Honoring the Life of Ann Krcik, 1957-2018
With love, we honor the life of Ann Krcik, a light that touched the lives of so many more than she ever knew.
It is in the sheer number of people who called her “friend” that the breadth of her impact becomes apparent, and beyond that, in the opportunities of strangers whose lives are better because of her. Ann’s influence shaped the experiences of family, friends, acquaintances, and strangers alike, and her love will forever leave its mark.
For Ann, peace lies in the outdoors, where she built a life deeply committed to bettering and protecting that space with which her heart aligned. More than anything, that space lies in Yosemite Valley, her home base—a place that truly shaped the woman she became and was her haven “at times of celebration, reflection, and moments so challenging, it was [her] strongest refuge.”
Since her very first visit to the Valley, she’s been a force in the outdoors—which has translated to a career that will leave its influence for many years to come. The active-outdoor industries recognize Ann Krcik as one of its greatest role models and her achievements as one of its greatest assets—leaving no questions as to why she received the 2018 Camber Outdoors Lifetime Achievement Award.
While Ann’s successes emerge across the board, her greatest achievements lie in opening monumental opportunities for women. “Over 20 years ago, when she and Carolyn Cooke hosted a space for women to convene at trade shows, she sparked an organization that has springboarded from her core vision,” said Deanne Buck, in reference to the origins of Camber Outdoors (formerly the Outdoor Industry Women’s Coalition). Since then, the organization has developed into an evolved version of the original that is shifting the workplace paradigm for women across an entire industry.
When asked her opinion on how the organization has evolved since her co-founding, she simply responded: “Oh dear. I get a lot of credit for just throwing a few parties.”
“Never underestimate the legacy of a good party,” responded Sally McCoy in her opening speech to Ann’s award reception. McCoy, the former CEO of CamelBak and long-time colleague of Ann, also credits her with creating a career path for climbers through sponsorship, for being instrumental in leading collaboration between brands, and for being, “in the greatest respect and truth of the word, a true dirtbag climber.”
In her later years, Ann assumed leadership roles in many forms. She oversaw corporate communications across all products categories, athletes and corporate issues at The North Face. She led their advocacy programs, including the Explore Fund, which provides grants to organizations that connect young people to the outdoors in meaningful ways.
“Ann was a stealth and powerful beacon for advocacy and innovation in community partnerships,” said Rue Mapp, founder of Outdoor Afro. “She personally and thoughtfully guided me in a new-to-me industry. She made top-level connections for Outdoor Afro that has only elevated our brand; and through her work at The North Face, was incredibly generous to us over the years.”
Additionally, Ann was a board member of the Conservation Alliance; co-founder of the Outdoor Industries Women’s Coalition; and recipient of the “Pioneering Women,” “OIA Advocacy,” and American Himalayan Foundation “AHF Star” awards.
The footprint left by Ann’s extraordinary life extends so far in every direction, it can hardly be tracked. To honor her legacy, we will continue to build an industry that Ann Krcik would be proud of—one where all people have equal opportunity. In the words of a friend, “Our lives, our work, and the impact we make in the world would not be the same without Ann Krcik.”
In memory of Ann Krcik, Camber Outdoors presents the Ann Krcik Advocacy Fund:
Ann Krcik has had a lasting impact on each of us. Camber Outdoors would not exist without her vision, perseverance, and passion for the outdoor industry. We are honored to establish the Ann Krcik Advocacy Fund to ensure that women continue to develop community and connections that will shape the future of the outdoors. Donations to the Ann Krcik Advocacy Fund can be made here.