REI Celebrates 75 Years of Adventure

75 yearsREI, one of the nation’s largest consumer co-op’s and a trusted retailer of outdoor gear, is proud to celebrate its 75th anniversary this year.


REI was founded as an outdoor gear co-op on July 21, 1938 by Seattle mountaineer Lloyd Anderson.  Lloyd had wanted a reliable ice axe at a reasonable price, but had no success in finding one locally.  He finally found one in an Austrian alpine gear catalog for only $3.50 which included the shipping to the U.S.  Word quickly spread among Seattle climbers about his amazing find. This led Lloyd and his wife, Mary along with 21 fellow climbers to establish the outdoor gear co-op.  Today, REI has over $1.6 billion in sales. Its leadership has earned the title of Fortune Magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” 15 years in row!


REI is committed to helping people enjoy the great outdoors to the fullest, from weekend family camping trips to Mt. Everest expeditions, by offering innovative and high-quality outdoor gear and apparel. REI’s values are reflected in everything they do, from their focus on customers to their commitment to environmental stewardship. Their values serve as a foundation for how they conduct business, how they serve members and how they treat each other.

Authenticity- being true to the outdoors
Quality- providing trustworthy products and services
Service- serving others with expertise and enthusiasm
Respect- embrace differences and listen and learn from each other
Integrity- demonstrate rock-solid ethics, honesty and decency
Balance- encourage personal growth and fun to enjoy all aspects of life


  • 1938- The first REI logo
  • 1938- REI begins selling merchandise in the Richfield gas station
  • 1940- Begins the decade with 200 members and $3,000 in annual sales
  • 1944- The first REI store opens in Seattle
  • 1945- Co-op creates a gear rental business
  • 1946- Hiring of first part-time employee
  • 1950- Begins the decade with 3,000 members and $40,000 in annual sales
  • 1954- First of many expansions
  • 1956- The co-op officially becomes Recreational Equipment, Inc. when members vote to incorporate as a nonprofit
  • 1960- Begins the decade with 20,000 members and $500,000 in annual sales
  • 1963- Grand Opening of REI’s 2nd location in Seattle
  • 1962- Warehouse blow-out flood sale marks beginning of used-gear sales
  • 1963- Jim Whittaker –sales manager and one of REI’s first employees, becomes first American to summit Mount Everest
  • 1966- Debut of profit sharing plan
  • 1967- THAW corporation- subsidiary of REI begins making sleeping bags and soft goods
  • 1969- Climbing safety pioneer Cal Magnusson joins REI as the first quality control engineer
  • 1970- Begins decade with 200,000 members, 2 retail locations in Seattle, and $5 million in annual sales, Lloyd Anderson retires
  • 1972- REI announces 250,000th member
  • 1975- Grand opening of REI’s first retail location outside of Seattle in Berkeley, CA
  • 1976- REI launches giving program to support outdoor recreation
  • 1977- First distribution center opens along with administrative headquarters, Tukwila, WA
  • 1980- Begins the decade with 1 million members, 6 retail stores, and $50 million in annual sales
  • 1983- REI launches Novara, a line of bikes, cycling clothing, and accessories
  • 1987- REI Adventures is launched featuring unique travel itineraries focusing on sustainable, human-powered outdoor adventures, off the beaten path, in iconic destinations
  • 1989- REI co-founds the Conservation Alliance to fund the protection of wild places
  • 1990- Begins the decade with 2 million members, 26 retail stores and over $230 million in annual sales
  • 1993-Mary and Lloyd Anderson are inducted into the Cooperative Business Association’s Hall of Fame
  • 1993- Launch of REI Foundation in honor of 3 Seattle employees who died on Mt. Rainier
  • 1996- flagship store opens in downtown Seattle and is launched as the largest outdoor gear and apparel store on the Internet
  • 1998- launched
  • 1998-2013- Forbes “Top 100 Companies to Work For”
  • 2000- Begins decade with over 5 million members, 61 retail stores, and nearly $700 million in annual sales
  • 2006- REI celebrates $1 billion in annual sales by awarding $1 million in grants to 100 national parks
  • 2008- REI goes mobile and joins social media
  • 2010- Begins decade with 10 million members, 114 retail stores, and  $1.66 billion in annual sales
  • 2013- REI celebrates 75 years

REI is celebrating 75 years by having an anniversary sale of up to 30% off items and offering members 20% off one full price item.  Congratulations REI on 75 years!

Minnesota Zoo Celebrates 35 Years

35 yearsAbout the Minnesota Zoo

The Minnesota Zoo is celebrating 35 years of connecting people, animals, and the natural world.  After more than a decade of dreaming, planning, and construction, the Minnesota Zoological Garden opened on May 22 1978. The Minnesota Zoo is one of only two state-owned zoos in the United States.  Since the opening, the zoo has welcomed more than 36 million visitors, the number of animal species has more than doubled, and the number of animals has increased from 1,200 to 4,300 animals. The zoo has won numerous awards for innovative and cutting-edge exhibits, is a leader in tiger conservation, and has become the largest environmental learning center in the state.


The zoo was made possible by local conservationists who began lobbying for a new and expansive zoo facility back in the 1960’s; Dakota County officials who donated 500 acres of land; legislators who supported the creation and continue to support the Zoo’s annual funding requests; dedicated staff and volunteers; loyal corporate donors; and individual donors and the public who proudly support the zoo.  The Minnesota Zoo’s concept and design was radically different from most other zoos of its time.  The exhibits were open, natural settings, with glass partitions.  This was an exciting change for guests and a much better environment for the animals.  Many zoos have since followed the example set by the Minnesota Zoo.  Some of the favorite animals at the zoo’s beginning were beluga whales, tapirs, moose, flamingos, Japanese macaques or snow monkeys, and Amur tigers.

