Thursday, April 30, 2015

GOT YOUR 6+National Conference on Citizenship #VeteransCivicHealthIndex

In our inbox...

First-Ever Sociological Examination of Civic Health as it Relates to Veterans
Released by Got Your 6 and National Conference on Citizenship (NCoC)

Military Service a Strong Indicator of Higher Rates of Voting, Volunteering,and Civic Engagement, Says New Veterans Civic Health Index

Washington, D.C.  – (April 30, 2015) – Got Your 6 today unveiled the findings of the first-ever Veterans Civic Health Index, a major study that reveals significant and positive trends in levels of civic engagement among veterans. Findings from the report were highlighted this morning at an event at The National Press Club featuring Secretary Robert A. McDonald of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Got Your 6 managing director Chris Marvin, and Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (D - Hawaii), who were joined by leaders from national veteran-focused groups.

Among other data points, the Veterans Civic Health Index found,

·         Service - Veteran volunteers serve an average of 160 hours annually – the equivalent of four full workweeks.  Non-veteran volunteers serve about 25% fewer hours annually.
·         Civic Involvement - 17.7% of veterans are involved in civic groups (versus 5.8% of non-veterans).
·         Voting - 59.5% of veterans under 50 vote in local elections, versus 48.7% of non-veterans under 50.
·         Community Engagement – Veterans are more likely to fill leadership roles in community organizations, attend community meetings and fix problems in their neighborhoods.

The full report is available here.

Got Your 6 is a campaign that unites nonprofit, Hollywood, and government partners, to empower America’s military veterans. Working in partnership with the National Conference on Citizenship (NCoC), Points of Light and American Express, the Got Your 6 campaign developed the Veteran Civic Health Index by examining data from the Census Current Population Survey from 2012 and 2013 relating to volunteering, political participation and social connectedness. 

Civic health, defined as a community’s capacity to work together to resolve collective problems, has been shown to positively impact local GDP, public health, upward income mobility, and has other benefits that strengthen communities.  By releasing this study, Got Your 6 and its partners aim to eliminate common misconceptions about veterans, while highlighting the civic strength of America’s returning servicemen and women.

“Service to our nation does not end when the uniform comes off,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert A. McDonald.  “As proven leaders dedicated to public service, veterans are valuable assets. The Veterans Civic Health study highlights how those who continue to serve in their communities strengthen our nation.”

“Through our research, we have found that veteran status is a powerful predictor of civic engagement, which translates to tangible and measurable positive impacts in our communities,” said Chris Marvin, Army veteran and managing director of the Got Your 6 campaign. “Veterans return home from service hungry for their next mission and we, as a nation, should empower them to use their training to strengthen communities here at home.”

The findings of the Veteran Civic Health Index suggest that veterans strengthen communities through volunteering, engaging with local governments and community organizations, voting, and helping neighbors, all at rates higher than their non-military counterparts.  Additional key results include:

·         Income – Over the past eight years, veterans have consistently earned more than their non-veteran counterparts
·         Housing – Veterans only comprise 8.6% of the current homeless population, with non-veterans comprising 91.4%
·         Education – Veterans who participate in the GI Bill program complete their degree programs at a similar rate to the general population’s traditional postsecondary student.

Around a quarter of a million veterans return to communities across the nation each year, and Got Your 6 celebrates this as an enormous opportunity for the nation. Upon their return home, veterans should be met with high expectations and encouraged to continue their service in meaningful ways. 

Got Your 6 will use the Veteran Civic Health Index to create a new dialogue in America, one that explores the unique experiences of America’s veterans, in efforts to foster understanding between veterans and civilians and build stronger communities. 

About Got Your 6
Got Your 6 is a campaign that unites nonprofit, entertainment industry, and government partners. Got Your 6 believes that veterans are leaders, team builders, and problem solvers who have the unique potential to strengthen communities across the country. Got Your 6 works to integrate these perspectives into popular culture, engage veterans and civilians together to foster understanding, and empower veterans to lead in their communities. In 2013 and 2014, Got Your 6 and Macy’s raised and distributed more than $4.2 million in grants to the campaign’s nonprofit partners. For more information, visit  Be the Change, Inc., an independent 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, is the organizing body of Got Your 6.

