New role directs team in the implementation of outdoor-driven economic and community development strategies across Western North Carolina.
WESTERN NC – AUGUST 17, 2022 – Mountain BizWorks is excited to announce the hiring of Amy Allison as WNC: MADE X MTNS Partnership Director. The WNC: MADE X MTNS Partnership is an outdoor-driven economic and community development initiative advancing the outdoor economy across 25 Western North Carolina (WNC) counties and the Qualla Boundary.
The WNC: MADE X MTNS Partnership is supported through funding from the Appalachian Regional Commission, Dogwood Health Trust, and regional partners including Mountain BizWorks, Outdoor Gear Builders of WNC, Western Carolina University, and Appalachian State University. By 2024, the Partnership is expected to generate 325 jobs created and retained, as well as $18.1M in new investment in the region’s outdoor economy. Amy Allison joins Brand and Communications Manager, Joanna Brown, and Building Outdoor Communities Specialist, Bradley Spiegel, to shape three core pillars of work: Outdoor Industry Expansion, Building Outdoor Communities, and Empowering Regional Storytelling.
Amy brings experience in almost every part of the outdoor industry to this role, from traveling nationwide as a Leave No Trace trainer, to leading the marketing of renowned outdoor gear brand ENO, and serving as a founding member of the Outdoor Gear Builders of WNC. Most recently, she has served as Director of the North Carolina Outdoor Recreation Industry Office since 2019.
“Amy is deeply dedicated to both our mountain communities and the entrepreneurs that make our outdoor economy possible. The deep trust, knowledge, and relationships that she has built, and her national reputation as an industry leader and conservation partner, will be invaluable as we work to connect and grow our region’s outdoor economy,” notes Matt Godfrey, Executive Director of the Outdoor Gear Builders of WNC and MADE X MTNS partner.
Amy Allison’s career in the outdoor recreation industry provides her with the skills needed to lead these programs, as well as a broad network of collaborators across the state and country.
“It’s an incredible honor to welcome Amy into this role, and have her focusing all her remarkable talents towards WNC,” says Noah Wilson, Director of Sector Development at Mountain BizWorks. “There is nobody who is better suited to weave together this partnership and build the systems and coalitions needed for our region’s outdoor entrepreneurs and community initiatives to start, grow, and thrive,” he adds.
While the MADE X MTNS Partnership is specifically targeted towards WNC, the lessons learned and programs developed through it will be used as models and inspiration for similar initiatives across the state, the larger Appalachian region, and nationwide.
“It has been an honor to share the stories and successes of our communities and elevate North Carolina as the Outdoor Industry Capital of the East. I am excited to be stepping into a position that allows me to continue this work, but to be able to concentrate on a more focused region of the state. This is a unique opportunity to collaborate with communities to leverage their unique outdoor assets to become even more attractive and exciting for entrepreneurs, existing outdoor industry businesses, and new industry partners, as well as the local residents who call these mountains home,” says Amy Allison.
Amy will be deepening her WNC roots even further in the coming weeks as the Building Outdoor Communities Program gets underway. The program starts with an Open House Series across 10 locations in WNC during August 15-26, sharing information and giving the MADE X MTNS team a chance to connect with community and industry partners across the region.
A schedule of events, program FAQ, and event registration for the Open House Series as well as the upcoming September 19-20 Building Outdoor Communities Launch Event & Workshop are available at the MADE X MTNS Building Outdoor Communities webpage
About the WNC: MADE X MTNS Partnership
The WNC: MADE X MTNS (Made By Mountains) Partnership is working to expand the outdoor industry and economy across North Carolina’s Appalachian region and catalyze rural development by building vibrant outdoor communities, driving outdoor industry growth, and empowering regional storytelling. The Partnership includes Outdoor Gear Builders of WNC, Mountain BizWorks, and the NC Outdoor Recreation Industry Office, as well as numerous stakeholders including regional universities, rural communities, economic development, and conservation organizations. With support from the Appalachian Regional Commission and Dogwood Health Trust, the WNC: MADE X MTNS Partnership celebrates, supports, and builds a stronger sense of pride around our region, our people, and the extraordinary outdoor recreation industry and culture that these mountains have made. For more information, visit madexmtns.com or @madexmtns on Facebook, Instagram and Linkedin.