The 50 + 3 Most Powerful Women in Business


On Oct. 13 of this year, Fortune Magazine yet again revealed its list of the 50 Most Powerful Women in Business. Amazing female leaders of companies including IBM, Pepsi and yes, Yahoo and Facebook, populate these lists year over year. Inspiring? Sure. Relevant to a Mountain Diva? Not really.

I personally long to read about amazing female business leaders who also RIP in their respective sport and live a passion-filled life inspired by the outdoors.

Tall order? Not in our world. Because we are living in an era where editorial license is just as readily accessible as dark coffee at a neighborhood Starbucks, I’ve decided to take creative liberty with Fortune’s Top 50 Women in Business list.

Three women are now added from our outdoor, bike and snowsports markets – making The List a neat 53 now.

Megan Tompkins, Publisher of Bicycle Retailer & Industry News:

Mtn Diva names most powerful women in outdoor business

Megan Tompkins. Photo courtesy of BRAIN

Among a sea of Y chromosomes, a highly technical product segment and industry exists that concurrently touches luxury, adrenaline, wellness and advocacy. Meet the bicycling market. As of August of this year, the leading voice of the global bicycling marketplace, Bicycle Retailer & Industry News (BRAIN), is now led by Megan Tompkins.

She’s only the fourth person to lead BRAIN, a 22-year-old publication and she shoulders quite the job – leading the popular magazine into the digital era. After serving as editor of BRAIN and dipping into the cycling market’s private sector with Shimano and Specialized, Tompkins returned to BRAIN to further its steadfast editorial reputation, grow its reach and readership and create new partnerships and revenue streams for the well-loved title. She does all of this while maintaining one of Strava’s most impressive and enviable ride feeds.




Annelise Loevlie, CEO, Icelantic Skis

There’s a saying among business leaders in the snowsports market: When it snows, we all

Mtn Diva names most powerful women in outdoor business

Annelise Loevlie

look like geniuses!

Annelise Loevlie is a genius even when it doesn’t snow. She’s worked to shepherd Icelantic Skis, one of the industry’s scrappiest, coolest and fastest growing hardgoods brands, to global status during a swath of time that has included drought, recession and a fast-changing retail environment. On Nov. 6, she was promoted to CEO of the company, replacing Icelantic founder Ben Anderson, who will now lead Icelantic as Chief Branding Officer.

She’s been with the brand since its inception in 2005, held as many leadership roles as the small company had to offer, and has been instrumental in growing Icelantic to 160 storefronts in North America and to 14 countries worldwide.

In ski hardgoods, product is king and Icelantic Skis came out of the gates fast and hard with killer product and a fantastic brand, from the performance angle and the style points side, thanks to Denver artist Travis Parr. In her spare time, Loevlie serves on the Snowpsorts Industries of America board of directors and helps the state of Colorado with its branding campaigns.

*Photo of Annelise courtesy of Jason Blevins and the Balance Sheet blog, Denver Post. 

Jill Layfield, CEO,

(Full disclosure: is a Verde Brand Communications client, a company I founded and serve as CEO.)

Mtn Diva names most powerful women in outdoor business

Jill Layfield. Photo courtesy of New York Times

MountainDiva reported on Jill Layfield in January of this year, when she was featured as the keynote speaker at the Outdoor Retailer Winter Market show for the Outdoor Industry Women’s Coalition (OIWC). She’s continued to further’s reputation as the pioneering e-tailer in the outdoor active lifestyle spaces  while successfully leading a team of 750 employees at

There’s actually no blueprint available to Layfield, who leads the largest e-commerce entity in the outdoors markets during a time of precipitous change in how consumers engage with and ultimately buy from brands.

Jill is keeping it real for, the entity that continues to be nimble and relevant to what could be the MOST finicky group of consumers:  The core enthusiast.

Core enthusiast denotes an outdoor athlete devoted to his or her sport – this enthusiast has a myriad of choice when it comes to researching and buying their kit and gear. continues to grow amongst this group because the company understands merchandising and it literally pioneered peer community. Staying relevant and top-of-mind to this consumer is no easy task; it’s a changing and moving target from hour to hour and day to day.

Jill also spearheaded the successful acquisition of Competitive Cyclist in 2012 and serves as a mentor within Liberty Media (parent company of and as a role model to MANY women in the outdoor market. Aside from being CEO of, Layfield is a rock climber and avid outdoors enthusiast, the mother of two small children and a wife.

Who would you add to The List? Share your names in the comments section below.

Additional Resources:
Fortune Magazine’s 50 Most Powerful Women in Business
Bicycle Retailer & Industry News Announcement of Megan Tompkins as Publisher
Megan Tompkins’ Strava Feed
New York Times article on Jill Layfield
Denver Post reporter Jason Blevins’ blog on Annelise Loevlie
Outdoor Retailer Winter Market – ORWM
Outdoor Industry Women’s Coalition – OIWC
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