About National Conference on Citizenship
At the National Conference on Citizenship (NCoC), we believe everyone has the power to make a difference in how their community and country thrive. We are a dynamic, non-partisan nonprofit working at the forefront of our nation’s civic life. Through our events, research, and reports, NCoC expands our nation’s contemporary understanding of what it means to be a citizen. We seek new ideas and approaches for creating greater civic health and vitality throughout the United States. For more information, visit

About Points of Light
Points of Light – the world’s largest organization dedicated to volunteer service – mobilizes millions of people to take action that is changing the world. Through affiliates in 250 cities and partnerships with thousands of nonprofits and corporations, Points of Light engages more than four million volunteers in 30 million hours of service each year. We put people at the center of change. For more information, visit
About American Express
American Express is a global services company, providing customers with access to products, insights and experiences that enrich lives and build business 


Materials+Textiles Innovate Outdoor Footwear Part 2



Stormy Kromer-Wolverine collaboration-featuring iconic red/black plaid wool, full grain leather upper from Horween Leather -as part of Wolverine's Fall 2015 collection

Location, location, location-this handsome wool leather lace-up hiking/dress shoe hybrid---comes courtesy of Wolverine (founded 1883-by G.A. Krause) and Stormy Kromer (founded in 1903 by George 'Stormy' Kromer)-heritage brands from Michigan's Lower and Upper Peninsulas.

Stormy Kromer x Wolverine boot-
Love at first site-these made in the USA ($400) got Instagrammed toute de suite---but deserve a second mention...welt construction is obvi-with a rugged outsole, visible hand stitched details, and solid metal hardwear that's old school gone new.

OOFOS---gets major foot time on our feet...the proprietary OOFOAM™ -another genius thing to come out of  South Korea (seriously-skin care/beauty/Samsung-and their take on POP music- all amazing too)...gets crafted into tapered silhouettes of the thongs, slides ($39.95-$59.95) and clogs.

Sporty sandals -slides are easy wearing-like the double O logo-modern touch.
Cool metallics as well as solid neutrals provide variety-and all deliver the energy returning (dodging taxis/delivery guys dashing through a crosswalk), massaging (coddles arches too)-and durability par excellence-our pair survives concrete pavement, meaningfully.

A techy shoe-the Terrex Ultimate Boost Climaheat-men's $200-25oz-Vista grey/black/raw ochre pictured
ADIDAS Outdoors gets a lot right--and their men's Fall 2015 boots- show off some more winning-and very eye candy worthy styles with the "BOOST™"(energy returning-high adaptability on uneven surfaces), "Climaheat™" (warmth) and "Climaproof®" (waterproof) technologies....finished off with Continental® rubber outsoles for great grip.
urbanites hike around a lot too...Primaloft® onboard with 100 grams of insulation, lightweight EVA midsole with BOOST tech, Continental rubber outsole- icy grip on uneven surfaces, 17.3 oz-synthetic material withstands weather well. Men's=$180

Added plus-love how the multi-colored outsoles-kinda capture- the brand's iconic 3 stripe logo. Smart design people. Now if Americans could only pronounce the name correctly-haaaa.

Don't Slip, Grip -SPecialty Work boots-new Vidar Pro BUGrip® and Vidar Pro BUGgrip® high --upper action leather/rubber/BUGdri® waterproof, Fleece with 200 grams Thinsulate lining for warmth, PU memory foam insole, full waterproof upper, aluminum toe cap, shaped heel cup, insulation sheet keep cold out=totally dryness. 16 carbon tip studs grips-in the rugged oil resistant rubber outsole= BUGrip®
The Swedish nation conjures up fab NHL hockey players...AND as might be expected-this Scandinavian country ALSO delivers some weather tough footwear too.

ICEBUG - a cute name - is serious business---meaning traction and warm protection---that is rapidly gaining favor over here...along with the skating human exports.

Highlights for 2015-a redesigned BUGweb system that's easier on/off and features an outsole made with 50% recycled rubber.
BUGweb® studs optional...

