Spotlight: Heroes on the Water

Not just your backyard service organization

By Emilie Colby

“If birds can fly, ducks can swim, then kayakers get to paddle.”

Joe Winston, Heroes on the Water 

Founded in 2007, Heroes on the Water (HOW) is an organization geared towards providing a safe environment for veterans, first responders, and their families to get outside with like-minded folks. HOW strives to give participants a place to belong and a community to rally around using kayak-fishing as an entry activity into the outdoors. Almost no experience is required and it can be easily adapted for those with disabilities.

HOW’s mission is firmly rooted in the belief that being outdoors is good for mind and body and that being able to go out and do a safe activity with the family is hugely important. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), one of the most common diagnoses for veterans returning home and first responders, deeply affects not just the lives of veterans and first responders, but their families. Heroes on the Water has proven that outdoor therapy is effective and can have a significant positive impact on those suffering from PTSD or traumatic brain injuries. 

With 60 chapters across the U.S., as well as in Australia and the U.K., HOW is growing rapidly. This past spring, they held their first annual gala, hosting local athletes, including retired football superstar Troy Aikman. The event was a rousing success, raising money for the organization. 

Some people take a life of service very seriously. Joe Winston, Director of Operations at Heroes on the Water, is undeniably one of those people.“I got started with HOW taking photographs. My dad was a Vietnam Air Force veteran, and I grew up in the post Vietnam era,” says Joe. Heroes on the Water, which he helped found, is built on the idea of serving those who served our country and helping them lead their best possible lives after returning home. 

In 2016, the Department of Veterans Affairs released a report, based on the records of 55 million veterans from 1979 to 2014, current analysis indicates that an average of 20 veterans die from suicide every day. By that math, 292,000 veterans have died, from suicide alone, over the last forty years.

That is a terrifying, heart-wrenching statistic, one that Heroes on the Water is working to change. “We’re not a traditional therapy program, but it’s absolutely therapeutic. Getting outdoors is the very first step, kayak fishing is our path to introduce people to outdoor therapy programs. This gives them the opportunity to get outside and begin to explore the outdoors for themselves,” says Joe.

One of the most important aspects of HOW excursions is returning agency to the participants. “When you’re kayaking, you’re captain of your own ship, you’re responsible. You get to decide where you’re going to fish, where you’re kayak’s going to go. If the wind comes up, you have to course-correct. You’re making all these micro-decisions. You are engaged mind, body, and soul in this activity. There’s too much going on in kayak fishing to worry about your troubles.”

“With kayaking and fishing, particularly together, there’s a lot of homework to be done off the water.” That ‘homework’ can help keep you occupied outside the boat and can keep you busy when your mind would otherwise wander, says Winston. “As soon as I get off the water, I’m thinking about the next time I’m getting on the water and that’s what gets me through the work week.”

For Joe, it’s important how meaningful the work is, every day. “I can say that I’ve affected change in the world. I think that’s what’s so awesome, 40,000 people have participated in a Heroes on the Water outing.”

“We, as an organization, are ready to bring a HOW community to every community. Anywhere there’s a mud puddle big enough to float a boat, we can get out on the water with you and your kids, we’ll make hot dogs,” says Joe.

MTI has been involved with Heroes on the Water since the get-go. Lisa Chandler, an MTI employee of more than 20 years and wife of an Army major, has handled the account since 2008. Back then, HOW founder Jim Nolan reached out to MTI owner Lili Colby via email, beginning a decade long friendship. The partnership has only grown as HOW has founded chapters across the United States, using MTI life jackets to keep their participants safe.

“We’re here to serve and participate and help you become one of us, a deranged paddler. We are the service organization in your backyard. You know that you will meet new folks, it’s almost like going on a mission together. Then you get to come back, break bread, and trade stories.”

