Luis Benitez is the Vice President for government affairs and global impact at the VF Corporation, a $23 billion holding company that includes some of the outdoor industry’s most iconic brands.
Prior to joining the VF Corporation, Luis was appointed by Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper to lead the newly established Outdoor Recreation Industry Office in 2015. In that role, he transformed the outdoor industry into a powerful force for economic development, conservation and stewardship, education and workforce training, and public health and wellness. Under his watch, the state’s outdoor economy ballooned from $28 billion to $65 billion.
Luis spent a decade managing Outward Bound Professional in Colorado at the start of his career. He also served as the COO and Director of Operations for Adventure
Consultants, a New Zealand-based global expedition firm with a long and
storied history of leading trips on Mount Everest that was featured both in the
book Into Thin Air and in the movie Everest. He has reached the summit of Mt. Everest six times and has summited the famed "seven summits" thirty-two times.
Luis helped create the nonprofit Trekking For Kids, which focuses on
service-based expeditions allowing participants to climb and trek while teaching
them about local issues like housing and healthcare for disadvantaged youth
around the world. He was also a founding partner for Warriors to Summits, a
nonprofit focusing on serving veterans by connecting them with the outdoors.
He has also served as an adjunct professor in Ecuador and Chile for the
Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.
Luis holds a professional guide accreditation from ASEGUIM in Ecuador
and an Executive MBA from the University of Denver with an emphasis
certification on behavioral sciences and public policy from Harvard University’s
Kennedy School of Government.
Download the introduction to Outward Bound Lessons To Live A Life of Leadership.