Mr. Madsen joined the Board in November 2010 and is Chair of the Compensation and Leadership Development Committee and a member of the Nomination and Governance Committee. Mr. Madsen is the former REI President and CEO and he spent his entire career at Recreational Equipment Inc., the preeminent specialty retailer of outdoor specialty gear and services. He began working for the company as a 17 year old high school student stocking shelves while working his way through college. In March of 2005, after nearly thirty-nine years with the company, including thirteen years as COO and the last five years as CEO, he retired.
Mr. Madsen’s post-REI career consists of a mix of community and business board involvements. Upon leaving REI, he and a handful of associates formed the Youth Outdoors Legacy Fund with the purpose of funding volunteers and outdoor programs that focus on getting urban kids involved in outdoor activities and stewardship.
In addition to the Youth Outdoors Legacy Fund, Mr. Madsen serves the community as a Trustee of Western Washington University and as a director for Forterra. Past non-profit board involvements include Islandwood, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, Bicycle Alliance of Washington, and the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition. Aside from his philanthropic activities, Mr. Madsen’s current business activities include serving as a Director on the Board of Alaska Airlines and Horizon Airlines.
Mr. Madsen holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Seattle Pacific University and pursued a business degree while attending an MBA program at Pacific Lutheran University. He is passionate in pursuit of many outdoor activities. This has led him to cycling adventures in Europe, treks through the Soviet Union and Nepal, river running the Grand Canyon and the Middle Fork of the Salmon, double century bicycle rides, summiting Mt. Rainier, helicopter backcountry skiing in British Columbia, and month-long trips in Desolation Sound, British Columbia on his sailboat Revelation. Mr. Madsen has spent the last 24 years sailing throughout the Pacific Northwest and Canadian waters. Previously spending five years on a live-aboard, he has a keen understanding of boater needs and lifestyle.