May 2021

Publisher's Memo :: May 2021

Congratulations, a Welcome, and a Farewell

Written by Olivia Rowan | 0 comment


It makes me happy to share good news about good people, and that’s what this entire memo is about.

Let’s start with congratulating our 2021 SAMMY Leadership Award honorees: Katie Brown, Steamboat; Robert McClendon, Tahoe Donner; Jon Schaefer, Berkshire East and Catamount; and Christian Théberge, Shames Mountain. These four were nominated by their peers, who praised their leadership throughout the pandemic as well as their accomplishments before it. Find out all about them, starting on page 5o a.

Special thanks to the SAMMY Award sponsors, Leitner-Poma of America and Safehold Special Risk, for supporting this important recognition since its inception 23 years ago.

Farewell, and Welcome

This next bit is hard to write. Our great friend, colleague, and brilliant editor, Rick Kahl, is retiring with this issue. Rick was recruited by my father, David Rowan, back in 2002. I’m still in awe that he chose us after spending 12 years as editor-in-chief of Skiing magazine. He has since had an unwavering focus on maintaining SAM’s high editorial credibility. He cares deeply for this industry, so he’s always adamant that we get it right, be accountable, and do the right thing to help you, our audience.

Above all, he has been a mentor and a friend to me and the staff, taking great care to teach as he directs. And so, with a heavy heart, we say congratulations to our dear friend for an incredible career. Luckily, he is staying on part-time to ensure we don’t mess up what he has so carefully helped build! Go to p. 28 to see a surprise tribute we made for him. Gotcha, Rick!

As one chapter ends, a new one begins. We are thrilled to welcome Katie Brinton (at right) as our new senior editor. The incredibly talented and always fun Dave Meeker will move into Rick’s role as the editorial lead.

We were first introduced to Katie when she was recognized as a SAM “10 Under 30” in 2017. Katie has been a snowsports staff trainer for Okemo and SNOW Operating, and is a member of the PSIA East Development Team. She recently earned a master’s degree in English from Middlebury College, and her writing and editing chops have been featured in SAM for a few years now. In 2020, she was honored with the PSIA-AASI Angus Graham Rising Star award. We are very lucky to have such a rock star join our small team.

Big changes, but that’s been a theme for all of us this past year. We are a different industry and magazine and I think, I hope, it will be for the better.

Olivia Rowan, Publisher