David Udberg, managing director of Lowe Alpine U.K., has been elected president of the European Outdoor Group, chairing a new multi-national board of directors where each member will take on specific responsibilities. Each director will work on specific areas together with Mark Held, who remains as secretary general of the international association, but they will all be involved in corporate social responsibility.
Stationed in Kendal, a few minutes away from Held’s office, Udberg brings over 32 years of experience in the European outdoor industry. He previously held international positions at Berghaus, The Mountain Boot Company and Mountain Range. Working with Held, he ran Berghaus until 1992, when they both left following the company’s acquisition by Pentland Group. They also both worked for Lowe Alpine, but at different times.
As president of the EOG, Udberg will concentrate on strategy, government affairs and trade bodies. The departing president, Rolf Schmid, who runs Mammut Sports Group and has been heading up the EOG since its inception in 2003, will remain on the board, steering marketing and communication. Claes Broqvist of Odlo has stepped down as vice president of the EOG, but he will also continue as a director, taking care of market research and statistics.
One of Broqvist’s tasks will be to coordinate a new project aimed at estimating the total economic added value of the outdoor sector in Europe, including revenues generated by outdoor activities. Conducted in association with the University of Lancaster, the findings should help the EOG to obtain governmental support like the Outdoor Industry Association in the U.S.
At the Ispo show in Munich last week, the EOG held a meeting with representatives of national sports and outdoor industry associations from the U.K., France, Germany, Italy and Poland, as well as the Scandinavian Outdoor Group, to help coordinate lobbying activities.
The EOG will continue to take a proactive attitude on sustainability, an area that will be supervised by a new member of its board, Jean-Marc Pambet of Salomon. The sustainability breakfast organized by the EOG at Ispo attracted 170 people, and more would have joined the event if the fair had permitted non-exhibitors to enter the premises before 9 a.m.
Besides Pambet, Eddy Codega of Italy’s Camp has joined the board, where he will act as treasurer, replacing Albrecht von Dewitz from Vaude. He will also take care of industry standards. The elderly von Dewitz, who has strongly campaigned in favor of Friedrichshafen as the venue of the European OutDoor show, has been relinquishing many responsibilities at his own company, and he has now left the EOG’s board.
Another German executive, Bernd Kullmann of Deuter, has been elected vice president of the EOG. He will be responsible for trade fairs and the retail community.