Backpacker
Ali Kenney Image Credit: Backpacker
Ali Kenney Image Credit: Backpacker

Ali Kenney

Ali Kenney jokes that she has “a lot of commas” in her job. She watches trends in the global market, engages consumers on climate change issues, crafts Burton’s sustainability goals, audits manufacturers for sustainability, human rights, and fair labor practices, and more. Kenney is widely respected in the outdoor industry for the environmental strides Burton has made under her leadership. We caught up with her to find out how she got where she is.

Kassondra Cloos

WHAT’S YOUR FIRST OR MOST FAVORITE OUTDOOR MEMORY?

When I was a young kid, I was always outsideplaying games and sports. I grew up in themiddle of nowhere on a dead-end, dirt road inVermont. We spent every day outside. I had afoundation of wanting to be outside and a lovefor fresh air. Now, my wife and I bike commuteevery day, and we got into backpacking fouryears ago.Everyvacation, we go backpacking.That’s how we refresh. We don’t use watches orphones. We go by sunrise and sunset.

WHAT DROVE YOU TO SEEK ACAREER IN THE OUTDOOR INDUSTRY?

When I’m snowboarding or doing somethingelse physical, there’s no  other thought in mymind. I’m focused on the moment and theterrain. Working for a company where that’swhat we do, the connection to nature is one ofthe biggest drivers for me. I don’t want to workfor a company where we make widgets. Evenon the most stressful days, it’s OK because thenwe can all go snowboarding together. I bring mywhole self to worK.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PERK OFWORKING FOR BURTON?

There are so many! I love getting outside andsnowboarding. If we get two feet of snow, theoffice shuts down. I’ve gotten to travel the worldfor my job and I’ve learned so much about othercultures. Burton is big enough that we have aglobal impact, but also small enough that if youhave a big idea and if you’re passionate enoughan


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