AORE Board Report: Our Commitment to the Association's Growth and Sustainability
Written By: Bryan Karban (AORE Board Member and Strategic Planning Task Force Lead)

Hello AORE Community,

In 2018, the Board partnered with La Piana Consulting to help our Association strengthen its sense of identity and priorities with the goal of advancing AORE's growth, sustainability, and overall capacity to support its members. Through our partnership, we also identified four core audiences that we want to serve: college/university, military MWR, non-profit educators, and for-profit educators. The Board determined association governance as a key area of focus as well. This significant planning effort has led to a more intentional approach to our work, which in turn, has added immense value to AORE's members. I am excited to share what we've learned and highlight some of the major outcomes of this important endeavor through the update I've created below.

What is Strategic Planning?
Strategic planning is an ongoing process that helps an organization to remain goal-oriented, proactive and adaptable, efficient, and in a sustainable growth mindset. If an organization has no idea where it is headed, then it will wander aimlessly without priorities, changing direction constantly, and ultimately missing out on opportunities for making a lasting and meaningful impact with the people it serves. AORE's Board is committed to strategic planning for this reason, knowing that the process will ensure AORE's success in the long-term.

AORE's Strategic Planning Process
AORE Identity Statement
Approved by Board of Directors on February 21, 2019

Strategic Filters:
AORE Values:

Strategic Anchors:

Advocacy: AORE leverages its national influence to advocate for critical issues impacting membership and ensures that current and aspiring professionals are informed on the latest industry news, research, best practices, and funding opportunities with the goal of advancing the field of outdoor recreation and education as a whole.

Networking: AORE offers opportunities for members to engage and form authentic relationships in a variety of settings that are inclusive and accessible in order to grow a thriving, supportive community of diverse voices that will help enrich the field of outdoor recreation and education.

Professional Development: AORE connects members to high quality programs, tools, trainings, and certification opportunities in a wide range of learning formats, ensuring that current and aspiring professionals have access to the education and resources they need to be relevant in their current job and achieve their goals.

Career Advancement: AORE provides a nurturing space for members to ask career questions and access the tools, education, and support needed to choose a focus area, navigate the job market, advance within the profession, and find the right environment that will allow them to flourish and become their best selves.

AORE Governance:

The AORE views strategic governance through the following model:


AORE's Board of Directors is responsible for the organizational level of the Strategy Pyramid. The Executive Director and AORE's staff are responsible for the programmatic and operational levels of the Strategy Pyramid. Additionally, the Board exercises oversight through the process of reviewing and approving the AORE’s annual operating budget, which is developed by the Executive Director.

Membership Impact:
In closing, I'd like to take the time to thank all of our AORE members, volunteers, and partners for participating in our strategic planning endeavor. I am proud of what we are building together. This roadmap for success will allow us to mitigate risk and be proactive rather than reactive, outlining a clearly articulated vision for what we want to achieve as an association---both for our members and for the larger industry of outdoor recreation and education.

I urge you to read the new Board Chair Update from Kellie Gerbers, which provides her personal perspective on these exciting changes and our growth as an association overall. And please don't hesitate to reach out to us with questions, should you have them.

I will see you at the AORE-AEE Joint Conference in Spokane this November!

Bryan Karban
AORE Board Member
Lead, Strategic Planning Task Force