Grassroots Announces Nominees For 2024 Outdoor Specialty Awards; Winners To Be Celebrated At June Connect Show

Grassroots Outdoor Alliance, the national organization dedicated to the health and growth of specialty outdoor retail, this week announced their slate of nominees for the 2024 Grassroots Outdoor Specialty Awards. 

The 2024 awards are a revitalization and elevation of a Grassroots tradition that paused in 2020, and celebrate overall excellence among Grassroots retailers and vendors, as well as outstanding achievements in business, advocacy, community action, and philanthropy.

Winners will be revealed at the upcoming Grassroots Connect show in Reno, during a special award luncheon held from noon to 1pm on Monday, June 10.

“The Grassroots awards have always meant a lot to our members, as they’ve helped build deeper connections and strengthen relationships throughout our community. While the 2024 awards will certainly spotlight some noteworthy individual efforts, the gathering and celebration of those efforts is healthy for everybody,” said Dana Howe, Grassroots Outdoor Alliance vice president.

“Our 2019 Grassroots Retailer of the Year Award means more than you might imagine. The group’s dedication to retail best practices and members exchanging ideas have helped us to take our stores to the next level. We are honored by the recognition,” said Russell “Holly” Hollebeck, co-owner of The Alpine Shop in St. Louis, Missouri.

The nominees for the 2024 Grassroots Outdoor Specialty Awards include:

Retailer Awards:

  • Retailer of the Year – Footsloggers (Boone, N.C.); JAX Mercantile Co. (Laporte, Colo.); The Mountaineer (Keene, N.Y.); Nugget Alaskan Outfitter (Juneau, Alaska); Pack Rat Outdoor Center (Fayetteville, Ark.)
  • Community Giveback -- Casual Adventure (Arlington, Va.); Footsloggers (Boone, N.C.); Pack Rat Outdoor Center (Fayetteville, Ark.); Quest Outdoors (Louisville, Ky.); River Rock Outfitter (Fredericksburg, Virg.).
  • Retailer Growth Award — Casual Adventure (Arlington, Va.);  JL Waters (Bloomington, Ind.); Playmakers (Okemos, Mich.); Water Stone Outdoors (Fayatteville, W.V.).

Vendor Awards:

  • Vendor Partner of the Year — Hydrapak, Mountain Hardwear, Nemo Equipment, Patagonia, Smartwool.
  • Excellence in Hardgoods & Accessories – Hydrapak, LEKI, Nemo Equipment, NRS, Osprey.
  • Excellence in Apparel and Softgoods – KAVU, Mountain Hardwear, Patagonia, Purnell, Smartwool.
  • Excellence in Footwear – Altra, Astral, LOWA, Oboz, Salewa.

Additional awards will be given during the ceremony including Appreciation for Board Service, Friend of Grassroots, Unmatched Dedication Retailer Award, and Excellence in Sales Representation. 

Nominees for the Grassroots Awards were determined based on results from the 2023 Grassroots membership and vendor studies, Grassroots sales and financial reporting, and feedback collected through various surveys.

Grassroots developed the categories, nomination process, and judging criteria with the support of a multi-sector awards committee including retailers, brands and sales representatives. That group included retailers Lisa Hollenbeck (The Alpine Shop; St. Louis, Mo.), Josh Haring (The Mountain Air; San Luis Obispo, Calif.), Ed McAlister (River Sports Outfitters; Knoxville, Tenn.); brand managers Ken Taylor (The North Face), Tracy Collins (Exped), Jeff Sermak (CamelBak); and sales representatives Kurt Smith (Top Gun Sales) , BJ Brewer (Vim Sales Group) and Mike Felix (Midcoast Outdoor Sales). 

Grassroots Outdoor Alliance is a retailer-owned active network of 101 independently owned outdoor retailers and 66 vendor partners, working together for the health and growth of specialty outdoor retail. Through data collection and analysis, direct member support, specialty events and deep vendor partnerships, Grassroots Outdoor Alliance is creating both a vision and roadmap for the long-term success of independent specialty retail. Grassroots Outdoor Alliance is recognized as a catalyst for the success of its retailers and vendor partners; an advocate for specialty independent retail; a promoter of education and community within the specialty channel; and a key influencer of the national outdoor industry.  For more information on Grassroots Outdoor Alliance, please go to

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