Lloyd and Mary Anderson
Lloyd and Mary Anderson are the embodiment of leadership, foresight, and cooperative spirit. In 1938, seeing a need for quality climbing gear at fair prices in the Northwest, the couple formed the Recreational Equipment Cooperative, now known as REI. In the Co-op's early years, the Anderson's ran the business from their home for no salary. The basement of their West Seattle house became a factory for ice axes, tents, and freeze dried food. In lean times, they would advance the Co-op interest-free loans to keep it going. Over 50 years later, REI remains committed to the cooperative form of business, and has grown to over 3 million members. REI is a successful national retailer of outdoor products, and an example of how a well-managed cooperative can be a competitive and successful business. These successes can be credited to the Andersons' vision and personal sacrifice, as well as their steadfast dedication to cooperative ideals.