REI Appoints Angela Owen as Senior Vice President of Marketing and Lee Fromson as Senior Vice President of Merchandising

Feb 21, 2012

REI (Recreational Equipment, Inc.), a national outdoor gear and clothing retailer, has announced that Angela Owen has been named senior vice president of Marketing and Lee Fromson has become senior vice president of Merchandising.

“With more than 50 combined years with the outdoor industry, Angela and Lee have a wealth of experience in driving innovation and leading essential company business units,” said Brian Unmacht, REI’s executive vice president. “They have well-deserved reputations for developing high performing teams and are highly regarded for their strategic leadership.”

As senior vice president of Marketing, Owen will lead REI’s advertising, social and emerging media, online and direct marketing, and customer insights efforts. She is replacing Tom Vogl, who left REI to join a technology firm. Joining REI in 1990, Owen was most recently the senior vice president of Merchandising, a team of 130 employees that buys gear and apparel for the co-op’s 122 stores and direct sales channels. During her leadership, she grew the division by 54 percent in sales over the last five years.  

Owen serves as board vice president for The Conservation Alliance, a group of outdoor industry companies that funds and partners with organizations to protect wild places for their habitat and recreation values.

Fromson, REI’s new senior vice president of Merchandising, will oversee the company’s merchandising strategy, financial planning, inventory management strategies and vendor partnership development. Fromson joined REI in 2006, serving as vice president of REI Private Brands, a division that accounts for a significant portion of the company’s sales. REI’s in-house team develops award-winning gear and apparel sold exclusively by the company under the REI and Novara labels in the categories of camping, hiking, cycling, urban lifestyle, travel and general outdoor recreation.

Prior to joining REI, Fromson was the president of Cascade Designs, Inc. He is active in the outdoor industry and nonprofit causes, including serving as a board member of the National Forest Foundation and The Mountaineers, and the Appalachian Mountain Club board of advisors. He previously served as the chair of the Outdoor Industry Association board.

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 21.5 million members who expect and love the best quality gear, inspiring expert classes and trips, and outstanding customer service. REI has 179 locations in 42 states and the District of Columbia. If you can’t visit a store, you can shop at, REI 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.