Joe Winston

HOW’s mission to “help warriors relax and reconnect through kayak-fishing and the outdoors” aligns well with MTI’s goal to make a jacket for every paddler. The paddling community is an evangelical one, connecting more people outdoors and on the water can only be positive. HOW is an integral part of the paddling community’s outreach, bringing in thousands of veteran paddlers and their families every year. Creating that kinship between paddlers, and between people and their outdoor spaces, is key to keeping the paddling community thriving and our outdoor spaces preserved.

“We can’t fix all the problems in the world, but we can help get you through. All you need is a willing heart to serve. We raise money as we go so each chapter can be as big as they want or they need. From large metropolitan chapters to small towns with borrowed kayaks. It builds organically, one guy grabs another guy. If there isn’t a HOW chapter in your area, call me, we will start one today. Will you serve those who have served us?” Winston asks.

For more information, visit

All photos by Joe Winston

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to challenge us and leave many unable to recreate outdoors, here’s how the Heroes team is handling it and keeping their communities in contact remotely.

We are following CDC and local guidelines while using technology to continue to serve our community, which means we are unable to hold our usual events for now. To ensure we are supporting our community, we have Zoom meetings scheduled to reach out to our volunteers and participants. In addition, our chapters are providing educational videos and reaching out to participants in every way possible.

Although we are a wellness program that focuses on kayak fishing as our main modality, our family extends well beyond the shores. Our chapter volunteers are reaching out across the physical distance to make sure our participants feel the support of #HOWNation. We are here for our veterans, first responders and their families. Our hearts and prayers go out to those who are on the front line battling this pandemic, and we are hoping to be of service to them in the future.

Surviving the Great Indoors

5 shelter-in-place lessons from living in the wilderness

By Amy Freeman

Oceans and whales are a humbling reminder of how small we really are.

Shelter in place, stay at home, schools are closed, work from home— whatever the local mandate in your neck of the woods is, you are navigating this new normal as best you can. If you’re anything like me, you’ve been left reeling at times. Some days are better than others. There have been tears, but there have also been successes. If you’re reading this blog post you’re probably a paddler or boater, which means you’ve most likely lost one of the best ways to destress and cope as boat launches, state parks, national parks, and wilderness areas are closed. Lately I’ve found myself drawing on lessons learned during years of paddling, camping, and traveling under my own power in wild places. Perhaps these lessons learned from the great outdoors can be used to help us survive the great indoors.

My husband, Dave, and I have traveled over 30,000 miles by canoe, kayak, and dogsled. We’ve spent more of our life together sleeping under the stars than we have indoors. Among other things, we have crossed South America by bicycle and canoe, crossed North America by canoe, kayak, and dogsled, and spent a year in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. At the moment, however, we’re holed up in a house in Ely, Minnesota, struggling to adapt to the new reality of COVID-19 and stay at home orders. It’s been challenging, but we figure heck, if our marriage and personal sanity have survived all our time spent in isolation while traveling together we’ve maybe learned some useful coping strategies along the way— and we’ll get through this too.

Blackstone River in the Peel Watershed, Yukon, Canada

Clear Communication

Sharing a canoe and a tent with no one else around for miles has given the two of us an appreciation for clear communication. If one of us is upset about something it does no good to let it simmer for days until finally reaching the boiling point. Whether the issue is about setting up the tent or doing the dishes, we’ll talk about it in the moment. This has brought about a greater sense of empathy for each other. When I know what’s going on in Dave’s head, I have a greater awareness of his feelings. Whether in the woods or at home, clear communication and empathy for one’s partner are key.


On our various expeditions the mental clarity— even serenity— we’ve experienced can, in large part, be attributed to regular exercise. You may not be able to get out to your favorite waterway to exercise in your kayak or canoe like you did pre-covid-19, but the endorphins and sense of well-being that come from moderate exercise will help you get through this. I realize that we’re lucky to be in a spot where we’re unlikely to see many people if we head out the back door for a 20 minute run or a walk around the block. If you can do that— great. If you’re truly stuck indoors, maybe now’s the time to get into yoga or aerobics or weight-lifting (with improvised weights). Whatever you choose, just get moving even if it’s  for 20 minutes every other day.

