REI's Wilma Wallace poses in front of textured wooden wall.

REI Co-op Appoints Wilma Wallace Chief Diversity and Social Impact Officer

Sep 29, 2021

SEATTLE – REI Co-op today announced that Wilma Wallace, has been promoted into the new role chief diversity and social impact officer, effective immediately. Wallace has served at the co-op's general counsel and corporate secretary since 2017. Outside of REI, Wallace serves on a variety of nonprofit boards for organizations focused on equity and human rights, including Camber Outdoors and Landesa.

"Since joining the co-op in 2017, Wilma has played a number of critical roles—leading our legal team, serving as executive sponsor of the BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) inclusion network and helping shape our organizational REDI strategy," says REI Co-op CEO Eric Artz. "Her rich experience in global human rights and her passion for advancing racial equity at the co-op and in the outdoor and retail industries make her the ideal person to lead this work forward."

In her new role, Wallace will build and lead a new Diversity and Social Impact Office to lead and champion the co-op's racial equity, diversity and inclusion (REDI) work at an enterprise level.

"The co-op is uniquely positioned to lead in transforming the outdoor industry into a more diverse and inclusive space where all can thrive outside," says Wallace. "This is a moment for the co-op to make a difference, and I am grateful to be able to bring together my life-long commitment to advancing equity, inclusion and justice, my love for the outdoors and my own lived experience and passion for social change in my work."

The legal division will continue to report into Wallace, and REI will begin a search for a new general counsel.

Over the coming months, the co-op will recruit for additional roles in the new Diversity and Social Impact Office. Interested professionals can learn more about available positions and apply online at Employees receive a wide variety of benefits, including generous product and service discounts, competitive pay, and retirement contributions. REI employees also enjoy unique perks, such as two paid "Co-op Way Days" each year that allow them to enjoy their favorite outdoor activity and an additional paid day off on Black Friday to #OptOutside.

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 188 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.