The Trust for Public Land Welcomes VF Corporation Vice President Luis Benitez to National Board of Directors
The Trust for Public Land announced today that Luis Benitez has joined the organization’s national Board of Directors. Benitez was elected to the board on June 24, 2021.
“Public parks and recreation areas contribute to our long-term physical and mental health, and it’s imperative that all citizens have access to these spaces in order to experience those benefits,” said Benitez. “I’m looking forward to working with The Trust for Public Land to advance conversations around park equity and ensure communities across the country have safe, equitable access to parks.”
Benitez is currently 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 like The North Face and Smartwool. Prior to joining the VF Corporation, Luis was the founding director of Colorado’s Outdoor Recreation Industry Office from 2015-2019. 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.
Previously, Benitez spent a decade managing the Outward Bound School in Colorado and served as the COO and Director of Operations for Adventure Consultants. He was also a founding partner for Warriors to Summits, a nonprofit focusing on serving veterans by connecting them with the outdoors. He 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. Benitez also served as an adjunct professor in Ecuador and Chile for the Wharton School of Business. He currently lives in Denver.
Benitez’s work as director of Colorado Outdoor Industry Recreation Office helped more than double the state’s outdoor economy to $62.5 billion, according to a government report. During his tenure, outdoor recreation wages and salaries increased by 75% and 62% of Coloradans reportedly used local parks, open space, or trails one or more times per week.
Parks are an essential part of improving public health, protecting vulnerable communities from the impacts of the climate crisis, and building strong community cohesion. And yet, 100 million people, including 28 million kids, do not have access to a quality park within a 10-minute walk from home. The parks we do have are not equitable, as parks serving primarily Black, Latino, Indigenous and Native American, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and other communities of color are half the size and serve five times more people per acre than parks in primarily white neighborhoods.
About The Trust for Public Land
The Trust for Public Land creates parks and protects land for people, ensuring healthy, livable communities for generations to come. Millions of people live near a Trust for Public Land park, garden, or natural area, and millions more visit these sites every year. To support The Trust for Public Land and share why nature matters to you, visit www.tpl.org.