After being pinned down by a gale for 24 hours, Amy Freeman packs her kayak along the B.C. coast during the second month of a 3 year, 11,700 mile journey across North America.

Set Aside Alone Time

While paddling a tandem canoe from Great Slave Lake down to Lake Superior, Dave and I were literally stuck in the same boat. That’s a lot of time spent together— maybe even too much time. Well, this is pretty similar to being in the same house as your spouse 24/7. We would occasionally need a break from the other person and so typically no questions would be asked if one of us took a walk alone or spent some time sitting on a rock a little ways down the beach. Whether it is time spent reading or gardening or knitting, talk about it and make a plan for how you can take some time for yourself.

Set an Intention

We have been driven to complete our various expeditions because of a clearly defined purpose. When we traveled across South America we were teaching kids in hundreds of classrooms about the Amazon Rainforest. When we spent a year in the Boundary Waters it was to raise awareness about the threat of proposed copper mining. An intention can buoy your spirits and give you a sense of direction.

Make Big and Small Goals

When Dave and I were making our way across North America our big goal was to reach Key West. However, there were times when the going got tough and that goal seemed dauntingly big. Those were the times for small goals. Dogsledding across a dozen-mile wide bay on Great Bear Lake in a blizzard called for goals like keep moving for the next 5 minutes before taking a break, after a mile we’ll switch who is in lead breaking trail, one more mile and I’ll eat an energy bar, etc. The bigger the challenge, the smaller our goals were; the narrower our focus was. The thing is— these little goals add up. Achieving each one may not seem like much at the time, but before long you’ll find that you’ve made significant progress towards your big goal. It feels like we’re in a blizzard right now so instead of focusing on the end of the pandemic, concentrate on what you’ll make for dinner tonight.

When the sea is calm its easy to day dream about far off places and long term goals, but when challenges make progress seem impossible just focus on your next breath, next step, next paddle stroke.

Dave and Amy Freeman have traveled over 30,000 miles by kayak, canoe and dogsled through some of the world’s wildest places, from the Amazon to the Arctic. National Geographic named the Dave and Amy Adventurers of the Year in 2014 and their images, videos, and articles been published by a wide range of media sources from the CBC, NBC, and FOX to the Chicago Tribune, National Geographic, Outside, Backpacker, Canoe and Kayak, and Minnesota Public Radio. When Dave and Amy aren’t on expeditions or speaking tours, they guide canoe, kayak and dogsled trips near their home on the edge of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in Northern Minnesota.

A Milestone

While reorganizing our lifejackets the two nights ago, I realized my daughter had hit a milestone.  It wasn’t her first tooth, graduating from school or getting married.  She had outgrown her PFD.  

We had our last paddle almost two weeks ago.  While on the water, she told me she was only ninety-three pounds and could still paddle the small kayak my dad had made with a recommended weight limit of one hundred pounds.  I commented that with her skill, she’d be fine beyond a hundred pounds if we were on flatwater.  It never occurred to me to check her lifejacket, but there it was; “User Weight: 50-90lbs”.

I have to admit I got nostalgic and thought how quickly time had gone by.  When I first brought her BOB home, she really liked the colors, but the soft lining in the pocket really put it over the top for her.  It’s a feature she liked to show off at paddling events.

Her next lifejacket won’t need to be replaced until it is too worn or lost.  Her next kayak may be the one she paddles with her own kids.  No, it’s not driving off to college, but it still seems like a big moment.  

I take away two things from this experience.  One: get your kids on the water as often as possible because your time with them is short.  Two: check your PFDs often for tears, signs of wearing, and those pesky weight limits.  Contrary to my wishes, kids can’t stay little forever.

