Outdoor Retailer 2022 Inspiration Awards Finalist - A Reflection
The Outdoor Retailer Inspiration Awards celebrate champions of the outdoor community who inspire and encourage others to enjoy, participate in, and support outdoor recreation. MPOWERD® was selected as a finalist in this year’s Manufacturer category for businesses that inspire through their dedication to efforts that have a business-orientated framework and promote a healthy, flourishing planet while sustainably and equitably meeting the needs of stakeholders. For the entirety of the Company’s ten years in business, MPOWERD has been a pioneering Certified B Corporation and Benefit Corporation. Well before it was trendy to be sustainable and impact-driven, MPOWERD embedded these values into its mission and business model from the Company’s inception.
With that in mind, it is no surprise that MPOWERD has made the finalist list, but by the same token, it is. From an outsider peering in to examine the company's impact, it’s impressive to see the nearly 4 million lives that have been impacted and the over 2.5 million tons of CO2 that have been averted–all while innovating a clean, sustainable product line within the outdoor industry. But what’s genuinely impressive is that it's all been accomplished by a small but mighty team, led by two impact-focused leaders, who all work each day towards creating a positive impact.
“It’s incredible to reflect on what we have accomplished as a vehicle for change in the outdoor industry and the world,” Seungah remarks. “As a little girl from South Korea, with no running water or electricity, the fact that I am now the CEO for a company that cares deeply about getting lights into the hands of people who need them… it’s all come full circle for me, and I couldn’t be more proud of everyone who has helped get us here.”
That is really how it all began. Shortly after the devastating earthquake of 2010, as part of a disaster relief mission trip, John Salzinger realized a clear need for underserved populations without access to clean, reliable light and power. This was when the original Luci® Solar Light was invented. Lightweight, waterproof, sustainable, and solar-powered light, Luci® inflatable solar lights have since expanded to include a wide range of clean product solutions and functionalities including power storage, solar string lights and even a modular solar bike light.
“Since the inception of MPOWERD, we have always invented products for people. That means the same product is as useful and as exciting for someone in the developed world as it is for someone in an emerging market or emergency situation,” John emphasized.
John’s business model, the Give Luci Program, is the inner ethos that drives the bus - it’s all for the benefit of others and the planet.
Even more significant, however, is the incredible impact of the outdoor industry as a whole - brands, retailers, and individuals alike, who carry the same values and genuinely care as much as we do. That is what is truly inspiring. It is the shared commitment and dedication of an entire industry to serving others, preserving the planet, and enjoying the outdoors. This is why the MPOWERD story is such a success story.The 12th annual Outdoor Retailer Inspiration Awards will take place this June in conjunction with Outdoor Retailer Summer in Denver. The nomination window was open from April 6 to May 4, 2022, and recipients will be unveiled at a live, in-person ceremony on June 9, 2022, the first night of the show. The ceremony will be held in MR200s on the first level of the Colorado Convention Center – doors open at 6 p.m.