- REI hired Sylvia Wilks as its first senior vice president, chief supply chain officer, the co-op announced this week.
- Wilks, who joins the company Monday from wholesale distributor TireHub, will focus on working across the co-op to enhance REI's end-to-end global supply chain.
- The appointment comes as REI is doubling down on growth and expanding its domestic distribution footprint.
A former TireHub vice president of operations, Wilks brings more than 25 years in the retail, food and beverage, and consumer product industries to her new role. She has also previously worked in supply chain and direct procurement at Kimberly-Clark and Starbucks.
"As an REI member since 2006, my passion for preserving nature, delivering value to organizations and building effective teams led me to the co-op," Wilks said in a statement. "REI is known for an amazing culture and I'm excited to join REI leading supply chain operations, demand planning and vendor services teams to further the mission to connect more people to nature."
REI also named Minnie Alexander as its new vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary.
Wilks joins the REI leadership team as the brand strives to more than double its membership base to 50 million members by 2030, a goal that REI Co-op president and CEO Eric Artz is hoping she will help the company meet. REI stood at 21.5 million members as part of its membership-based co-op structure at the end of last year.
"Sylvia and Minnie join our team from customer-centric organizations that are deeply focused on creating best-in-class experiences," Artz said in a statement. "As we grow to a 50-million-member community by 2030, their leadership of our supply chain and legal functions will be instrumental."
Wilks will be a part of REI's expanding supply chain footprint. In January, the company announced plans to build its fourth distribution center, located in Tennessee. The facility is slated to open next year and adds to REI's list of centers in Pennsylvania, Arizona and Washington.
REI prides itself on transparency in its supply chain, particularly when it comes to the promotion of safe and sustainable practices in supplier factories. The company biannually publishes a list of its factory suppliers, which totaled more than 110 across three continents in February.
The company has been pushing greater downstream sustainability in its supply chain in recent years, including setting product sustainability standards for the more than 1,000 brands that the company sells.
REI is not the only retailer prioritizing supply chain leadership as brands continue to grapple with supply shortages and logistical headaches.
Last month, Target announced it had promoted Executive Vice President and Chief Supply Chain and Logistics Officer Arthur Valdez to its leadership team. And in March, Nordstrom brought on Stacy Lippa as vice president of its Rack supply chain in an effort to align resources across the company.