Stay home. Now is a good time to check your gear!

Just a few weeks ago we posted blogs about sanitation methods and social distancing outside. They were written before the coronavirus pandemic and stay-at-home rules really kicked in. It is incredible how fast the world has changed in a short time. MTI supplies a lot of vests to commercial outfitters. We thought we were providing information to them and the general public about how to help clean jackets between users. Now we know the sad truth that most outfitters won’t be able to open for months to come. And now we as paddlers are being advised to stay at home – REALLY stay at home. And off the water.

Sharon Bloyd-Peshkin writes in her article “Why we didn’t go canoeing today” in the Chicago Sun-Times that she and her partner didn’t go paddling because “we might we be seen by many people as we drove to and from the river with canoes on our car – people who’ve been told to stay at home, people who’ve lost jobs, who can’t see friends and family, who maybe are ill, who maybe are fearing the loss of someone they love, people who would rightly think “Why are you out there at a time like this?” So we put away our paddles and PFDs. Everyone is making sacrifices. Some are huge. Ours, honestly, are small. But we must do our part, we decided, to not only practice physical distancing, but to support the general appearance of physical distancing that normalizes this abnormal behavior and helps keep everyone safe.”

The knock-on effect of this pandemic is heartbreaking for our paddling communities. An activity that paddlers find solstice in is now something to defer in the interests of the greater good The core information of our sanitation post is in line with the recommendations of the US Coast Guard and Life Jacket Association. But at this point, we hope that folks will stay at home to keep safe.

This is a good time to go through your gear! Inspect your life jacket for any wear and tear. Are the zippers and clips all in working order? Give your vest its annual application of 303 Protectant to help protect the fabric for the season. Got an inflatable? Use the red oral tube to blow it up and test to see if it’s still holding air properly. Inspect your C02 cylinder. Is the end intact? Are there any signs of rust? If we shouldn’t venture out on the water right now, think about how to spend this time at home with purpose by getting ready for when we CAN once again get on the water.

Get your life jackets out and inspect them!

Click here for Sharon Bloyd-Peshkin’s article “Why we didn’t go canoeing”:

Social distancing doesn’t mean you can’t go outside

By Jim Travers

Note the six feet of space between this kayaker and their paddling partner.

Between squirts of hand sanitizer, maintaining a safe distance from other humans, and pondering the global supply of toilet paper, it is important to remember to take care of ourselves during these trying times – both mentally and physically. 

One way to do that is by taking a break from the hysteria of social media and cable news long enough to go outside, breathe the air, and get some exercise. Doing so is not just possible but can be therapeutic even for those hunkered down at home, regardless if that just means walking around your yard or neighborhood. The beauty of the great outdoors is that there are plenty of places within easy reach of most of us that can provide not just a change of scenery from our homes, but even some inspiration, and the opportunity to feel the sun and fresh air. 

Fish are not known carriers of COVID-19, to the ocean we go!

While it might seem somewhat self-serving for a life jacket company to suggest going out for a paddle or a hike at times like these, that is really not what this is about. The reason many of us are in the outdoor industry is not simply to make a living, it is because we are passionate about the outdoors and the many benefits getting out in nature can bring ourselves and our families. That goes double in times like these. 

Stay healthy, and stay safe.  

Questions about COVID-19 and life jackets? Check out our blog, COVID-19 Update: Information and Sanitation Methods

COVID-19 Update: Information and Sanitation Methods


We’ve updated the information in this blog per recommendations from the Life Jacket Association as we learn more about the COVID-19 virus.

We know everyone is sending out notices about how the coronavirus (COVID-19) is impacting their products, and we wanted to get in on the action. 

Here’s what we know:

The CDC says COVID-19 is primarily spread through direct contact, not contact with contaminated surfaces. However, the virus can survive for three days on fabrics or clothing and longer on porous surfaces, plastics, and metals.

