprofits that create access to—and steward—the outdoor places that inspire us all.