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Orvis Welcomes Former Athleta, Backcountry Executives to Board of Directors

rygr February 23, 2021

Jill Layfield, Sheila Shekar Pollak bring decades of brand-building experience to support outdoor retailer in refining its omnichannel strategy and consumer experience  

MANCHESTER, Vt. (Feb. 23, 2020) — Orvis, the family-owned and operated outdoor retailer that specializes in fly-fishing and wingshooting gear, dog products and active lifestyle apparel, welcomes former Backcountry and Athleta executives, Jill Layfield and Sheila Shekar Pollak to its board of directors, effective immediately. Both Layfield and Pollak bring extensive experience from renowned retailers and will provide key support as Orvis seeks continued growth and leadership in the outdoor industry. This announcement comes on the heels of recent executive leadership appointments of Reenie Benziger as chief product officer and Simon Perkins as president. 

“We are thrilled to welcome Jill and Sheila to our board and are excited to leverage their combined perspectives and deep knowledge and expertise in developing our digital and omnichannel brand strategies,” says Orvis President, Simon Perkins. “We have made exciting additions to the Orvis team in the last nine months. Adding Jill and Sheila to the Orvis “family” as board members is another demonstration of our commitment to reinventing the digital experience our customers seek in today’s world. Our entire team is committed to an omnichannel approach and providing meaningful moments with consumers wherever they interact with our brand.”

Jill Layfield joins the Orvis Board of Directors, effective immediately.

Jill Layfield joins the Orvis Board of Directors, effective immediately.

Jill Layfield joins the Orvis Board as an accomplished executive in the digital space and is currently the co-founder and CEO of Tamara Mellon, a digitally led women’s luxury brand. Prior to Tamara Mellon, she served as president and CEO of the outdoor e-commerce leader, During her 11-year career at Backcountry, Layfield facilitated several private brand launches, e-commerce brand acquisitions, and saw the business grow from $30M to $500M.

“Orvis is at a very intriguing and unique moment considering its current momentum and the opportunity ahead. Orvis possesses that elusive mix of innovative product, a fervent fanbase and an appetite for reinvention. I am looking forward to working with the board and management team to go after the exciting opportunities that await the brand,” says Layfield.  

Sheila Shekar Pollak joins the Orvis Board of Directors, effective immediately.

Sheila Shekar Pollak joins the Orvis Board of Directors, effective immediately.

Sheila Shekar Pollak joins the Orvis board as an innovative, purpose-driven marketing executive, and is currently the senior vice president and chief marketing officer for the sustainable skin care brand, Biossance. Pollak spent 16 years of her career at Gap Inc., and most recently served as chief marketing officer at Athleta, where she played a key role in the brand’s evolution from a catalog-led marketing model to a best-in-class omnichannel and digital experience. 

“For years, Orvis has shown a remarkable ability to build meaningful connections with consumers. A lot of brands yearn for the deep relationships Orvis shares with its customers. I am looking forward to working with leadership to identify new ways to build upon and deepen these relationships particularly as we continue to expand Orvis’ digital marketing capabilities and grow the Orvis community in the future,” says Shekar Pollak.

For more information, please direct Orvis media inquiries to Account Manager Madeline Fones at

About The Orvis Company: Founded in 1856, we believe the most meaningful experiences are created by sharing the love of nature and being inspired by its endless possibilities. Orvis pioneered the mail order industry in the United States, operates more than 80 retail stores in the U.S and the U.K., and maintains a network of over 400 dealers worldwide as a trusted source of discovery and adventure in the natural world. We promise to open the door to extraordinary outdoor experiences, and to protect nature by committing 5% of our pretax profits each year to conservation efforts worldwide.

Contact: Madeline Fones
d: 970-924-0704 ext. 2111

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