If you are concerned about having been exposed to COVID-19 while in your PFD, find some rubber gloves, hand-wash your life jacket (following the recommendations below) and allow it to dry in a warm, low humidity environment for 72 hours.

If you must re-use the life jacket within 72 hours, here are some precautions you can take:

  • Clean your hardware. Clean buckles, zippers, other hardware, and hook/loop fasteners (e.g. Velcro®). This can be difficult as these components are hard to clean due to crevices and metal/plastic construction. You can use a 70 – 90% solution of alcohol to help clean these components. Using a mister or soft cloth soaked in the solution, spray or wipe down all hardware and allow to air dry.
  • Hand-wash your PFD. Do not machine launder life jackets. Life jackets should be hand-washed with gloved hands using hot water (<60C/140F) and mild detergent. Please use caution when washing, as water at those temperatures can cause burns.
  • Dry completely. Viruses thrive in moisture and can survive in cold, but are vulnerable to heat and dry environments, so ensuring your life jackets are completely dry is critical. Heated air drying is recommended (>60C/140F), but use caution as excessive heat exposure can damage life jackets.

Disinfectants and sanitizers, including bleach and medical grade sanitizers, can discolor and damage the fabric on your life jacket and should not be used or used with caution. Here is the EPA’s list of anti-viral products.

The steps listed above are not a guarantee of disinfection, but an attempt to minimize risk. Please take all possible precautions and follow your local regulations with regards to the virus.

For further information on COVID-19 and how you can help protect your family and community, please visit the CDC’s COVID-19 informational website.

US Sailing announces partnership with MTI Life Jackets

BRISTOL, R.I. (February 5, 2020) – US Sailing and MTI, an industry leading lifejacket manufacturer, are working together on an exciting, new partnership. MTI is now an Official Partner of US Sailing and the Siebel Sailors Program.

The partnership also designates MTI as the Official Lifejacket of the Siebel Sailors Program, a new US Sailing youth program developed to increase diversity and opportunity in the sport of sailing by providing resources and support to youth sailors at public access sailing centers. MTI will be providing lifejackets for sailors and coaches at participating Siebel Centers around the nation.

“MTI’s innovative products encourage safe sailing practices and this new relationship will enhance our members time on the water, both from a fun and safety standpoint. We expect MTI will have a very positive impact on initiatives to grow sailing through education and safety for all.”

Jack Gierhart, CEO of US Sailing

US Sailing and MTI will be working closely with certified US Sailing Instructor Trainers and subject matter experts on the development of an instructor lifejacket. Once developed, MTI will supply all certified US Sailing Instructor Trainers with a complimentary lifejacket.

“We are excited to be working closely with MTI on safety and we are grateful for their support of sailors and instructors participating in the Siebel Sailors Program,” said Jack Gierhart, CEO of US Sailing.

“Our three kids spent their summers at sailing school […] that’s why the opportunity to support the Siebel Sailors Programs means so much to us. It’s a way to give back to the sport of sailing by promoting the expansion and meaning of sailing education.”

Lili Colby, owner and Chief PFDiva at MTI Life Jackets

MTI owners, Lili and Gordon Colby, are passionate sailors and are excited about this new partnership with US Sailing as an opportunity to promote the brand to the wider sailing community and support youth development with the Siebel Sailors Program.

“Our three kids spent their summers at sailing school here in Plymouth, Mass. None of them ended up pursing racing, but all of them now have solid sailing skills and they love being on the water as much as we do,” said Lili. “I think that’s why the opportunity to support the Siebel Sailors Programs means so much to us. It’s a way to give back to the sport of sailing by promoting the expansion and meaning of sailing education.”

US Sailing Communications: Jake Fish,

View the full press release at:

9 Things I Learned About Florida

Bike-packing setup on a couple Kokopelli pack rafts in Wekiwa State Park.
Not shown: about fifty alligators.