Conservation efforts

The Minnesota Zoo has a deep commitment to conservation, and a strong focus on conservation education.  Conservation efforts take place at the zoo, within Minnesota, and around the world.  At the zoo efforts include:  the Tiger Species Survival Program (SSP), Zoo-Post, Captive Management, and Green Practices.  Within Minnesota, efforts include: Prairie Butterfly, Moose, and Bison conservation, Florida Maneter Swan Restoration Project, a BioDiscovery Project, and Sustainable Seafood.  Around the world efforts include:  Namibia’s black rhinos and mountain zebras, the Tiger Conservation Campaign, Dhole Conservation in Thailand, Animals of the Russian Far East, Hyacinth macaw conservation, and African rainforest wildlife.  The zoo and animal experiences connect visitors to the natural world which in turn motivates them to protect that world.

35 Year Weekend Celebration – May 18 & 19, 2013

To celebrate 35 years, the Minnesota Zoo invited the public to come out for a weekend filled with animals, family entertainment and a whole lot of fun!  Activities included:

  • 1st 1,000 kids each day receive a special 35-Year commemorative gift
  • Animal encounters
  • Live Music – Café Melange
  • Matt Dunn’s Magic Show – Lakeside Terrace (Rain – Target® Learning Center)
  • Saturday – 11:00 a.m., 12:30 p.m., & 2:30 p.m.
  • Sunday – 10:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., & 2:30 p.m.
  • Keeper talks – 10:00 a.m., 12:00 p.m., 2:00 p.m.
  • Saturday – Tiger cubs, Tamandua, Black bear
  • Sunday – Grizzly bears, Small-clawed otter, Beaver
  • Puppet craft – 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. – Tropics Plaza
  • Tiger face painting – 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. – Central Plaza (Rain – Penguin hallway)
  • 35 –Year Celebration coloring banner – 10:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. – Tropics Plaza
  • Special treats for the animals throughout both days

The zoo is also inviting visitors to like their Facebook page and share favorite memories of the Minnesota Zoo.  By sharing a favorite memory, visitors can win exclusive zoo experiences throughout this season including a behind-the-scenes tour of the summer Africa! exhibit or scuba diving in the zoo’s Tropical Reef!

Future Plans

Future plans for the zoo include a carousel, renovating the Japanese macaque or snow monkey exhibit, and creating an Asian Highlands section,  just to name a few.

Join us in congratulating the Minnesota Zoo on its 35th anniversary of connecting people, animals, and the natural world!

LinkedIn Celebrates 10 Years of Professional Networking

10 Year AnnvAbout LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a social networking website for professionals and is primarily used for professional networking.  It was founded in December 2002 by Reid Hoffman and launched on May 5, 2003.  The current CEO is Jeff Weiner. To date, LinkedIn has more than 200 million users worldwide and is used in more than 200 countries and territories.

How LinkedIn Works

The site allows registered users to create a personalized professional profile and maintain a list of contacts, called “Connections”. Connections can be friends, classmates, current or previous co-workers, supervisors or managers, teachers, colleagues, etc. By using the search feature you can locate and invite them to become your connection, which enables you to follow their profile, postings, and more. LinkedIn also allows you to follow companies and groups of interest.

Benefits of LinkedIn

  • Reconnect and stay in touch
  • Make lasting connections or networking contacts
  • Power your career
  • Upload your resume and design your profile to showcase your work or community experiences
  • Search for jobs and business opportunities or connections to the jobs you want
  • Review the profile of companies and/or managers
  • Upload photos or videos to customize your profile and get noticed
  • Follow companies or groups and can get important updates, read relevant articles, and receive notifications about offers available, etc
  • Save applications or the jobs that you are interested in applying for
  • Get answers from industry experts on questions you may have
  • Discover and make inside connections when looking for a business opportunity

Having a LinkedIn profile is an important tool that shows you are serious about building a career.  Many employers “Google” job applicants.  Set yourself apart from the competition by having a dynamic profile. A key feature of LinkedIn is the “Skills” section.  Listing your job skills and getting professional endorsements is better than even a letter of recommendation. Highlight awards and professional achievements by creating an Honors and Awards category.

LinkedIn Milestones

LinkedIn has grown exponentially since its launch in 2003. It is the number one professional networking site in the world.  It is also the second largest social networking site and growing.

  • May 2003- LinkedIn officially launched
  • March 2006- Reached profitability
  • February 2008- Mobile version of LinkedIn launched
  • October 2008- Enabled an applications platform to allow users to display blog postings etc.
  • 2010- Opened a European headquarters in Dublin, Ireland
  • October 2010- Silicon Valley Insider ranked LinkedIn as #10 of the Top 100 List of most valuable start-ups
  • November 2010- Allowed businesses to list products and services on company profile pages and also allowed members to “recommend” products and services and write reviews
  • December 2010- LinkedIn valued at $1.575 billion
  • January 2011- LinkedIn acquired CardMunch which is a mobile app to scan business cards and convert them into contacts
  • May 19, 2011- Became publicly traded on NYSE, symbol LNKD.  Opened at $45 share and closed at $94.25 share.
  • July 2011- Launched a feature to enable companies to add an “Apply with LinkedIn” button on job listing pages.  Also enabled users to save job applications.

LinkedIn has become a crucial tool for professional networking.  It is also very useful in building business relationships.  According to Forbes magazine, “LinkedIn is, far and away, the most advantageous social networking tool available to job seekers and business professionals today.”

Join us in congratulating LinkedIn on their 10th anniversary!