Chairman Leon Gorman
Ever since the early days, when L.L. supported local Little League teams and urged his employees to volunteer for the Freeport Fire Department, L.L.Bean has been committed to helping out in the communities in which we live, work and enjoy the outdoors.
Today, L.L.'s grandson, Chairman of the Board Leon Gorman, continues to build on this tradition of giving back to the community, respecting the environment and encouraging others to do so as well.
Mount Everest Peace Climb
Leon has long been committed to raising environmental awareness. On Earth Day 1990, he embraced this cause as only an authentic outdoorsman could, joining the International Peace Climb to Mount Everest, where he worked to clear debris from the mountain and to supply the base camp. L.L.Bean also backed this effort with a $100,000 grant of gear and clothing.
Conservation at L.L.Bean Here in Freeport, under Leon's leadership L.L.Bean established itself as an environmentally responsible company. With a corporate environmental statement as guidance, that commitment continues through initiatives such as a recycling program, product stewardship and energy efficiency and we encourage wise use of natural resources and respect for the environment among all of our stakeholders.
In addition, Leon and his wife Lisa have demonstrated significant leadership in a number of important conservation campaigns The Nature Conservancy campaign to protect the St. John River; a gift to the Appalachian Mountain Club to build the Highland Center at Crawford Notch in New Hampshire; the Student Conservation Association and Bowdoin College's Coastal Studies Center.
Appalachian Trail Work
Leon's love of the outdoors has been an inspiration to his employees. For decades, L.L.Bean employees have maintained sections of the Appalachian Trail cutting trees and brush and building lean-tos, footbridges and causeways to further the enjoyment of all who hike along this remarkable footpath.
In the 1980s, Leon personally led the region's United Way fundraising drive, and he and his wife Lisa later established the local society of Alexis de Tocqueville for United Way member families who have given $10,000 or more to the United Way. With a lead gift to the United Way of Greater Portland Foundation, they established a campership fund for local youth refugees, immigrants and minorities who may otherwise not have had the opportunity for a positive outdoor experience. Leon and Lisa were also actively involved with the construction of a YMCA in Freeport, contributing time, money and encouraging employee volunteers.
Youth Leadership As an avid sportsman, Leon has taken a special interest in programs that combine his enthusiasm for the outdoors with his commitment to youth leadership. One example is a partnership between L.L.Bean and The Institute for Practical Democracy. Guided by L.L.Bean employees, young people from different ethnic, cultural and religious backgrounds participate in outdoor experiences that help build interpersonal and leadership skills and respect for the environment.
Community Organizations Leon has been active in, and received numerous awards from, various national and state civic and philanthropic organizations including The Nature Conservancy, Appalachian Mountain Club, Natural Resources Council of Maine, Boy Scouts of America and United Way. He has also received the Presidential Award from the Portland, Maine chapter of the NAACP for guardianship of civil rights in Maine. Leon has served as a trustee of Bowdoin College (his alma mater), Maine Audubon, Hurricane Island Outward Bound School, the Maine chapter of The Nature Conservancy and the Natural Resources Council of Maine. He was appointed by the Governor of Maine to serve on the Land for Maine’s Future Board.
Leon's unwavering commitment to the community and the environment has helped make L.L.Bean what it is today: a company that strives to do well by doing good.