Internationalist Header

Simon Perkins

Simon Perkins

Like us on Facebook

See the current issue
of The Internationalist magazine

Find out how to sponsor an issue of Trendsetters

Tumblr Email LinkedIn Facebook Twitter


If you have spotted a trend or given a recent presentation on a global issue, please tell use and don't forget a photo of yourself!

To submit to Trendsetters, contact me at:,
The Internationalist group on LinkedIn: at Twitter--@DMaloneIntl

TRENDSETTERS: Orvis President Simon Perkins Talks about his Vision as a Purpose-Driven Company

The Internationalist Trendsetters is written by Deborah Malone, founder of The Internationalist.

Simon Perkins was named President of the Orvis company in May.  While it remains the world's oldest mail-order retailer, Orvis has evolved to become a globally recognized fishing, wingshooting, and lifestyle apparel brand that is deeply invested in education and conservation.  The company was founded in Manchester, Vermont in 1856 by Charles Orvis, a fly-fishing enthusiast.  And while he created his mail-order business to sell fly rods, flies, and other fishing tackle, he believed that fly fishing made his life better and wanted to share the significance of the sport with others.  

Although Charles Orvis and Simon Perkins are separately by over 160 years, both express a reverence for the outdoors and the role it plays in creating a more meaningful life.  Simon Perkins sounds very much like a founder when he states, "Orvis has the ability to make this world a better place, to inspire others to get outside, explore and connect with the outdoor wonders of the world."

He innately understands the value of the purpose-led organization.  Simon Perkins believes that a combination of passion and relevance is not only the foundation for being purpose-led but is also the definition of true customer centricity.  "If you create something meaningful to the customer, you can create a relationship that lasts a lifetime-- if you can do it in a genuine way." 

To hear more from Simon Perkins, tune in to our Trendsetters podcast as he talks about keeping a brand relevant to today's customers as it also aspires to provide expertise for a more inspired life through a love of the outdoors.  CLICK HERE.

In our conversation, we discuss the following:

  • How Orvis has flourished in a digital age through a dedication to listening to the customer.
  • Orvis has a history in conservation, but customers now want companies to step up for them in important ways, particularly in Alaska and in the Everglades.  Is this essential to Orvis's mission as a brand?
  • How Orvis is responding to a world where people want to enjoy the outdoors after sheltering at home.
  • As an enthusiast company that provides lessons and gives back to the outdoors, Orvis is a different kind of retailer.  However, retail will no doubt change.  What is the future of stores versus the catalogue business?
  • As a company that has made purpose a priority, has the Orvis mission changed or perhaps intensified because of the events of recent months?
  • What is the vision for the future of Orvis?

Simon Perkins came to work at the Orvis Home Office in Manchester, Vermont in January 2012, serving as the e-commerce merchant for fly fishing and hunting. He has since filled leadership roles across the merchandising, adventures, and brand marketing teams, serving as vice president of brand marketing prior to his appointment as Chief Operating Officer in 2018. 

In his time at Orvis, Simon has championed projects aimed at diversifying the sport of fly fishing, such as the 50/50 on the Water initiative and the Breaking Barriers Award, which honors individuals who have gone above and beyond to bring new blood into the sport by breaking down barriers and introducing new audiences to the sport of fly fishing. He also serves on the board of Trout Unlimited Headwaters and has been a driver of Orvis's involvement in advocacy for conservation projects in locations such as Bristol Bay, Alaska and the Florida Everglades.

Simon Perkins is the son of Leigh "Perk" Perkins, former Orvis CEO, and grandson of Leigh H. Perkins, who purchased The Orvis Company in 1965—making him the third generation to lead Orvis.