6 carbide studs provide great grip-50% recycled rubber-decide when you need it...

plush pull-on-Glava BUGweb

Idun-L BUGweb® leather+suede upper, water repellent with soft fleece lining and Alu sheet insock for warmth-removable molded EVA, outsole-50% recycled rubber

Saunter BUGweb


Monday, April 27, 2015



Gore-Tex® Surround™, La Sportiva®, Vibram® MegaGrip, TrekSta®, HanWag IceGrip-G-LOFT FIT®

Just like the performance, lifestyle and fashion apparel previewed these past few months -for A/W2015/16---footwear that's headed for the great outdoors is a wearable (and weather tough) combo of new technology and amped up for snowy/icy trails- and city strolls old school materials felt/wool, shearling and leather.

Prediction- (more) suede (oiled -brushed)+velvet details/trims will be big for 2016/17 based on what we saw in fashion world-tends to trickle down (or up-depending one's perspective-ha ha).


La Sportiva-nifty-the lacey looking mineral blue-greyish protective Nano-Cell™ Technology overlay-great fit- of Synthesis GTX® available now-with the waterproof/breathable Gore-Tex Surround™ Technology

GORE-TEX's Surround™ Product Technology-360º breathability/waterproof-that was intro-ed last summer---added bunch of labels (like new to us TrekSta) embracing this innovative laminates-special construction.
La Sportiva Synthesis Mid GTX® with Gore-Tex Surround™ Tech and black protective Nano-Cell™ Technology  $180
Vibram's MegaGrip:
Vibram's latest rubber compound is the VERY durable MegaGrip-featured in outsoles of several brands including Hoka One One-improved grip on dry and wet surfaces
row of brands using Vibram's MegaGrip...including The North Face, Giro, Vasque, Salewa, Scarpa, Chaco+Arcteryx

outsoles of Dunlop workboots-Vibram

we wish our bike shoes used Vibram MegaGrip...these are by Giro

TREKSTA+BOA Closure Technology
click up/down paired with dial ease of on/off/ fit-by Boa Micro-Adjustable  closure system---is something that can become an addictive must in performance shoes or triathlons when seconds in transition in TrekSta's trail runner-Women's Sync Boa (Teal/Yellow)-has brand's NestFIT system that coddles/cradles feet, and ultralight EVA midsole-stability, EVA insole for arch support, highly breathable mesh upper. 9.30z  6mm drop + a guy version too 10.5oz....
Check this out-proprietary technology pictured below-ZeroTie hands-free lacing system---a gift in cold weather when the mere thought of taking off gloves/mittens conjures up shivers.
TrekSta's ZEROTIE hands free lacing system....this lever like heel 'thing' aka release buckle/ clicks down to loosens up laces-the roller tightens... 
Pictured-all day comfort-in a women's Hands Free 103-an internal roller-allows tightening lacing- manis are SAFE. Plus EVA midsole incorporates TPU support, insole molded EVA with odor eating-anti-bacterial  Nano silver tech, NestFit system-construction cradles all nooks+crannies of one's foot.

HyperGrip®-proprietary rubber compound/IceLock™ outsole...superior traction with added grip on ice---collection ranges from$50-$220
The 411 on ICEGRIP= German brand HanWag's sole technology is microscopic glass particles embedded in the rubber thread blocks-for scratchy grip =enhanced traction on ice. 3 years in the making-we wonder if the brand collects broken glass beer bottles from fab Oktoberfests as a source material.
14 Grip Zones

Fjäll Extreme GTX® in Erde $380-serious technical boot-with removable innrer boot, waterproof Gore-tex® lining+durable felt upper. Multiple insulation layers-including use of G-Loft Fit® rated to -40ºF-IceGrip original outsole

seeing is believing---Canto Mid Winter GTX® -prrimo Nubuck leather heritage flavored-waterproof via Gore-Tex® Panda lining, soft padded fleece collar, all around rubber rand, heel loop for ez on/off, IceGrip ZT outsole

Abisko GTX®  $500-winter expedition-cold rated to -40ºF-With removable thermo inner boot constructed from durable felt w/ Gore-Tex® lining. Outer boot has an airy fabric upper with insulating aluminum, thermofoam, G-Loft Fit®+ fleece layer. PLUS-integrated Cordura® tough gaiter at boot cuff-with 14 grip zones

FYI: Cold ratings=something we had to explain to lotsa NYC pals to look for=specifically for cold rated boots-this past FREEZING weather...why dress label kicks were not worthy of wicked weather extremes.