By Emilie Colby


It is very, very hot, and very, very flat. It’s about as different from my adopted home of Colorado as it is possible to be while still being on the same continent. When I left Denver in the wee hours on a sales trip to visit MTI dealers, it was a balmy 32F/0C and my partner wondered why I wasn’t taking a coat on the trip. (“I’m going to Florida,” I stressed. “Right, but like, what if it rains?” he reasoned. “It’s Florida, it will still be 90 degrees,” I replied confidently, despite never having been to Florida.) 

Luckily for me, and my lack of coat, Florida stayed horrifyingly toasty for my entire visit. Over the ten day trip, I gained a new appreciation for air conditioning and Douglas Adams’ advice to always know where my towel is (so I can mop the sweat off).

Suncoast Aquatic Nature Center Associates (SANCA) at Nathan Benderson Park.
The facility is so gorgeous that I had to stop the car and ogle.

ONE: Air-conditioning and sunscreen are your friends. 

I don’t tolerate heat well. I never have. It’s why I try to live in places with snowy winters. -15F/-26C? No problem at all, just wear a coat. 90F/32C and 95% humidity? Let me die and ascend this human plane to one which doesn’t make me sweat so much. 

Florida, in case you were unaware, is very hot and very humid. Thankfully, it’s also very well air-conditioned. Entering any building is like climbing through the wardrobe into winter. Just don’t think about the energy use implications too much. 

View from the boardwalk at John D. MacArthur State Park.

TWO: Hungry? Go to Publix.

Nearly everyone I met said, “Have you tried the fried chicken at Publix?” I hadn’t. It wasn’t until day three of my trip that I found myself in the prepared foods section of the local chain, contemplating bone-in versus bone-out. I don’t want to suggest that grocery store fried chicken changed my life, but it definitely changed the way I feel about fried chicken. 

THREE: I can’t pronounce Kissimmee

I can’t, that’s all there is to it. Every time I tried, someone gently corrected me. No matter how many different ways I said it, none of them were right. Kih-SIM-ee? Kih-suh-MEE? Kuh-sim-ee?

Beach at John D. MacArthur State Park.
Absolutely none of these prints are from me falling over.

FOUR: West Coast, Best Coast

The eastern coast of Florida is beautiful: mangroves, miles of beach, sailboats for days. But something about the Gulf of Mexico – a body of water I had never seen – with its wide swimming beaches, calm waves, and manatees is so unlike other ocean-adjacent places I’ve visited. 

FIVE: Jurassic Park is real and it’s just outside Orlando.

Have you paddled through Wekiwa State Park? It’s a jungle in there. A jungle that seems out of time with the 21st century. Huge, ancient trees hang over the water dangling vines that might also be snakes. Alligators, black and wet, lurk on the banks and you don’t know they’re there until you hear the splash of them moving. Don’t swim in water you can’t see through. 

It sucks when your phone rings on a paddle, but could you find a better office?

SIX: Miami has a mural garden.

I don’t know what I expected to find in Miami, but a mural garden wasn’t it. My traveling partner, a Miami native, stopped us at the Wynwood Walls to kill time during rush hour traffic. As someone who likes to think of themselves as an art buff, it was a jewel in an already beautiful city. We bopped around the outdoor murals and indoor installations, me stopping to take pictures every few minutes. 10/10 would recommend. 

This sculpture is awesomely macabre, like if Nessie and Skeletor had a kid.
Sculpture by Alexis Diaz.

SEVEN: All chicharrones are not created equal.

If you, like me, thought that chicharrones were fried pig skins with the consistency of a puffed rice cake, ordering them in south Florida will knock your socks off. Traditionally, chicharrones are deep fried pork belly and while they might send you into cardiac arrest, they are worth the risk.

EIGHT: Just because there are supposed to be alligators doesn’t mean you’ll see any. 

