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2023 SAMMY Leadership Award Nominees 

The four individuals being recognized with 2023 SAMMY Leadership Awards demonstrate the innovative thinking, collaborative spirit, and transparent leadership needed to guide our industry through its next evolution. This year’s honorees are: Preston Cline, safety advocate; Nadia Pepin, champion of community run ski areas; Mike Solimano, builder of teams; and Stacey Timmons Ehleringer, promoter of people at her resort and community.

These four leaders were nominated by their peers, who applauded not only what they do for the industry, but who they are as people.


Preston Cline, Director of Risk and Business Operations, Snowshoe, W.Va.

Preston Cline Sammy Head ShotPreston is a lifelong skier and outdoor enthusiast who first put on skis at age 3. A second-generation ski industry professional, his passion for the sport began as a child accompanying his father, a 46-year ski patroller, around the mountain. 

In his role as director of risk and business operations at Snowshoe Mountain, Preston’s focus is generating a realistic and fundamental approach to risk and safety management that’s not only effective for current guests, but future guests and employees as well. In his current position, he is helping to build a sustainable foundation for the future through policies and legislation, as well as adaptable programs, services, and experiences that positively impact guests and employees. 

Preston has served in a variety of positions at Snowshoe over the past 15 years, including ski patrol supervisor and risk manager. His list of accolades includes a stewardship award and an employee of the year award from Snowshoe, a SAM “10 Under 30” profile, and a key role in Snowshoe being awarded the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup/World Series event, which won the Pink Bike Event of the Year in 2018. He’s active in various ski and community organizations, including NSAA, the Snow Sports Museum of West Virginia, and The West Virginia Hospitality and Travel Association.

Preston’s nominators applaud his ever-growing skillset, decision-making and leadership abilities, as well as is proactive nature. Here’s what some of them said:

“Preston is amazing. I have watched him grow and progress, both in his knowledge and his responsibilities, and definitely see him as a strategic leader. I would recommend him unreservedly for a SAMMY.”

“Preston has become recognized by his resort and his peers for his well-rounded knowledge and management skills. I have no doubt we will be seeing him for many years to come as one our industry leaders who is making a difference.”

“If there is an opportunity, Preston goes for it, if there is a challenge, he does not shy away from it. Most importantly, any decision he makes is based on safety and how it will affect guests and the resort's staff.” 

“Preston is a legend in West Virginia. He is leading the charge in the state legislature to pass an Inherent Risk statute specifically for mountain biking, which is would provide critical liability protections to mountain biking operations in the state. His friendliness, intelligence, collaborative nature, professionalism, and passion toward safety makes him an ideal candidate for a SAMMY.”


Nadia Pépin, CEO, Mont Gleason, Quebec

Nadia P ANadia first tried alpine skis during a primary school visit to Mont Gleason and loved it so much she bought some used equipment and took up the sport. Since then, she’s been a snowboarder, a telemarker, and, most recently, has found her joy in ski touring. An avid sportswoman with a passion for the outdoors, she’s committed to exploring the mountains by both bike and skis. 

Nadia began at Gleason as a lift operator in 1997 while studying tourism. Through the years, she’s been the resort’s event manager, marketing manager, services director, and since 2010, CEO. She loves the mountain and has become an important player in the region’s booming ski industry. Nadia joined the board of directors of the Quebec Ski Association in 2016; she says it’s important to her to participate to the growth and success of skiing in Quebec. Her personal objective is to contribute to the region by running a top-of-the-line small ski area.

Nadia believes Gleason’s not-for-profit status represents good motivation for both staff and partners. Under her leadership, the resort has diversified offerings with a new tubing park, invested in significant snowmaking upgrades, organized a $1.9 million fundraiser to benefit the area, and helped boost skier visits by 78 percent over the past decade. In 2020, the area added a brand new Doppelmayr fixed-grip quad with a loading conveyor, the resort’s largest investment in its 52-year history. In 2021, Nadia led a $4.5 million fundraiser to rebuild a maintenance facility destroyed by fire. 

Nadia’s nominators say she embodies what makes a strong leader and she is the driving force behind Gleason’s success, and the Quebec ski industry as a whole has benefitted from her leadership and dedication. Here’s what else they said:

“Nadia is rigorous, caring, efficient, smiling and a real team player. She knows how to rally people and is a great listener.” 

“Nadia has been a strong leader and the work climate at Gleason is second to none. She has always been a fervent proponent for the Quebec ski industry—always pushing for the greater good. Consistently bringing forth new ideas on how to improve our local industry. Persistent, logical, and creative in propelling the industry to new heights.”

