Senator Leahy presents VOBA’s second annual Trailblazer Legacy Award to Outside Gear Change house owners


Burlington, VT (December 6, 2022) – At the recent Vermont Outdoor Business Alliance (VOBA) Annual Meeting, U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy presented Marc Sherman and Outdoor Gear Exchange (OGE) Mike Donohue with the second annual Trailblazer Legacy Award via video ).

“Over the past 30 years, Outdoor Gear Exchange has paved the way to build a business that supports its customers, its employees and other Vermont businesses. They have grown and adapted to go beyond what is best for the bottom line and also to do what is best for the industry, Vermont and Vermonters,” said Senator Leahy, the inaugural Trailblazer Award recipient by VOBA.

VOBA selected the founders of OGE as winners of this year’s Trailblazer Legacy Award not only because Outdoor Gear Exchange was recognized as one of the most successful independent outdoor retailers in the country, but because they did so while giving back to the local Vermont community.

“It is a true honor to accept this award from VOBA and Senator Leahy, a legendary Vermonter who has done so much over the years to keep Vermont at the forefront of access, conservation and responsible growth in the outdoor sector . As the first recipient of the Trailblazer Legacy Award, his shoes are big. It’s really humbling to share this award with him,” said OGE founder Marc Sherman.

Opening the awards ceremony, Lisa Lynn, VOBA Board Member and Editor of Vermont Sports / Vermont Ski+Ride Magazine said, “OGE’s charitable giving, their generous human resources policies and their commitment to promoting diversity, equity and inclusion in the outdoor communities of Vermont have made them a leader in outdoor recreation and a role model for all businesses.”

“Our mission has always been to make nature accessible to everyone. Post the pandemic, the value of our outdoor spaces has been tremendous, and we look forward to continuing to enable everyone to have the best times of their lives outdoors. said OGE co-owner Mike Donohue.

VOBA joins OGE in its commitment to promoting equity, equity, diversity and inclusion in Vermont’s outdoor recreation and industry. Communities across the state have been positively impacted by OGE’s broad support for recreation and programs like Everyone’s Wilderness. VOBA and its 100+ members will continue to point to OGE as a model for change as they strive to increase access and inclusion for all communities to enjoy the benefits of Vermont’s great outdoors.


The Vermont Outdoor Business Alliance (VOBA) is a nonprofit business organization that connects, educates, collaborates, and supports businesses, organizations, and individuals working to strengthen, expand, attract, and retain Vermont’s outdoor recreation industry businesses.

VOBA’s mission is to educate Vermonters about outdoor recreation and to educate Vermont outdoor businesses about business development initiatives, outdoor recreation economics and equity, equity, diversity and inclusion. VOBA’s areas of focus for 2022 include finance, people development, infrastructure and industry branding.

VTDigger press releases are provided by the submitting organizations and may include attribution to VTDigger employees, family members and trustees.

Use our self-service press release portal to promote it on VTDigger and reach our entire web and email readership.