The Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) is pleased to announce that Brad Petersen has accepted the position of Director for the new Office of Outdoor Recreation which was announced by the governor and created by legislature this past session. Petersen brings with him extensive professional experience and a life-long passion for the Utah outdoors.
“Brad brings an incredible passion to our team, which, when combined with his very unique business and extreme outdoors experience and skill set, makes him the perfect person to lead the new Outdoor Recreation office,” said Spencer Eccles, GOED executive director. “Our stakeholders will benefit from his strong, thoughtful, collaborative and innovative leadership.”
As the Director of the Office of Outdoor Recreation, Petersen will implement the State of Utah’s Outdoor Recreation Vision, which was developed under the direction of the governor, in conjunction with the Outdoor Industry Association, the Council on Balanced Resources, and GOED, then announced by Governor Herbert last January. The vision highlights the importance of promoting economic development in the outdoor industry and improving recreational opportunities in Utah. It also recognizes the need to ensure a balanced and responsible approach to developing, enhancing and protecting public lands.
As a Utah native Petersen brings to the position a wide range of management and collaboration experience from twenty years of overseeing whole companies, acquisitions, divisions, and start-ups. He has specialized in defining corporate value propositions and vision statements then aligning the organizations’ resources, assets and human capital to create a competitive advantage. Petersen’s success has resulted from his ability to build concensus between stakeholders. He will capitalize on his experience to ensure the vision statement goals, recreation related policies, economic opportunities, and stakeholders are synergistically aligned.
Petersen said that he will implement the vision to “help make Utah a healthier and happier State, expand our economy and create new jobs.” He further stated, “that we will work to protect key outdoor areas and ensure that they remain pristine for future generations while enhancing and facilitating responsible access to those areas. Importantly, we will provide a conduit for open communications and we will lead the nation in this monumental effort to effectively make the recreational economy an integral component of the State’s planning process.”
Petersen is transitioning to the position after being the Chief Operating Officer and General Manager at Combined Resources International L.P.,(CRI) a multi-national firm that specializes in designing, manufacturing and distributing multiple product lines to large retailers around the world. CRI’s fastest growing company has been Lightspeed Outdoors, whose growth Petersen attributes to the contacts generated from exhibiting at the summer Outdoor Retailer show.
Prior to CRI, Petersen identified an untapped market niche, then founded, and ultimately sold Wildwood Architectural Mill LLC in Salt Lake City. He also worked as an International Marketing Manager and Acquisition Integration Analyst at the Intel Corporation in Beaverton, Oregon. While at Intel he was chosen to work on a small team that strategically aligned and integrated twenty-two international acquisitions.
Petersen has an extensive professional background, he has also spent more than twenty-five years guiding, skiing, exploring, climbing, and biking around Utah’s backcountry, rivers, deserts, and mountains. During his time at University of Utah, Petersen enjoyed working as a ski instructor at Deer Valley ski resort and as a river guide on the Colorado river out of Moab.
“To fully plan for the future, we need to implement an effective outdoor recreation management plan. I will work diligently until we find solutions,” said Brad Petersen, Outdoor Recreation Office Director.
Petersen has a Master’s Degree in International Business Administration with an emphasis on Management and Strategic Planning from Thunderbird, the American Graduate School of International Management. He received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Utah, where he also minored in Spanish.