Ten Faces of EOCA. 3. President

During 2016, EOCA is celebrating being 10 years old! Ten years of the European outdoor industry funding conservation work in the great outdoors. In that time, the Association has funded work in over 36 different countries around the world, making a real difference to threatened habitats, species and landscapes.

As part of EOCA’s celebration of its tenth year, a series called ‘Ten Faces of EOCA’ will feature on our website throughout the year. These ten faces will be people who have been key to the success of the Association, or people who represent key partners of the Association. It may even be the face of a species that has benefited from the Associations work! Its going to be tough to choose only 10!

The third of the ten faces we are focusing on this time is that of Anna Maria Rugali, President of EOCA.

Anna Maria Rugarli is Director of Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility at VF in the EMEA region. She is responsible for developing and implementing the Sustainability and CSR corporate strategy as well as the brands. She joined VF in December 2010 and holds a strong track record of successfully creating Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility programmes at Nike, a global leader in the field, where she worked for 11 years. Anna Maria currently lives in Lugano with her family, where she enjoys wonderful views of the mountains and the lake every day, reminding her constantly of our link with nature. She enjoys nature with hikes, runs and bike rides and is often woken up by a woodpecker in the morning.

Since 2012, Anna Maria has been on the Board of the European Outdoor Conservation Association (EOCA). In July 2015, she was appointed as President. Anna Maria says “I was really happy when I was welcomed on to the EOCA board four years ago and then becoming its President. Being part of such a project is refreshing, inspiring and drives my motivation to keep doing more in the area of conservation. When I was appointed President, I was extremely proud and happy as I believe so much in this project. It also came at a moment in which there were a lot of opportunities for EOCA, where I could help the organisation to grow strategically and be more focused and become even more successful.”

“EOCA has been growing constantly over the years in terms of its reach towards the general public and in company membership within the outdoor sector. Over the last ten years, EOCA has raised over €2 million in fundraising and supported 79 conservation projects across the world. Every project represents the relevance of conservation to the outdoor industry and showcases the role that EOCA plays in bringing the two together.”

“Going forward, we intend that the reach of the Association will continue to grow both within the industry and amongst consumers. EOCA’s mission is to support valuable conservation work by raising funds from within the European outdoor sector and promoting care and respect for wild places. I hope that EOCA becomes more and more known for the great work that it does also beyond the outdoor industry and continues to give funding to important conservation projects that might not take place otherwise. This would spread the message of conservation to a broader audience, increasing EOCA’s range of actions, its profile and its visibility.”

Asked who the key partners are for EOCA, Anna Maria stated “First of all, EOCA members make EOCA successful – as members provide funds, 100% of which go into conservation projects. Secondly, the great work that the two general managers are doing, with a tight budget and a lot of passion. They are the ones that have delivered such impactful projects, made EOCA grow in these last years, and continue to make it flourish. Last, but not least, the support that the Scientific Panel helping EOCA choose its projects is invaluable, as it provides a solid scientific base to all the conservation projects that are at the basis of what we stand for.”