Submit Content
Get the latest delivered to your inbox
Privacy Policy

REI and National Park Foundation Earn Top Honors for Best-In-Class Corporate Social Impact Efforts

Published 12-11-18

Submitted by Engage for Good

The 2019 Golden Halo Award Winners Have Been Announced

REI Co-op and National Park Foundation will be honored with the Golden Halo Award, the highest honor for companies and causes that collaborate to produce financial and economic dividends, at the Engage for Good conference in May 2019.

This 17th set of Golden Halo Awards, given each year to one business and one nonprofit for excellence in corporate social impact, will coincidentally be bestowed upon two organizations focused on the outdoors. Accepting the honors at the Engage for Good Conference on May 29-30th at Chicago’s Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel will be Will Shafroth, president & CEO of the National Park Foundation, and Wilma Wallace, vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary of REI Co-op. 

“It’s so inspiring to see the powerful social impact leadership that both REI Co-op and the National Park Foundation have demonstrated, particularly in recent years,” said Engage for Good President David Hessekiel. “The Golden Halo Awards are reserved for best-in-class companies and nonprofit organizations that have authentic, demonstrable and significant commitments to building a better world and the bottom line. It’s our great honor to hold these organizations up as examples of the incredible power of partnership to inspire and engage consumers, employees and the community at large."

2019 Golden Halo Award Winner (Corporate): REI Co-op 

REI Co-op was founded 80 years ago by 23 climbing friends in Seattle. Today, REI is the nation’s largest consumer co-op with a community of more than 17 million members and more than 150 stores across the country. The co-op is known nationwide for its outstanding customer service, best quality outdoor gear, and inspiring classes and trips.

As a co-op, REI is a different kind of company. REI puts purpose before profits - annually giving back nearly 70 percent of its profits to the outdoor community by investing in employees, members and nonprofit partners. This year, the co-op is investing $8.8 million in 400 nonprofits to steward more than 1,000 outdoor spaces. REI is also a leading voice for policies that assure all have ready access to outdoor opportunities. 

The co-op believes deeply that a life outdoors is a life well-lived. REI has reinvented Black Friday, encouraging people to #OptOutside that day with family and friends instead of shopping. For the last four years, REI has shut its doors on the busiest retail day of the year and paid all 12,000 employees to spend the day doing what they love. In that time, 15 million people and 700 organizations have joined the #OptOutside movement and helped create a new holiday tradition. 

Through its Force of Nature initiative, the co-op is showing that the outdoors can be the world’s largest level playing field – for all. In 2017, REI dedicated an entire year to putting women at the center of its storytelling, which included advertising, marketing, paid content partnerships and social media. The co-op’s Force of Nature initiative also included a $1 million investment in nonprofit organizations that ensure women are equally inspired and equipped to embrace a life outside. This year, the co-op has continued this effort with a focus on extended sizing and is working with brand partners to correctly design plus-size clothing.

As a co-op, we can act with the long-term interests of our members and society in mind,” said Wilma Wallace, REI vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary. “We believe a life outdoors is a life well-lived. Whether it’s paying our employees to spend a day outside with their loved ones, taking a stand for public lands, or making it easier for our members to shop their values, this belief informs everything we do.”

2019 Golden Halo Award Winner (Nonprofit): National Park Foundation

Chartered by Congress in 1967 as the official nonprofit partner of the National Park Service, the National Park Foundation generates private support and builds strategic partnerships to protect and enhance America’s national parks for present and future generations.

Corporations have been key partners of the national parks since the very beginning, over 100 years ago, and that legacy has continued through the National Park Foundation. Through major initiatives including Find Your Park/Encuentra Tu Parque, Open OutDoors for Kids, service corps, wildlife and trail conservation, veteran engagement, disaster relief and more, corporations have provided more than $100 million in support for our national parks. 

NPF’s corporate program has grown rapidly over the last five years as the Foundation leveraged the moment of the 2016 National Park Service Centennial to launch a new national sponsorship platform and raise its profile in the marketplace through creative and new activation and brand integration opportunities. The momentum has continued past the centennial celebration, as NPF successfully expanded its corporate partnerships, announcing several exciting new high-level partnerships with top brands. 

Industry leaders including American Express, Budweiser, Hanesbrands, L.L.Bean, Nature Valley, Subaru, Union Pacific and Coca-Cola are inspiring people to discover the breadth and depth of America’s National Park System through their partnership with the National Park Foundation and support of the Find Your Park/Encuentra Tu Parque public engagement campaign. 

Overall, a diverse roster of over 50 corporate partners are raising awareness and generating support for our national parks through cause marketing, licensing, philanthropic grants and in-kind contributions. 

“The Golden Halo Award is a huge honor and a testament to the collective impact the National Park Foundation and partner companies are making for national parks and people across the country,” said Will Shafroth, president of the National Park Foundation. “When we invest in national parks, we’re supporting local communities as they’re inextricably connected. Together the National Park Foundation and our partners are helping to ensure national parks and local communities thrive.” 

About Engage for Good

Engage for Good, producer of the Engage for Good conference and Halo Awards, is a national professional organization that helps business and nonprofit executives succeed together by providing practical information and inspiration, opportunities to build valuable relationships and recognition for outstanding work engaging employees and consumers around social good and cause-related marketing efforts. Learn more at

Engage for Good logo

Engage for Good

Engage for Good

Engage for Good (formerly the Cause Marketing Forum) helps business and nonprofit executives succeed together by providing access to actionable information, valuable contacts and recognition for outstanding work through conferences, distance learning, online resources and customized services.

More from Engage for Good

Join today and get the latest delivered to your inbox