2022 Stewards of Opportunity Conference Track:

Outdoor-Driven Economic Development

About the Outdoor-Driven Economic Development Track

The outdoors are a powerful economic asset, directly driving over 2% of the US GDP and differentiating outdoor communities from everywhere else. This track will provide case studies, strategies, and tools enabling economic developers, communities, and companies to leverage their outdoor assets to recruit, retain, and grow businesses and a high-quality workforce.

Topics for this Track Include:

Speakers for this track include:

  • Amy Allison, Director, NC Office of Outdoor Recreation
  • Matt Godfrey, Waypoint Accelerator, Outdoor Gear Builders of WNC, SBTDC
  • Steven Foy, Director of Outpost Operations, Nantahala Outdoor Center
  • Lauren Rash, Chief Operating Officer, Diamond Brand Gear Company
  • Chuck Millsaps, President, Great Outdoor Provision Company
  • Megan Lawson, Economist, Headwaters Economics
  • Brandi Horton, Vice President of Communications, Rails to Trails Conservancy
  • Seth Brown, Vice President, Quantified Ventures

Early Bird Tickets End Feb. 28th!

conference schedule

To simplify the schedule to your preferred program track, please see the “Filter By Track” color-coded list on the right-hand side, and check the box of your preferred track. If all boxes are checked, you can uncheck them to narrow down your view.


The past year has been life changing, not just for us as individuals, but for our communities, economies, and the outdoor industry as a whole. The need to grow and strengthen our respective outdoor economies is more relevant than ever. 

Since its inception, Outdoor Economy Conference has provided an invaluable opportunity to connect with, learn from, and be inspired by the leaders and doers who are working to grow the outdoor industry and craft an economy that’s intimately tied to the well-being of their places and communities.

This year’s conference is no exception. Our team is passionate about their work and has been busy crafting an amazing program centered around place driven community and economic development.

Did we mention that the conference is in the legendary outdoor playground that is Western North Carolina? You’ll be just 5 minutes from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, 5 minutes from some of the country’s most epic mountain biking, and within walking distance of fantastic fly fishing.

Maybe you’re more of a luxe digs sort of person – well, we’ve got that too. The Outdoor Economy Conference will be one of the first events at the swanky, newly-constructed, Harrah’s Cherokee Event Center. And the room rates are crazy good. Oh, and it’s also during those magical first few weeks of spring, when the trillium and the trout are rising. So what are you waiting for? Register now! 

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harrah's cherokee conference center

777 Casino Dr. Cherokee, NC 28719

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