New Director of the Office of Outdoor Recreation Industry: Brad Garmon

NCTA applauds Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s appointment of Brad Garmon as Director of the Office of Outdoor Recreation Industry. Andrea Ketchmark, NCTA Executive Director, joined other outdoor industry and recreation leaders for the announcement at Outside Coffee Co. in Grand Rapids yesterday.

Brad Garmon, new Director of Michigan’s Office of Outdoor Recreation Industry, and Andrea Ketchmark, NCTA Executive Director. Photo by Michigan DNR staff.

“From the Great Lakes to our expansive forest lands to a vast network of trails, Michigan boasts unparalleled natural resources and countless opportunities for outdoor recreation,” Gov. Whitmer said. “Our state is well positioned to be a leader in this new effort to support and promote the outdoor recreation economy. By partnering with a consortium of states dedicated to promoting the outdoor recreation industry, we will make sure that our work aligns with others who share our values in prioritizing conservation and stewardship, health and wellness, growing our workforce and strengthening our economy.”

Gov. Whitmer then introduced Brad Garmon. Garmon most recently was the interim CEO of the Michigan Environmental Council in Lansing. Before that, he served as the council’s director of Conservation and Emerging Issues, a role created specifically to support and build stronger alliances between outdoor recreation, economic development and natural resource stewardship. Garmon also has served on Michigan’s State Parks and Outdoor Recreation Blue Ribbon Panel; advised the state on its public land strategy, water strategy and tourism strategic plan; and been a member of the Michigan Heritage Leadership Council and the state’s Pigeon River Country Advisory Council.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer addressed state, retail and nonprofit representatives of Michigan’s outdoor recreation industry at Outside Coffee Co. in Grand Rapids, MI. Photo by Andrea Ketchmark.

“Historically, Michigan has been a national leader in conservation and recreation issues – from inspiring a young Ernest Hemingway to creating the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund that’s become a national model for recreation funding,” Garmon said. “Now it’s time to apply that tradition of national leadership to the outdoor recreation economy, which is 2.2% of the national GDP already and growing faster than the economy overall.”

“Michigan’s outdoor recreation lifestyle is world-class and we are excited to work with Brad, a long-time friend and ally of trails like the North Country National Scenic Trail, to grow and celebrate the outdoor recreation economy of Michigan and the Great Lakes,” Ketchmark said. “Through this Office, we are looking to see greater opportunity for partnerships with the state and private industry to support and promote investment our region’s trails, coastlines, trout streams, forests, neighborhood parks and waterfronts.”
Welcome, Brad! We look forward to working with you!
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