Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Sally Jewell is environmentalist, business exec

She is as well known for her efforts with nonprofits that promote environmental health as she is for her role as president and CEO of Recreational Equipment Inc. REI, based in Kent, Wash., is a retailer with $2 billion a year in sales of outdoor gear and clothing for camping, hiking, biking and canoeing.  The 56-year-old Great Britain native started her career as an oil industry engineer and has a degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Washington. She is married to Warren Jewell and they have two adult children.  But it is her reputation and award-winning work in the environmental conservation movement that may be more well known than her business acumen and executive leadership skills. She has won numerous environmental awards, including the 2009 Rachel Carson Award for Environmental Conservation from the Audubon Society, in addition to her work with Obama's "America's Great Outdoors Initiative," launched in 2011, according to her biography provided by REI. Last year, she received the Award for Public Service from the Woodrow Wilson Center and was a named a 2012 Woman of Distinction by the Girl Scouts of Western Washington. And in 2009, she participated in a White House meeting on health care reform, discussing REI's health benefits program.  She also is a board member of several nonprofit environmental groups, including the National Parks Conservation Association. According to REI's website, the company donates millions of dollars a year toward conservation efforts across the country. Several groups from the retail and energy industries have expressed support for Jewell's Cabinet nomination, such as the Retail Industry Leaders Association, where Jewell serves on the board of directors, and Western Energy Alliance, a nonprofit trade association of oil and natural gas companies. "We hope to see a better balance of productive development on non-park, non-wilderness public lands that enhances the wealth of America and creates jobs while protecting the environment," Western Energy Alliance President Tim Wigley said...more

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