America Outdoors Announces New Executive Director

Aaron Bannon
Aaron Bannon
© America Outdoors

Knoxville, TN, September 6, 2019- America Outdoors is pleased to announce the appointment of Aaron Bannon as the organization’s new Executive Director effective November 1, 2019. Bannon will lead the association in advocacy, education and collaboration for the outfitting industry.

AO Board of Directors President, Brian Campbell commented, “Aaron’s passion for the outdoors, his experience with NOLS and on the America Outdoors Board, and his participation in government affairs has positioned him well to lead our association. Aaron’s hiring is great news for America Outdoors and our membership. I am confident that we have the right person to lead AO for years to come, and I’m excited about this next stage for the association.”

Bannon comes to the association from the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) where he has dedicated 13 years, most recently as the Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability Director. Before that, he spent ten years in conservation advocacy, working as a media officer in Washington, DC, as a wilderness advocate in Sheridan, WY, and as a conservation consultant in San Francisco. Bannon has been an engaged member of the America Outdoors Board of Directors for the past eight years. He also serves on the Wyoming State Parks and Cultural Resources Commission.

In Aaron Bannon’s own words: “America Outdoors has been valuable to me in my work within the industry at NOLS. I’m excited to carry on the strong tradition that America Outdoors has carved out over the past three decades. Looking forward, we have an opportunity to use that tradition and our unique voice to affect the way America perceives the outdoors for the good.

“The people who make up America Outdoors have been a great community for me for many years. I’m excited to spend more time with the AO community through this new role. I look forward to leveraging our strengths to increase our relevance, our reach, and our membership to make America Outdoors a key voice in national outdoors issues.”

Bannon will be taking over the leadership role as we show our gratitude to Julie Kahlfeldt for three and a half years with the association. “I want to thank Julie for her invaluable help getting us through a period of transition with enthusiasm, professionalism and new ideas,” Brian Campbell said. “She helped streamline our back-office operations, moving to a virtual office arrangement and has put together an amazing team. The association is in great shape and well positioned for success with Aaron Bannon as our new Executive Director.”

“My tenure with AO has been a wonderful experience for me personally and professionally. Never has a whitewater raft trip been part of my interview experience! It was so much fun working with an industry that truly cares about protecting the outdoors and helping the public experience our wild spaces. I am thrilled to have been part of some tremendous growth in AO and I know it is poised to prosper.” Kahlfeldt shared. “I wish Aaron all the best as he takes on this new adventure.”


Bannon will begin the position as Executive Director November 1, 2019.  

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David Brown
Knoxville, TN
11/16/2019 09:46 AM

  Congratulations to Aaron and to America Outdoors for an excellent choice to lead the organization. AO has a strong team and I look forward to helping them anyway I can to continue AO's long history of benefits to the outfitting community.