December Newsletter  /  Issue 59

If you read nothing else ...

The three most important things to know

  1. Maine’s outdoor recreation economy grew to $3.3 billion in 2022! Read a summary of the Bureau of Economic Analysis report

  2. MOB announced our annual Trailblazer Award winners at the Maine Outdoor Economy Summit! Read about this year's recipients!

  3. Watch our new Making it in Maine video: Careers in the Outdoor Industry

New + Now

The Bureau of Economic Analysis has released economic data for 2022

The outdoor recreation economy in Maine grew an impressive 16.5% from 2021 to 2022, according to new data released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. This year’s report shows that outdoor recreation creates $3.3 billion in value added for Maine, accounts for 3.9% of Maine’s GDP and supports 32,000 jobs.
Learn More

Trailblazer Awards

Recipients of the 2023 Trailblazer Awards, recognizing outstanding achievements in leadership, innovation, and collaboration within Maine’s thriving outdoor economy, were unveiled at the second annual Maine Outdoor Economy Summit in Rockport last week. The awards showcase the passion, resilience, and dedication of leaders shaping the future of the state’s outdoor industry.

 The 2023 Trailblazer Award Recipients:

Outdoor Innovation Award recognizes a brand or organization for an innovative product or service that was successfully brought to market in the last year.

Recipient: Hearty Roots, Taproot Therapeutic Adventure program
Award received by: Haley Bezon, Jess Donohoe, & Lauren Cucci

Hearty Roots is transforming the landscape of mental health through its groundbreaking Taproot Therapeutic Adventure program. We believe that this innovative program is a beacon of hope for the future of mental health and outdoor engagement.

Outdoor Industry Leader of the Year Award recognizes an individual who’s had an outsized impact on and whose actions have demonstrably strengthened Maine’s outdoor recreation industry.

Recipient: Kristina Cannon, President & CEO, Main Street Skowhegan

Kristina Cannon’s visionary leadership at Main Street Skowhegan has propelled the Skowhegan River Park project forward, with construction scheduled for July 2024. Her game-changing approach to community engagement and outdoor recreation sets an inspiring example for leaders across the state.

Outdoor Brand Collaboration Award recognizes brands and/or organizations that have, working together, developed an outstanding product or service in the past year.

Recipient: Mahoosuc Guide Service & Penobscot Guides — Way of the Wabanaki
Award received by: Polly Mahoney of Mahoosuc Guides; Jason Pardilla, Jennifer Neptune, Ryan Kelley, Chris Sockalexis, James Francis, & Jimmy Pardilla of the Penobscot Guides.

The Way of the Wabanaki Cultural Canoe Trip is a testament to the power of collaboration and educational awareness. This incredible experience exemplifies a mutually respectful partnership, fostering outdoor learning and appreciation for Wabanaki territory. The Mahoosuc and Penobscot Guides showcase how shared interests can propel into impactful initiatives that honor the land and its people.

In addition to these awards, this year’s Trailblazer ceremony took a celebrated turn by introducing a new recognition, the Maine Outdoor Brands Member of the Year Award. This addition emphasizes the pivotal role played by passionate members of MOB in fostering knowledge-sharing, expertise, and the joyful spirit of Maine’s outdoor industry.

MOB Member of the Year

Recipient: Brant & Cochran 
Award received by: Mark Ferguson, Steve Ferguson, & Barry Worthing.

Just as they craft enduring products meant to be passed down through generations, Brant & Cochran is equally devoted to fostering lasting lessons and relationships within the outdoor community. Their tireless efforts extend beyond the present, aiming to fortify the future success of Maine’s outdoor industry by sowing the seeds of knowledge and camaraderie that will continue to flourish for years to come.


2023 Maine Outdoor Economy Summit

Last week, over 350 industry leaders gathered to shape the future of Maine’s outdoor sector together, from setting off on outdoor adventures to gathering for game-changing discussions on sustainability, inclusivity, economic development, workforce, access, and equity.

A few highlights include Governor Janet Mills joining us for the opening reception, the kick off to the 10-year Maine Outdoor Recreation Economy Roadmap project, and the powerhouse speakers and Discovery Marketplace brands who brought a hub of knowledge and innovation.

Relive peak moments from the Summit on our latest blog post!

MOES Peak Moments

Outdoor Retailer Winter Show

An incredible crew of Maine Outdoor Brands members set out for Salt Lake City last month for the Outdoor Retailer winter show! The MOB booth, with displays by Mainers, FLYN, Opolis, and Arctic Lynx was a testament to the thriving outdoor community in Maine. Who's coming next time? 
Photos and Report from Outdoor Retailer

Brant & Cochran

We're especially proud to announce that Brant and Cochran received the 'Best Collaboration of the Year' award for their outstanding partnership with Solo Stove, a well-deserved recognition of their commitment to excellence and their craft.

The Best Collaboration of the Year started with a conversation at Outdoor Retailer when the MOB booth was adjacent to the Solo Stove booth. Conversations between the two brands sparked a collaboration pairing an heirloom-worthy special edition Allagash Cruiser, with fireside essentials, including matchbooks featuring artwork inspired by the original Brant & Cochran Tool Company.

The Daily Awards by Outdoor Retailer

NEW FILM! Making it in Maine: Careers in the Outdoor Industry

The latest film in the "Making it in Maine" series by Maine Outdoor Brands, focused on career pathways in Maine, features the stories of Erin O'Toole of Oterra Designs, Ponch Membrano of Mainers, and Kelly Warsky of L.L. Bean. The film premiered at the kick-off to the Maine Outdoor Economy Summit, and is part of an ongoing series is made in partnership with 360 Media Ventures.

A Month @ MOB

It’s that time again! Check out the 5th edition of “A Month @ MOB,” a roundup of the latest events in Maine’s outdoor industry.

Read the December Issue

MOB In the News

Maine Outdoor Brands, Maine Office of Outdoor Recreation, and Maine Marine Trades Association speak to BEA numbers in the Portland Press Herald and Maine Biz.

Blueprint Surf launches Kickstarter campaign for their 3D-printed surfboards made from recycled plastics. Read more >
In time for ski season, Saddleback Mountain will unveil affordable housing complex Read more >

Thank You to Our Supporters!

Summit: Visit Maine, Blaze Partners, Autumn Lane Web Studios, REI
Tree Line: Machias Savings Bank, Bernstein Shur, MXH Marketing 

Interested in sponsorship opportunities for 2023? Reach out to Thank you for supporting Maine's outdoor economy!
Maine Outdoor Brands is a member-driven alliance of outdoor product makers, experience providers, retailers and organizations invested in strengthening Maine’s $3 billion outdoor recreation economy. As champions of our state’s growing outdoor industry, we believe there is strength in numbers and aim to be a catalyst for growth. We empower outdoor businesses to thrive by providing collaborative marketing, networking, resource sharing and education in partnership with the Maine Office of Outdoor Recreation.
Copyright © *Maine Outdoor Brands, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
PO Box 513 Portland, Maine 04112

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