“With Nadia at the head of the organization, Gleason is now a ski resort that is shining in our region and recognized and praised by our peers in the industry. With her detail-oriented and analytical approach, Nadia brilliantly manages the organization's growth and innovation phase. What makes Nadia stand out the most is her human side.” 

“Her incredible talent and managerial capacity reside in her analytic personality, creativity, versatility, hard work and dedication.”


Mike Solimano, President and General Manager, Killington Resort/Pico Mountain, Vt.

Mike Solimano headshotMike's career began at Deloitte, where he advanced to become an audit manager before leaving to pursue his passion for the ski industry. He served as VP of finance and operations for Dynastar North America before joining Killington/Pico in 2001 as VP of finance. 

As president and GM for the past 10 years, Mike oversees all operational aspects and provides strategic direction for the business. His dedication to improving the culture of the resort and placing a strong focus on guest satisfaction has resulted in increased staff retention rates and continued improvement in net promotor scores. He was the first to propose the Beast 365 pass, which gives the resort’s most dedicated crowd the option to pay monthly and visit daily for skiing and riding, mountain biking, golf, and adventure center activities. He’s also no stranger to working on the front lines, often found boot fitting, bussing tables, or driving a shuttle bus. 

Mike is deeply committed to the ski industry, serving on the board of directors for Killington Mountain School, Ski Vermont, and the National Ski Areas Association. He also actively participates in the community, serving as a board member for the Vermont Electric Power Company and previously as chair of the board for Rutland Regional Medical Center. He enjoys a variety of outdoor sports and lives in Rutland with his wife and three children.

His nominators laude the way he has changed the Killington culture for the better via strong communication and transparency. Here’s what else they had to say:

“Mike’s leadership has changed the culture at Killington for guests and the staff. He is open to listening to feedback and enacts real change to improve the experience of working at and visiting The Beast. With Solimano at the helm, we are poised to see things that have only been talked about for 30 years actually happen.”

“When Mike came on board as president, the resort developed an entirely different attitude. He cares for the staff, the guests and the mountain. He reads and answers all of his emails. He rides up the chairs and gondola with guests. He hands out food, goes to every party, always says hello to, and speaks with employees. I cannot imagine anyone better.”

“Mike’s leadership is second to none. He sets a real example for what a leader is in the ski industry.”

“Mike has a strong analytical mind, but his customer communications and his hands-on leadership style always impressed me. I rate Mike as one of the best leaders I have encountered in the industry.” 

“Mike’s da bomb! Killington is a BEAST, in more ways than one and he navigates it well—there are few in the business who could do that with his even-tempered and methodical approach.”


Stacey Timmons Ehleringer, Executive Director of Guest Engagement, Sun Valley, Idaho

Executive MBA, Allison Corona PhotoAs executive director of guest engagement at Sun Valley Resort, Stacey oversees 21 unique lines of business in retail, rental, recreation, and events. Her original thinking and thoughtful analysis also earned her a larger role within the Grand America Hotels & Resorts family, which owns Sun Valley, where she serves as a strategic advisor and leader of the retail operations of all of the company’s retail outlets.

In addition to her day-to-day responsibilities, Stacey is an integral part of Sun Valley’s connection to skiing on both the local and national level. She was a founding member of Sun Valley’s DEI Committee, serves as a board member for the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation, and frequently volunteers at Hemingway School, a pre-K through 8th grade STEAM school in nearby Ketchum. 

She earned her undergraduate degree from Washington State University and holds an Executive MBA from Boise State University, as well as certifications from the University of Utah in Women in Leadership.

Among the many qualities her nominators point out, Stacey is known for her welcoming and warm personality, her can-do attitude, and her ability to pitch-in providing both thought partnership to her colleagues on the leadership team and hands-on support for her team of more than 200. Here’s what else they had to say:

“Stacey is a not only a strong female leader across the entire resort, but she is a mentor to her colleagues, employees, and community members. She is an advocate and strong, respected voice amongst her peers and staff, continues to propel SV to try (and succeed) at new endeavors, and always has a strong moral compass.”

“Her attention to detail, leadership capability, vast knowledge of the ski industry, and work ethic make it clear that she is a ski resort industry superstar.”

“Stacey is in a unique position to make a massive and positive impact on our local community. She is an amazing asset to the families and children in our town as we work to build a strong, healthy, and lifelong passion for winter sports into their DNA.” 

“Her ability to unpack and break down complicated situations to the basics and navigate the path forward is incredible. She is an exemplary leader for the women of Sun Valley Resort, providing guidance to those looking to advance their careers in a traditionally male dominated industry and modeling behavior we all can benefit from.”

“Stacey has a natural approach to leadership; fully engaged, available and ready to help, motivating and inspiring, and always done with a smile, laugh, and win as a team mentality.”



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