Luis Benitez
Vice President Government Affairs & Global Impact, VF Corporation

Prior to joining CU Boulders MENV program, Luis Benitez was Vice President for government affairs and global impact at the VF Corporation, a $10 billion dollar holding company that includes some of the outdoor industry’s most iconic brands including The North Face and Vans and Timberland. Luis also served as the President of the VF Foundation, a $10 billion annual global foundation. Before joining the VF Corporation, Mr. Benitez was appointed by Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper to lead the then newly established Outdoor Recreation Industry Office in 2015. 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. Under his watch, the state’s outdoor economy ballooned from $28 billion to $65 billion. Prior to this role Mr. Benitez was the Director of Talent Management for Vail Resorts helping them to both create their internal University as well as foster a deeper organizational development for the ski industry globally.  Mr. Benitez also spent a decade managing the well-established leadership development school, Outward Bound Professional in Colorado at the start of his career. He also served as the COO for Adventure Consultants, a New Zealand-based global expedition firm with a long and storied history of leading trips on Mount Everest that was featured both in the book Into Thin Air and in the movie Everest. Mr. Benitez has summitted Mt. Everest six times. In his philanthropic journey, Mr. Benitez has helped create two nonprofits; Trekking For Kids, which focuses on service-based expeditions allowing participants to climb and trek while teaching them about local issues like housing and healthcare for disadvantaged youth around the world. He was also a founding partner for Warriors to Summits, a nonprofit focusing on serving veterans by connecting them with the outdoors. He also serves on four distinguished boards within the outdoor industry, with two being Gubernatorial appointments. He has also served as an adjunct professor in Ecuador and Chile for the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. Mr. Benitez 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.