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SAM Magazine—Lakewood, Colo., Aug. 9, 2022—After only 13 months on the job, National Ski Patrol (NSP) CEO Chris Castilian resigned last week, Aug. 5, 2022, having reached an impasse with the organization’s board of directors. Untitled design 9

“Over the last several months, it has become clear that the board and I have vastly different visions for the future of this organization,” Castilian said in an Aug. 5 letter of resignation. “I was hired last July with the full confidence of the board to transform this organization into what it could be, and rather than joining me in that journey, the leadership remains firmly rooted in keeping the organization as it has always been.” 

NSP has had three chief executives in the last five years, and it had a staff turnover rate of more than 80 percent when Castilian was appointed to the role in June 2021. He was hired to help develop a new strategic vision for NSP, which was unsettled following the abrupt November 2020 termination of former CEO Meegan Moszynski.

“When the board hired me, they acknowledged that they needed to change,” Castilian told SAM. “I saw this as an opportunity, and at the time, the board was willing to engage on strategic discussion.”

Castilian said the process of overhauling the organization’s operation and vision was initially collaborative and productive. But months of hard work fell apart after national elections late last year brought three new directors onto the board. “The moment those elections happened, we went backwards,” he said.

According to Castilian, under the leadership of new board chair Rick Boyce, the board began meeting in secrecy and isolation several times a week, choosing not to include Castilian or the staff in any discussions or agenda planning. 

“The board chair and the CEO should be partners, working for each other’s success and the success of the organization, but we are not,” said Castilian. He resigned, feeling that such a partnership was not possible under the current board. “I wish them the best, and they clearly have a role to play in the broader snowsports community, but I hope they realize that something needs to change.”

Continued turnover at NSP is a clear signal that the organization has failed to address the conflicts and issues that plagued its leadership and operation back in 2014 (see “Rescue Me” Part I and Part II) and more recently with Moszynski’s ouster in 2020.

In a statement issued in response to a request for comment on Castilian’s resignation, the NSP board said, in part,Despite National Ski Patrol’s leadership changes in recent years, the mission and goals of the organization remain the same: to provide the best training, education, and first-response medical care for the outdoor recreation community.”

“NSP’s national board of directors is steadfastly committed to supporting the talented and creative national office team and is actively working with them to develop a plan to identify, hire and support a new leader within the national office to continue to provide meaningful value to NSP’s members and to all of our vital partners,” the statement concluded.

Editor’s note: A more in-depth report on the National Ski Patrol and details from our interview with Chris Castilian will be in the September 2022 issue of SAM magazine. Subscribe to get your copy.