European Outdoor Group confirms new President and Vice President

The European Outdoor Group (EOG) has appointed a new President to lead the EOG Board. Matt Gowar of Equip Outdoor Technologies has been confirmed in the role at the EOG’s Extraordinary General Assembly (EGA), held the day before ISPO. Matt immediately succeeds outgoing EOG President Mark Held, whose second term has concluded. The change marks the end of Mark’s formal involvement with the EOG, the organisation which he helped to found in 2003, and led as General Secretary until the end of 2018.At the EGA, it was also confirmed that Paolo Bordin of AKU is the new EOG VicePresident, replacing Matt Gowar in that role.  


The EOG traditionally holds its Annual General Assembly (AGA) in January or February, immediately before ISPO. As a consequence of the show being held earlier in the business cycle, it was necessary for the association to hold an EGA in order to complete some formal business ahead of 2023. Following a recommendation by the EOG Board, Mark Held had been appointed EOG President by association members at the 2019 AGA, and was then re-appointed for a second and final term in 2021. In 2022, the board appointed Matt Gowar as EOG Vice President, since when he has been working closely with Mark and the executive team that is led by EOG GeneralSecretary Arne Strate.

 Confirming the appointment of the new EOG President and Vice President at an EGA will allow the association to finalise plans for its programme of activities in 2023, which will be presented to members at the online Annual General Assembly early next year. Those who attend will also review the EOG Annual Report, audited accounts and proposed budget, and any other changes to the EOG Board will be confirmed during the meeting.

Mark Held comments:

“It has been a huge privilege to lead the board as EOG President. When I agreed to take on the role in 2019, I was blissfully unaware of some of the challenges that lay ahead. However, the very nature of the EOG and what it stands for have enabled us to navigate our way through some tumultuous times. Our mantra of promoting pre-competitive collaboration to address the biggest issues has never been more relevant, and that is reflected in our expanding membership, in the excellent levels of involvement and engagement in our key projects, and in our prudent financial management.


“I leave the EOG in excellent hands. Along with the rest of the EOG Board, Matt as President and Paolo as Vice President have a deep understanding of this organisation and its culture, and of the outdoor sector and wider business. Meanwhile, our executive team continues to make strong progress with a wide-ranging and relevant programme of activity for the benefit of our members, and to support the whole industry. One look at our line-up of events for ISPO this week demonstrates how far we’ve come as an organisation that supports, represents and where appropriate, leads, the whole outdoor sector. Of course, I am not about to disappear and will stay involved in consulting roles for projects that are close to my heart. I will also continue to support the work of the EOG and its partners. For now, I’d like to place on record my deep thanks to everyone within the EOG family for their support over the last 20 years.”

Matt Gowar comments:

“I am delighted to take over the role of President of EOG from Mark and follow in the footsteps of him and the previous presidents who have helped to shape where the EOG is today. I believe that we must continue to prioritise pre-competitive collaboration to enable the industry to effectively face the issues impacting us all. With the experience of the EOG team and Paolo as Vice President, we can lead for the growth of an ethical and sustainable industry, preserving the outdoors for future generations and shaping the industry we are all so proud of.”


Arne Strate comments:

“Mark has been a wise mentor to all of us at the European Outdoor Group. He led the association’s executive with great skill as General Secretary and has done likewise on the board as EOG President. Crucially, working with Mark, we have been planning for this moment, and we are ready for 2023 and beyond. Along with everyone in the team, I am very grateful to Mark for everything that he has done for the EOG, and for our sector as a whole, and I am looking forward to building on that success with Matt, Paolo and the board in 2023.”

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