ABISKO GTX® $500-snowshoe compatible heel...


In our inbox...

Sherpa Adventure Gear Creates Nepal Earthquake Relief Fund on Crowdrise
100% of initial $30,000 goal will support immediate aid in remote villages

KENT, WASHINGTON, USA and KATHMANDU, NEPAL—April 28, 2015— Kathmandu-based outdoor apparel manufacturer Sherpa Adventure Gear has created an earthquake relief fund called “Help Sherpas Help Nepal” to support aid to remote villages affected by the disaster.  The fundraising appeal is on Crowdrise at

The company has committed to initially raising $30,000 through the campaign and 100% of the money raised will be dedicated to direct relief efforts thru Sherpa Adventure Gear’s existing network in villages, where the company underwrites the education of Sherpa children through its charitable Paldorje Education Fund. 

In a letter from Kathmandu announcing the fundraising effort, the Tashi Sherpa, founder and CEO of Sherpa Adventure Gear, wrote: 

Dear friends,

Thank you for your kind words following the devastating earthquake of April 25th.

As we gather our wits and resources to respond to this catastrophe, here’s how you can take action.

Please visit the Sherpa Adventure Gear site at and make a donation.

100% of your funds will go for immediate relief on the ground through our Paldorje Education Fund network—already set up to benefit the children of Sherpa families in remote villages.

With each day, the death toll rises, along with the need for water, tents, and medicine.

We believe this is the wisest way to bring support where it does the most good, working through our contacts in each community.

This is not the kind of adventure anyone seeks, but we are determined to see it through, no matter how long it takes.

Thank you for standing with us and giving what you can.


Tashi Sherpa and the Sherpa Family

Sherpa Adventure Gear has been inundated with concern, prayers and thoughts since the earthquake struck. The company and its facilities in the Kathmandu valley were spared the wrath of the earthquake, which has left thousands and counting dead and millions without shelter and basic necessities.

In an April 28th email from Kathmandu, Tashi wrote, “Today is the fourth day and it is apparent the situation on the ground level is dire and desperately worse than what the media can convey. Sitting here in the Sherpa building creates a disconnect and a false sense of security but one only has to go half a mile to know the harsh reality.”   
Sherpa and his colleagues are acting on the ground from Kathmandu to arrange for immediate supplies of tarps, water purifiers, sanitary supplies and more to be brought in from India by road. It has also appealed to its network of contacts in the greater subcontinent region to supply what they can in the way of urgently needed water, health and sanitation supplies and temporary shelter.
About the need in remote areas, Tashi wrote, “The village people are in desperate need of help now and later. The devastation in many areas is so complete that it will take years and years to recover and rebuild.”

“There is much we can do together to help,” he added. “We can reduce the pain of the present and help to ease the future for those who need to see hope.” 

First Dispatch...

To all our friends and well wishers.

Thank you all so much for your kind thoughts and prayers.   We deeply appreciate that you would think of us and call us or write to us.   We are all fine and safe and adapting to our sudden and shocking circumstance as resolutely as we can.  In that itself, I count ourselves as being blessed to be alive and all together.   Our physical structures seem to have borne the brunt of the tremors well.

The Sherpa family spent a very sensitive first night on the ground floor, and today we are doing our stoic best to cope with the horrific and tragic earthquake that has taken a catastrophic toll on Nepal and its people.   The scale of what we are seeing so close is something I hope none of us ever suffer through.   A 7.9 magnitude earthquake on Saturday , fifty miles from Kathmandu has now inflicted death on more than 2000  victims across the nation and massive destruction in the valley The death toll rises by the hour.  We are now estimating the loss to cross over three thousand .  I spent a heartbreaking morning paying my respects to a broken down Manisha ( one of our long time employees ) and her husband who lost their only son Sunny, in the devastation that hit Bhaktapur,  and her old mother who is still missing in the collapsed rubble of an ancient township.   Phone and Internet  are patchy at best so we are speaking to someone who spoke to someone who can give us news of people we know,

We went round the city this evening.  Many monuments that stood the wear of time, are now lost forever.  The news on the radio says entire villages  have been destroyed.  The impact of this horrendous earthquake was even acutely felt  in our highest of mountains where the last  count of victims was more than 18 in another Avalanche on EVEREST.  Another April and another tale of a sorrowful spring.

