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SAM Magazine—Natick, Mass., August 10, 2021—SAM has launched its fourth annual Summit Series for leadership development and is calling for mentee nominations. Throughout the season-long program, mentees will engage with respected industry leaders in dialogue around the key issues of our times, gaining tangible takeaways to apply to their careers, operations, and teams. 

“Many of us have benefitted from being mentored at some point in our career,” said SAM publisher Olivia Rowan. “As we face some of our biggest challenges and opportunities, this dialogue between current and emerging leaders is critical to reimaging, reinventing, and resetting our businesses and providing a foundation for the long term.” SAM SummitSeries

The 2021-22 mentors include the following esteemed leaders:

  • Katie Ertl, Senior VP, Mountain Operations, Aspen Skiing Company, CO
  • Frank DeBerry, President and COO, Crystal Mountain, WA
  • Lindsay DesLauriers, President, Bolton Valley, VT
  • Joe Hession, President, Mountain Creek, NJ
  • Steve Paccagnan, President and CEO, Panorama Mountain, BC
  • Davy Ratchford, VP and General Manager, Snowbasin Resort, UT
  • Laura Schaffer, Director of Corporate Responsibility, POWDR Corp, UT
  • Rick Schmitz, Owner, Little Switzerland and The Rock Snowpark, WI
  • Deirdre Walsh, VP and General Manager, Northstar California, CA
  • And more!

The program will consist of five professionally facilitated group calls on topics driving our burgeoning industry evolution, including sustainability, company culture, career development, new leadership skills, and guest experience. These discussions will be recorded and available online, along with other relevant content and expert insights. Additionally, each mentee will be paired with a mentor for one-on-one calls to discuss career goals.

Supporting this effort to develop new leaders is Summit Series sponsor MountainGuard.

“We’re honored to be a part of this program and to help foster the men and women who will be leading our industry in the coming years,” said Tim Barnhorst of MountainGuard.

Potential mentees must be currently employed within the mountain resort industry and willing to critically assess their skill sets and development. The deadline for nominations is September 1, 2021. Supervisor, peer, and self-nominations are all accepted. Apply to be a mentee or nominate a mentee at

To learn more about the Summit Series, visit

For questions or comments, email