In SAM’s monthly Snow People, we highlight recent personnel moves that have been made in the mountain resort industry.
MICHAEL VAN EYCK, The Fairbank Group
Michael Van Eyck has been promoted to the newly created role of chief revenue officer for the Fairbank Group, which owns Bromley, Vt., Jiminy Peak, Mass., and Cranmore, N.H. In his new position, Van Eyck will continue his duties as the assistant GM and development lead at Bromley while also overseeing Fairbank Group’s marketing, sales and revenue strategies. “Our priorities surround the growth of not only the resorts within our family, but with growth of the snowsports industry overall,” said Fairbank Group CEO Tyler Fairbank. “Michael will be at the front lines of those strategies and, with the support of our resort teams, there is no doubt in my mind that we will get there.”
REBECCA SAMPSON-KULLBERG, Ski Areas of New York
Mount Peter, N.Y., general manager Rebecca Sampson-Kullberg has been appointed to the Ski Areas of New York (SANY) board of directors. Sampson-Kullberg has served in numerous roles at Mount Peter, which has been owned by the Sampson family for the past 50 years. “We are proud and excited to welcome Rebecca to our group,” said SANY president Scott Brandi. “We look forward to her future contributions.” SANY represents more than 35 New York ski areas and hundreds of suppliers, facilitating lobbying efforts, helping mountains and suppliers navigate regulatory issues, and promoting growth.
AMANDA WATKINS, Colorado Ski Country USA
Amanda Watkins has joined Colorado Ski Country USA, the trade association for ski areas in Colorado, as marketing director. Previously, Watkins spent seven years working in various marketing roles for Vail Resorts, and most recently served as the associate marketing director of Visit Denver.“We are excited to have Amanda joining us,” said Melanie Mills, president and CEO of CSCUSA. “Her ski industry and association experience will be a valuable addition to our team and our 23-member ski areas as she leads marketing efforts to advance skiing and snowboarding in Colorado.”
JOHN BRAY, Wisp Resort, Md.
Wisp Resort, Maryland’s only ski area, has brought John Bray on board as director of food and beverage. Bray began his 20-year career in the ski industry managing restaurants at Keystone Resort, Colo., before moving east to become the director of food and beverage at Camelback Resort, Pa. Bray began his new role at Wisp over the Presidents’ Day holiday weekend. “One of [Bray’s] most impressive attributes is managing and growing food and beverage teams with strong leadership skills,” said Jerry Geisler, general manager of Wisp Resort.
VAIL RESORTS, COLORADO
There have been several leadership changes in the Vail Resorts Mountain Division. Doug Lovell, vice president and COO of Vail Mountain, will retire May 1, 2019. Lovell began his career with Vail Resorts in 1994 as a snowmaker at Beaver Creek. He served as the senior director of mountain ops at Keystone and then became the COO of Keystone before moving to Beaver Creek to accept the same role. Lovell became the VP and chief operating officer at Vail Mountain in 2017. Beth Howard will succeed Lovell this spring. Howard is the current VP and COO at Beaver Creek. She joined Vail Resorts in 1985 as a college intern and developed a career in mountain dining across the company’s properties. Most recently, Howard served as the GM and VP of Northstar California before taking her current role at Beaver Creek.The current vice president and GM of Northstar, Nadia Guerriero, will succeed Howard as the VP and COO of Beaver Creek. Guerriero worked with Olympic and action-sports athletes before joining Vail Resorts in 2007 as the senior director of base area operations at Northstar. She has also led a women’s leadership forum at the resort and is co-leading the current session of Vail Resorts’ Women In Leadership program.Both Howard and Guerriero are former SAMMY winners.
After serving nine years as the director of snowsports and golf for Killington/Pico, Vt., Dave Beckwith has been promoted to the Killington executive committee. Beckwith will report directly to the resort’s president and GM Mike Solimano. He will continue to oversee snowsports, day care, rental, golf, and youth development. Rob Megnin will retire June 28 after 35 years in the ski industry, the last nine years as Killington/Pico director of sales and marketing and a member of the company’s executive team. Throughout his time at Killington, he executed major events with his teams, including two Dew Tour events and three World Cups, and won national awards for best overall marketing, video, Bring a Friend for both Pico and Killington, Golden Eagle Awards, and the 2015 NSAA Conversion Cup, among others. Under his direction, sales more than doubled in both leisure and conference and pass sales, and presold programs grew significantly.
LINDSEY VONN, COLORADO
After announcing her plans to retire immediately at the end of January, Lindsey Vonn ended her ski racing career on the podium in the World Championships downhill in Are, Sweden on Feb. 9. Vonn finished in the bronze medal spot, a triumph after damaging her knee in training earlier this season. She retires as the winningest woman in World Cup history, and second overall to Ingemar Stenmark.
DANNY DAVIS, CALIFORNIA
Powdr partnered with Danny Davis, X Games gold medalist, Grand Prix winner, Dew Tour champion, and U.S. snowboard Olympian, to launch Woodward Peace Park at various Powdr-owned resorts. Davis created the Peace Park in 2011 as a new type of terrain park focused on fun and flow. The Woodward Peace Park builds on Davis’s original vision while incorporating Woodward’s focus on self-directed learning. It debuts mid-February at Killington Resort, Vt., and Boreal Mountain, Calif.
MEGAN ROBERTS, MAINE
Titcomb, a Mountain of Ski Memories, by Megan Roberts, has been named the recipient of the 2019 International Ski History Association’s Skade Award, presented for outstanding work on a regional ski history. The book covers the Maine ski area’s 80-year history. Roberts, who grew up skiing Titcomb Mountain, has had a 30-year career in the ski industry and served as the manager of Titcomb for eight years. She was the president of the Ski Maine Association and also became the first executive director of the Ski Museum of Maine.
PETER KEELTY, UTAH
Co-founder of RealSkiers.com, Peter Keelty, died Feb. 5 in Salt Lake City, Utah, from complications of emphysema. He was a beloved mountain guide, gear tester, and boot guy. Keelty was the longtime editor of RealSkiers before retiring to instruct out on the hill.
Report by Katie Brinton