candidate profiles, continued
My interest in serving on the Board of Directors stems from an everpresent desire to continually develop our snow sports industry, believing that our organization remains a linchpin for such growth. My four years of experience as Advisor to the Board of Directors affords me the knowledge of its administrative duties and responsibilities; this familiarity with our organization’s infrastructure will allow me to hit the ground running and get out of the gate faster. But it is my solid experiences as a frontline snow sports instructor, management team member, and AASI Advisor that gives me a broad awareness and sensitivity to what I consider “foundational issues”. I know firsthand the frustrations, concerns, dreams of “everyday” instructors; I also understand the challenges facing resort management. In addition the industry must deal with tough fiscal challenges. As a Board member I can use my broad and diverse background to help create a more seamless and cohesive approach to the issues before us. From this perspective I believe there are key issues that are essential to the empowerment and the enhancement of our industry. 1. Know our current members. The demographics of our industry are dynamic and unless we actually know the complement of our “team” we are going to fall short of meeting their needs. Our members and potential members are more likely to willingly pay our fees and charges if we better accommodate their needs. Give them more tangible and intangible member benefits, programs geared towards memorable experiences, such as Pro-Jam and Rider Rally, educational programs geared to something other than certification, as well as affordable options for our younger less financially stable members. Flexible scheduling of events—one day training, evening events, split weekend events—are a means of acknowledging our members’ requests. However, knowing our current membership is just the first step; 2. Increase membership. I have been actively involved in numerous actions plans focusing on member retention, growth, and promotion. If members know we are committed to promoting their profession and their professional growth we will succeed. Keeping programs relevant to the times and trends—racing, freestyle, multi/cross disciplines-- broaden the range and scope of and for our members. New membership increases our resources which in turn will set in motion a progressive pattern of growth and equally important, more like minded snow sports friends. 3. Let go of the “yours vs. mine”: mentality. The divisive tenor which seems to hound some organizations never creates success. The growth and support of any one group (be it discipline, management vs. line staff, part time vs. full time) will increase tenfold by the growth and support of all groups. Not only must all groups need full representation at the Board level, there has to be a consistent and fair allocation of all resources—time, energy, money-- among all these groups. I’d like to see us get back to the roots of what really drives the organization: passionate, committed professionals who readily embrace with conviction that this industry will take us and generations to come to the dizzying heights we call snow sports. My ability to communicate clearly and tactfully will make me a strong Board member. My vision and hope of this organization is as a community of talented, dedicated, and unique individuals willing to take risks, to yield ego to unity, and to value that we, unlike many others, get to do what we love and nearly make a living doing it.
Region 2 Board of Directors: Katherine Rockwell – Alpine L3 Pico, VT – Manager of Snowsports School Statement of Background and Qualifications: A long time PSIA/AASI-E member, I have been actively teaching since I was eight years old. I grew up in the Bromley locker room and started actually working in the school as soon as it was legal, passing my level I the winter after I turned 16. My passion for teaching has continued into adulthood. Teaching as much as possible while at Davidson College in North Carolina, I returned to Vermont after graduation to work full time at Killington Resort. Each year brought new challenges and responsibilities, eventually leading to my post at Pico Mountain as the Snow Sports School Manager. Since moving to Pico, I have worked to improve the school, created a recreational racing program, created Pico Planet Kids (an educational area for our youngest visitors) and now am enjoying transitioning the race program into a Competitions Department, hosting a wide variety of events. I am very organized and have been described as a “ready, aim, fire” type that strives for balance and efficiency. Statement of Philosophy and Direction: I believe we are here to teach people how to ski and ride, not teach skiing or riding. That said I believe we need to combine our technical knowledge with the art of working with people with the ultimate goal of creating lifelong skiers and riders. We need to focus on the next generation both within our organization and the industry as a whole. We need to focus on ensuring our practices still align with the needs of our students. The emerging Action Sports emphasis is going to challenge the traditional “ski school” model, but I believe we can take the fundamentals of good teaching and the reality of physics and offer an enticing product. PSIA/AASI has laid a great foundation, but it is time for the next generation to expand and capture the fresh feel of the industry today. Attracting new young members with the action sports skills is the key to the longevity of our business. It’s selfish really- without the next generation to support the areas and sport we love, we’ll eventually find ourselves waxing nostalgic about the good old days when you played on snow, not just on your Wii. ■
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PSIA-E / AASI SnowPro • Winter 2012
Volume 38, Number 4