Eleven outdoor-inspired companies representing Colorado, New Mexico and Montana introduced in Denver on the eve of the Outdoor Retailer + Snow Show as official Contenders for the 2020 Wright Award.
DENVER, CO (January 28, 2020)– Hatched in 2011 as a non-traditional business award program celebrating entrepreneurs in the outdoor industry, The Wright announced on Tuesday eleven official contenders for the 2020 Wright Award.
“At the core, this is a community of doers,” said Chuck Sullivan, a founder of The Wright. “It is a true privilege to be able to showcase these companies and the people behind them — honest leaders having an outsized impact in their respective communities.”
Since its inception, The Wright has recognized 117 outdoor-inspired businesses representing 48 communities across four Rocky Mountain states as Contenders for The Wright Award. Companies showcased are those creating products and experiences that draw us into the outdoors where their ideas are come to life — not on the whiteboard or in the boardroom, but rather on a river, in the backcountry, on the chairlift and around the campfire.
Announced live at an evening reception and event attended by outdoor industry leaders and past Wright Award Contenders from across Colorado and neighboring Mountain West states, the 2020 award class is made-up of eight Colorado companies along with two from New Mexico and one from Montana.
“It’s fitting that we can make this announcement on the eve of Outdoor Retailer + SnowShow,” said Nathan Fey, Director of Colorado’s Outdoor Recreation Industry Office, a long-time partner of The Wright. “The outdoor industry is an increasingly influential and cohesive voice weighing in on the most important issues in our communities today — economic opportunity, health and wellness, and stewardship of our natural assets. Collectively, these Wright Award honorees represent all that’s possible when people and communities can come together around a shared set of values.”
The Contenders for the 2020 Wright Award are:
Contenders are considered via a peer nomination process. In getting to the 2020 contender class, over 100 companies from five Rocky Mountain states were given close consideration. In 2019, top-honors went to Salida, Colorado-based, Oveja Negra, manufacturer of best-in-class bike packing gear. Founder, Lane Willson, when asked about her experience as a Wright Award Contender, said simply, “We felt heard.”
The Wright Award is presented annually as the cornerstone event of The Wright Summit, a 3-day symposium and award program showcasing real people, real work and real communities of the Mountain West. A signature annual celebration of the industry and culture of the outdoors, The Summit features panel discussions, workshops, a keynote speaker series and special events, centering on themes of stewardship, sustainability and possibility. The Wright 2020 Summit will take place, April 29 – May 2, in Golden, Colorado.
Ten years ago, The Wright set out to celebrate outdoor-inspired, independent-minded entrepreneurs of the Mountain West. Over the years, we’ve witnessed a refreshing portrait emerge. It’s story of outdoor stewardship, collaborative spirit and resilient communities. Through this award, The Wright has had the privilege of recognizing 117 companies representing 48 communities across four Rocky Mountain states. Past contenders include, Voormi; Flylow; Fishpond; Deerhammer Distilling Co; Bonsai Design; Big Agnes; Hala Gear; Corbeaux; Icelantic Skis; Boa Technology; Ross Reels; Oskar Blues Brewing Co; Yeti Cycles; Rapidgrass Bluegrass Festival; Ouray Ice Park; Cotopaxi; Colorado Yurt Company; Eldorado Climbing Walls; Sarabella Fishing; South Main Co; Topo Designs; Vintage Overland; Optic Nerve; Western Rise; Mountain States Snowcats; Jelt; Noso; Tailwind Nutrition; Harvest Skis; And 2019 Award Winner, Oveja Negra.
A 3-day summit and award program illuminating the industry and culture of the outdoors, The Wright Summit returns April 29 – May 1, to Golden, Colorado and will again feature panel discussions, a keynote series and special events, including the presentation of The 2020 Wright Award on Thursday, April 30.
Over the years, we have come to see what ‘real work’ looks like and better understand the mindset that lies behind it – a disposition inherent to the Mountain West and the independent-minded men and women who carve their paths here. Our purpose lies not in creating more ski makers, boat-builders, bike manufacturers or craft brewers or distillers, but rather to inspire the pursuit of the possible, to create more independent thinkers who exercise a moral imagination around the outdoors, who share a love of place and are drawn to lead a life rich with meaningful work.