Elizabeth Averbeck: Paying Forward the Gift of Mentoring

Elizabeth Averbeck:
Paying Forward the Gift of Mentoring


Accelerator Society

Camber Outdoors is proud to recognize Elizabeth Averbeck as a member of Camber Outdoors Accelerator Society, a leadership giving club made up of individuals, families, and organizations that show their exceptional commitment to the mission of Camber Outdoors through a generous philanthropic gift, renewable annually. Each year, these funds are used to make the biggest impact in the areas of mentoring, innovation, and entrepreneurship to advance a mission of equity in the outdoors, from boardroom to backcountry.

Turning a passion into a profession

A director of business development at NPD Group, Elizabeth got her start in the outdoor industry eight years ago. And like many in our community she credits Camber Outdoors for helping her find her way in.

Elizabeth became aware of the organization 10 years ago when she made the decision to turn her passion for the outdoors into her profession. “I was working in the publishing field in New York City. All the magazines and brands I loved were outdoor. I realized I would rather work for one of those brands than at a publishing company to align more with my passion, and desire to do something more meaningful.”

Like many women who love the outdoors, Elizabeth found Camber Outdoors, then known as Outdoor Industry Women’s Coalition (OIWC), and started attending networking events. “I flew to Vermont to attend an event featuring a Burton employee. It was my first in-person experience with OIWC. I met members of the Burton team, OIWC staff and board members, and others in the outdoor industry. The experience was great, so I started volunteering for OIWC. It was great way to get a foot in the door.”

Learning lessons in business and in life from a mentor

In 2014, Elizabeth was accepted into the Professional Mentoring Program as a mentee.

I hadn’t seen an opportunity like Camber Outdoors’ mentoring program anywhere else. I wanted to be part of a program where developing leaders are matched with proven leaders and given an opportunity to grow skills and learn from some of the best in the industry. What was interesting is that I was going through a job change at the time. I was able to work with my mentor on interview questions appropriately moving from one industry to another.”

Elizabeth was paired with Kerri Tuuri, at the time a VP of HR at Camelbak. As her mentor, Kerri shared her experience and offered guidance that only a seasoned executive in the active-outdoor industries could provide. I got so much from her. The way she managed meetings, the way she prepared for things. The way she introduced herself in a personal capacity as well as professional – that who you are as a person in your personal life also affects how you are in your professional life.”

The two still keep in touch now that Kerri is working for a fashion apparel brand. I have a lifelong champion of my career that I can call at any time to ask for advice. I can say: ‘here’s the situation, there’s the action I’d like to take, what do you think?’ Going through the process in structured way has allowed me to do the same in any challenging situation or negotiation.”

A matching gift inspires a personal gift to give back

Elizabeth had never given to Camber Outdoors before this gift. Like many of our members, she activated a complimentary membership offered her employer, a corporate partner of Camber Outdoors. Prior to that she acquired an individual membership on her own. “Because I already paid membership dollars, I didn’t feel need to give. Then I saw other people give. It made me realize that as a successful career woman, I give to organizations I support – my college, summer camp, grade school. Why not give to an organization that has been important in my career?”

Elizabeth joined the Accelerator Society because of a $1,000 matching gift offered in 2017. “I read that ‘If you give this, then it will be doubled.’ It was a sizeable amount. I had to think about it, but made the donation because this was a way for me to give back to an organization that had given so much to me. And I want other women to have these experiences.”

“I hope that other individuals continue to or experience for the first times, the same growth and opportunity and insights that I have received from my experiences with Camber Outdoors. I want the organization to support women in the industry and beyond in ways that it has supported me.”

Become part of an exclusive club with a $500 gift before December 31

The Accelerator Society is significant because of the collective power of its members who provide core funding that allows Camber Outdoors to be an efficient organization with the resources to respond to the greatest opportunities to make the biggest impact. Membership requires a minimum financial investment of $1,000 in Camber Outdoors, renewable annually. Each year, these funds are used to advance mentoring, innovation, and entrepreneurship in women and now other underrepresented groups, all to achieve a mission of equity in the outdoors, from boardroom to backcountry.

Become a part of this exclusive club of supporters with a $500 gift to Camber Outdoors before December 31. Your gift will be matched with a $500 gift from Donna Carpenter, CEO of Burton Snowboards, Camber Outdoors Board Member, and pioneer in advancing gender equity in the workplace.

To learn more about Camber Outdoors’ Accelerator Society, Contact Mary Hsue at mary.hsue@camberoutdoors.org.

Formerly the Outdoor Industries Women’s Coalition (OIWC)


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