In an effort to see as many of the quintessential parts of Florida as I could, I drove across Route 41 between Miami and Tampa. The Tamiami Trail, as Route 41 is also known, runs right through Everglades National Park. Supposedly, this part of Florida is extra full of alligators, but I only saw one, in the parking area at the Miccosukee reservation. I was deeply disappointed by the lack of gators, but not by the multitudes of “don’t feed the alligators” signs. 

NINE: Just because you can’t see the alligators doesn’t mean they aren’t there. 

Seriously. Don’t swim in murky water.

Don’t forget to bring your towel! (And your PFD.)

Emilie Colby is the daughter of MTI owner Gordon Colby, and in that role has served the company on and off for most of her life as a gopher, brand ambassador, warehouse worker, sales and customer service extraordinaire, marketing whiz, and indentured servant. Easily spotted in a crowd thanks to her six-foot frame, variously colored and considerable quantity of hair, and balcony-reaching voice to go with a demeanor best described as not shy, some of you may know Emilie from the trade show circuit. This is her first blog for MTI, to go with her first sales trip. We’re pleased to say the trip was a success, in addition to introducing her to Publix fried chicken.

Ok, Boomer. Welcome to AORE.

By Jim Travers

MTI recently attended the annual conference and extravaganza of the Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education, held this year in Spokane, Washington. 

For the benefit of the uninitiated, AORE is an organization for students, educators and professionals either involved in or pursuing a career in outdoor activities and organizations, and who are interested in introducing others to the same while also promoting conservation and environmental stewardship. 

As MTI’s Director of Sales, I have been fortunate enough to draw the biodegradable straw and attend the AORE conference the past couple of years, and as MTI’s resident Baby Boomer, I have to say it is one of my favorite business trips of the year. There are a few of reasons for this: 

  • First and foremost is simply that people drawn to the outdoors and to careers in it tend to be a pretty nice bunch overall, and that always makes for a more enjoyable stint in a trade show booth. 
  • Diet. These people eat pretty well. For better or worse, I can’t remember the last time I saw an afternoon snack table with nothing on it but apples. 
  • I learn something. AORE is a smart bunch, and whether it’s a lecture on local history or wilderness medicine, sneaking into a seminar or two can make me feel like a smarter guy. Never mind whether that’s true or not. 
  • Finally, here comes the OK Boomer part. it’s refreshing to sit in an auditorium full of people who are more interested in hearing what the speaker and each other have to say than they are in their own phones. It’s a little thing, perhaps, and I’m as guilty as most when it comes to spending too much time staring at the small screen. But I can’t remember being anyplace recently where the audience was so involved. I don’t know why that gives me hope, but it does. 

So ok, boomer. There. I said it first. 

MTI campaigns to Save Boundary Waters

MTI in the news! Excerpts below from SGB’s website. It was nice for little MTI to be on the stage with the likes of Patagonia at the Industry Breakfast at OR!

“The Together We Are a Force is about celebrating and recognizing our industry’s unique and powerful ability to collaborate on issues large and small,” said Amy Roberts, executive director of OIA. “Congratulations to our first Together We Are a Force Awards winners, and thank you to all who applied and made the first year of the awards a success.”

Policy winner:
Northeastern Minnesotans for Wilderness (NMW) for their Save The Boundary Waters campaign. Together with OIA member companies Piragis Northwoods Company, MTI Adventurewear and Patagonia, NMW launched and supported what became a three-part, three-year adventure advocacy campaign to bring awareness of the Boundary Waters Wilderness to a broad audience.

“The most effective way to drive positive change is to work with great partners who inspire you,” said Sam Chadwick, deputy campaign manager for the Campaign to Save the Boundary Waters.

“Working with adventurers Amy and Dave Freeman, MTI Life Jackets, Piragis Northwoods Company, Patagonia and other supporters to bring the issue to life through canoeing, paddling and biking expeditions has helped people see and feel the immediacy of the need to protect the Wilderness. We’re so proud to be able to receive this award with them.”

We were proud too!