President Barack Obama has nominated the leader of the largest consumer co-operative in the US to join his cabinet and oversee America's national parks and energy reserves.
Subject to confirmation by the Senate, Sally Jewell, President and Chief Executive Officer of REI (Recreational Equipment Inc.), will be appointed Secretary of the Department of Interior and will gain in seat in President Obama's cabinet.
In his nomination, President Obama described Ms Jewell as a "strong and capable leader" and that at REI she helped turn around a "stalling outdoor retailer into one of America’s most successful and environmentally conscious companies".
Ms Jewell has led REI, which designs and sells outdoor gear and clothing, since 2005 and during that time she oversaw an increase of sales from $1 billion to nearly $2 billion; added 71 stores; and greatly expanded its online business.
In the State Dining Room of the White House on Wednesday, Ms Jewell told reporters she was "humbled" and "energized" by this opportunity and that she looks forward to her confirmation hearing in the Senate within the next few weeks.
A statement from the White House added that Ms Jewell's experience of managing REI "will bring to the position integrity, keen management skills, as well as dedication to the Department's mission of managing our nation's lands".
The appointment was applauded in a statement from REI: "Sally is a remarkable leader, an excellent business person and a thoughtful steward of our public lands and resources. We believe that she will do a superb job in this very important role.
"During her tenure, Sally championed the co-op's engagement in supporting volunteer stewardship of public lands, as well as the efforts to manage REI's environmental footprint. Sally's broad business background, community leadership, and her depth of knowledge of the range of issues managed by the Department of the Interior will be of significant value to the department and great service to the nation."
Michael Beall, President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Cooperative Business Association, commends President Obama for his choice. He said: “NCBA and its members are energized by President Obama’s selection. Sally Jewell leads an extraordinary organization that represents the best of the co-operative business community, and we are pleased that she will now occupy a seat on the President’s Cabinet.
"REI is an organization that is grounded in the core principles that are shared by all co-operatives that has made them a financially sustainable business that also is grounded in volunteerism, concern for community and democratic governance. We have no doubt that her years of leadership at REI have prepared her well for this opportunity to for public service as the Secretary of the Interior.”
With revenues of $1.8 billion and assets of $1.1 billion, REI ranks as the 27th largest co-operative in the United States. REI’s 4.7 million members are among the more than 100 million Americans who participate as members of cooperatives.
More than 29,000 co-operatives operate in every sector of the US economy, generating two million jobs each year, contributing $652 billion in annual sales and possessing $3 trillion in assets.
In this article
- Anticipatory thinking
- Barack Obama
- Department of the Interior
- Employment Change
- Person Career
- Person Location
- Presidency of Barack Obama
- president and chief executive officer
- President and Chief Executive Officer of America
- Recreational Equipment Inc
- Recreational Equipment Incorporated
- Sally Jewell
- Social Issues
- The Co-operative Group
- White House
- United States