The Outdoor Writers Association of America, the nation’s premier organization of outdoor media, announces the hiring of “Chez” Chesak as its new Executive Director.
“I couldn’t be more thrilled to be a part of OWAA,” Chesak said. “This position marries two of my consummate passions, writing and the outdoors, together within one powerful and influential community.”
Chesak comes to OWAA with more than 20 years’ experience in the outdoor and travel industries, most recently as a travel writer and tourism consultant. He served as Vice President of Business Development for the Adventure Travel Trade Association and as Executive Director of the Family Travel Association. He also spent nine years working for conservation-focused outdoor organizations.
“We are excited to have Chez taking the helm of OWAA,” said Paul Queneau, former OWAA board president and chair of the group’s executive director search committee. “He has a deep breadth of skills and experience that should serve this organization well amid an evolving media landscape and as we approach our 100th anniversary.”
Chesak has lived all over the United States and traveled to 35 countries. He’s an avid outdoors person who’s happiest on a trail, on skis or nestled in a sleeping bag.
He becomes the 17th executive director of OWAA in its 93-year history and succeeds Phil Bloom, who has served as OWAA’s acting director since February.
“Chez brings a deep well of organizational experience to OWAA, and I’m looking forward to working with him to maintain the rich tradition of OWAA.,” OWAA President Tim Mead said. “I should also offer a word of thanks to Phil Bloom for his service as we sought a permanent ED.”
Chesak’s words and images have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Good Housekeeping, Rachel Ray Everyday, Family Fun, Fatherly, Family Travel(Australia), Yahoo Travel, Family Vacation Critic, Everett Potter’s Travel Report, WorldFootprints.com, CincinatiRefined.com and GreenMatters.com. He’s also done occasional travel segments on the morning show of his local FOX affiliate.
As a business consultant, Chesak has forged corporate partnerships, increased business development, planned and launched new initiatives, and is experienced in public relations and organizational leadership. Consulting since 2015, he’s worked with such brands as Adventure.com, Austin Adventures, Tour Adventures, TourRadar.com and others.