Amanda Stewart

Children’s Snowsports School Manager, Boreal Mountain Resort, Calif.

Age: 25
Education: AA in Business Management, 2013
First job in industry: Instructor at Bear Mountain, Calif., 2005

Six-word bio: Play and enjoy. Commit and succeed.

The Nomination: 

“Amanda set the bar high from the beginning of her career. Her strength in business knowledge has led to four years of growth and improvement in our Snowsports Schools. In addition, Amanda has become a key member of our resort leadership team, and earned an “Excellence in Leadership—Team Achievement” award in 2013. Whether building training programs, producing Kids on Lift Videos or entering NSAA award submissions, Amanda sets the standard for safety culture engagement throughout our company. Her commitment to resort-wide initiatives is clear at every step as she puts her efforts into achieving collaborative results that benefit the entire team and business results.”

—Shaydar Edelmann, Director of Mountain Operations and Snowsports

The Interview:

How did you get into this role/industry?
Growing up in Big Bear, my lifelong hobby has been skiing and snowboarding. Being an instructor was the best way to get paid, share my enjoyment of the industry with others, and get that free season pass.

What drives you in your career?
The atmosphere of doing what we love and creating lifelong participants of all ages. My co-workers and our guests are choosing to ski/snowboard; my goal is to keep them coming back. It is exciting to contribute to a successful business in a dynamic environment that people choose to be a part of.

What is it that you love about working at a resort?
My hobby is my job. I have become the person I am today because I work in this industry, and I look forward to how it will contribute to my future. Plus, I’ve created incredible lifelong friendships.

Explain your role in the Take 3, Ride Free beginner conversion program.
The implementation of the program has been a six-year evolution, and it is continuously developing. We wanted to create an attraction for long-term retention, so making it affordable and fun was critical. The minor operational challenges I tackled were enrollment, tracking and follow-up. But as a resort-wide initiative, it’s widely supported. We work together to find solutions.

Your program has seen four consecutive years of growth. What’s the secret?
It starts with creating a culture people want to be a part of—being fun and authentic, having pride and ownership on all levels (employee and guest), cross-department engagement, and paying attention to employee and guest safety.

You also handle international recruiting and pre-season planning for the mountain services division. How do you manage?
I’ve learned how to balance the many aspects of the resort I am involved in by understanding the audience and relating accordingly. I try to offer support and guidance, while setting standards and clear expectations. Feeding off the cooperation company-wide is also a main contributor to executing our projects successfully.

How do you want to contribute to the future of the industry?
I want to brainstorm and implement innovative ideas to allow the industry to keep up with the ever-changing demographics, allowing as many people as possible to enjoy the sports and lifestyle. I want to leave my stamp not just on our snowsports programs, but also on the entire industry.

If you could share one thing about the new generation of resort visitors with the older generation of ski industry employees, what would that be? Technological advancements are a significant part of the lifestyle of the new generation. As we all adapt to this change in society, we need to embrace it. At the same time, it’s important that we proactively stay ahead of the curve of demographic shifts, including age and culture, so that we can continue to bring new people into our sports.