Hospitals overflow with injury victims. Neighbouring  countries have swiftly flown in their search and rescue teams , medical units and help in all guises is pouring in but not fast enough I believe because there to be literally tens of thousands left homeless.

Makeshift Tent cities on every little space of green, on sidewalks,on soccer fields, evacuation lines at the airport that are impossible  miles long, Dust and debris amongst fallen towers and temples, teary eyed tourists desperately dragging their rollers and duffels looking for some way to get out, little children holding on to their dusty blankets trailing their parents , hectic ambulances screaming their sirens on empty streets are some of the images that will stay with me.  An eerie and restless energy presides over all of us this second evening but there is also a bit of becalming cheer  as Tseten whips up up gourmet spaghetti  from packet noodles for dinner.

To make matters scarier , after what appeared to be a diminishing scale of a series of aftershocks since the last twenty four hours we were tested by another severe tremor of 6.9 this afternoon.
The question on everyone's mind- is when will they stop .  At least we feel so much safer than so many,  We are all outside next to our own  building trying to settle down to some sort of predictable outcomes.

In the days to come, we will regroup and reexamine our agenda.  For now, Tseten and I just want to say thank you to those who reached out to us and for your kindness.  There is much we can do together to help and we will be making plans to see where best we can reduce the pain of the present and help to ease the future for those who need to see hope,

Best Regards

Tashi , Tseten and the Sherpa Family 

FYI: Sherpa Adventure Gear

"Small Brands Can Change the World"
Sherpa’s brand foot print may be small, but we like to think that our heart is big and whether we grow large or not, doesn’t matter, as long as we stay true to ourselves, to the Sherpa way. We are a bit different: We create, develop and manufacture over 85% of our products in Nepal, someday we hope to make it 100%. Manufacturing in Nepal is no easy hike and it would be so much easier to outsource to China or Vietnam –but there is much more at stake here. The reward for us comes not in the financials alone, but in seeing the magic of our vision come to life.


The Nike Academy is an elite development program for talented young footballers. The players who reside at the Nike Academy not only have access to world-class facilities and coaching, they are among the very first to wear Nike’s latest innovative products. In some instances, Nike Academy players have even tested blacked-out versions of Nike’s groundbreaking boots before the boots and their colors were officially revealed to the world.

Black Pack
But all-black boots aren’t just for wear-testing, they are for any player with the understated confidence to let his talent do the talking. Some youth academies mandate that players wear all-black boots, lest individuals attempt to stand out on colorways alone.
Hypervenom Phantom Plate
As a nod to academy players who never fail to make a statement in muted black, Nike is launching the Nike Academy Black Pack. Unlike wear-testing boots, this pack will feature black gradient changes that amplify the design features of each boot. There is also a subtle pop of color on the sole plate.
Magistra Obra Plate
The Nike Academy Black Pack will be available via the Nike Football App on April 24 and on April 25. 
In our inbox

Sunday, April 26, 2015

GRUNDÉNS-Performance Outerwear/Accessories-That Protects "Deadliest Profession"

NYC...Backbone Media Showcase/Westerlind Outdoor 
Sandham Hat-white extra wide brim, neck+ear protection-specially welded water ditch in front-diverts water away, adjustable chin flap, polyester lining
How fitting that our latest obsessed with label new to us label-we saw 2x in one week.

WHAT: Grundéns is a heritage brand---founded in 1911 in a stormy climate locale (Grundsen) -on the left coast of Sweden. 

Waterproof/weather tough attire that literally could be life-saving for  fisherman as they earn a living... Grundens' collection-crafted from textiles and forward thinking treatments- has evolved over the decades -including the embrace of PVC coated fabrics for the most professional outerwear worthy ever-aka the kind that withstands "... standing under a fire hose hour after hour..." 

