The Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) is pleased to announce that Kenneth Thomas (Tom) Adams has accepted the position of director for the Office of Outdoor Recreation.

Adams has been dedicated to Utah’s outdoor recreation industry for over 20 years. He will be leaving his current position as sales director for Petzl, a manufacturer of high-end climbing and lighting equipment, where he has been responsible for all North American sales.

“Outdoor recreation is a key industry in Utah providing direct economic benefits for our residents,” Gov. Herbert said. “Tom’s experience and enthusiasm will help our state’s outdoor recreation industry achieve new levels of success.”

Adams has had quite a diverse career in the outdoor industry. In addition to Petzl, he has worked in sales roles at Liberty Mountain, a well-known outdoor products distributor and Black Diamond Equipment, recognized around the world for its climbing and outdoor products. He has also worked at Brighton Ski Resort as a ski instructor.

Most of Adams’ focus in the industry has been in sales, where he built a distinct skill set in the creation and success of both short and long-term goals. This required close collaboration with an extensive number of stakeholders. Each position allowed him to directly and indirectly promote outdoor recreation in Utah while selling all across North America.

As director of the Office of Outdoor Recreation, Adams will oversee the state of Utah’s outdoor recreation vision and programs. The vision was developed under the direction of the governor in conjunction with the Outdoor Industry Association, the Council on Balanced Resources, GOED and various Utah outdoor industry leaders. It guides the state’s outdoor programs on improving Utah’s recreational opportunities and highlights the need to ensure a balanced, responsible approach to developing, enhancing and protecting public lands.

“My career path and my passions in life have followed each other hand in hand,” Adams said. “Whether as a climbing or skiing instructor or a sales director, it has been a personal goal of mine to make every aspect of the outdoor industry more enjoyable and accessible for my clients, friends and family. Now as a part of GOED, I will be able to expand on my passion to ensure that each resident or visitor will have the best possible resources to enjoy the full range of outdoor recreation opportunities that Utah offers. I look forward to working with the leaders, stakeholders, and communities in each county within the state.”

Adams graduated with a degree in commercial recreation management from the University of Utah. He is widely known for his skiing passion and expertise in rock and ice climbing, where he holds first accent recognition for substantial technical difficulty as high as 5.14.  He is also a competitive cyclist, competing annually in the 200-mile LOTOJA bike race and placing 3rd in the 2015 Salt to Saint as a solo rider.  He resides with his wife, Gwendolyn, and their three young boys near the base of the Wasatch Mountains, where they can often be found enjoying many of the natural resources Utah has to offer.