DESIGN: The aforementioned watery deluge ...probably not gonna happen-for most people---but imo-Grundens incredibly trend-on rugged jackets, pants, hats and waterproof bags-  will please the urban crowds who need meaningfully protective clothes (wear singularly-or layered up) and want pieces that accentuate their sartorial style. 

nautical blue-white accents-iconic color combo
highlight-navy with white details...longer length in the back allows for sitting down/riding a bike- and staying dry
back of this jacket-drapes well with center pleat---collar rolls up high to ward off the elements


 The PVC coating used by Grundens -now includes a fusion with different textiles for extra practical the knitted synthetic base fabric (extra stretch) of the Petrus HD...and the Weather Boss garments a 500 denier nylon coated on the inside -

BONUS: Several styles rated waterproof breathable barrier-10,000mm, breathable 5,000mvp

seams are welded- shut- reinforced for durable waterproof-ness-no chance for liquids seeping in through stitching!!!
white color is fresh-love the huge outer pockets and pop of dark metal snaps
rockin' camo---most popular winter print for hunters gets a splashy interpretation
Gage Storm Surge 2.5 layer jacket with double storm flaps. waterproof breathable barrier-10,000mm, breathable 5,000mvp water resistant pit zips, 2 hand warmer pockets, we like the extended back for extra coverage, Napoleon pocket, Gage Halo Hood System

Brigg 40 Parka-in a see me orange made from heavy cotton twill base material (4.7oz/yard), coated w/ specially formulated PVC (10.9oz/per yard)=total 15.6 oz/yard. Details---attached hood w/ drawcord, full cap sleeve design for unrestricted movement, double secure storm flap, chin strap-w/reinforced cuffs. Sizes xs-Tall 3x ($144-$187)

Waterproof haulers...
100% waterproof camo print 105 liter Shackleton duffel, roll-top closure, hide away backstraps, 500d PVC trapaulin fabric, 100% radio frequency welded seams $125

30 Liter Rum Runner Backpack $82.75-with moisture wicking padded back, front mesh pocket, water bottle pockets

Available worldwide-sizing is unisex-with kids too

Friday, April 24, 2015


We Are Family everyone onstage finale-Niles Rodgers -CHIC, Kathy Sledge, Grandmaster Melle Mel PLUS TEDxTeens


WHERE: Manhattan Center-West 34th ST, NYC
Philanthropist and a very musical talent-songwriter Denise Rich greets Raymond Kelly+Rosanna Scotto
a lot of hugs

honoree Bill McDermott-CEO and Executive Board Member-SAP-WAFF Visionary Award-we raved about the SAP-Panasonic collab (real  time analytics-soccer) we saw at CES-told us it is widely adopted now

Selfie Time-Hosts Rosanna Scotto and Greg Kelly -co-hosts of Good Morning America with Chaka Khan and Nile Rodgers

-Hosts Rosanna Scotto and Greg Kelly -co-hosts of Good Morning America with Chaka Khan and Nile Rodgers
 THE MISSION: WE ARE FAMILY FOUNDATION powers youth around the world who are changing the game with their ideas, innovations and social good solutions. 
Maria Bartiromo-Fox Business Journalist-TV anchor

Susan + David Rockefeller, Jr.

tables-just right for the occasion-a fundraiser---food was delish...sponsors get big hugs-The Container Store, Hennessy, and Pepsico

 Other Honorees: Caryl M. Stern -CEO and President of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF-Mattie J.T. Stepanek Peacemaker Award, Ryan Orbuch 2014 TEDxTEEn New York-co-founder of Volley and founder of Finish ith remarks by Nancy Hunt President of WAFF, Jess Teutonico, Executive Director WAFF, and Nicholas Lowinger 2013 Global Team Leader, Gotta Have Sole Foundation
Chaka Khan belts it out-timeless with  Nile Rodgers
WHO NEEDS DESSERT? We Are Family Humanitarian Award winner singer/icon Chaka Khan got the live concert going----with Nile Rodgers, CHIC...Kathy Sledge and an amazing band...WOW.
Chaka Khan---and Nile Rodgers

CHIC -fabulous-four singers and Chaka Khan 

the definition of what makes a classic

bass player----funk beat 

bass player rocked it

every tune we wanted to here-including Get Lucky, Le Chic-Freak-out and We Are Family
smartphones got it all

 Such Good Times!!!

Grandmaster Melle Mel in the Superman attire-

Hits just keep coming-----

members of CHIC