Bob Gillen Award: Named in memory of the former SKI Magazine editor and marketing wizard at Crested Butte and Sugarbush resorts, this award is given to an individual who exemplifies the highest standards of professionalism in public relations and communications.
2017 winner: Jeff Blumenfeld, Blumenfeld PR.
Mitch Kaplan Award: Presented to the journalist whose work best captures the spirit, enthusiasm and dedication that snowsports journalist and NASJA board member Mitch Kaplan brought to the coverage of snowsports. The nominee can be - but does not have to be - a NASJA member.
2017 winner: Moira McCarthy, ski journalist for the Boston Herald.
Carson White Snowsports Achievement Award: This is awarded to an individual or group for their significant contribution to the advancement of snowsports in North America. Named in memory of Carson White, first president of the U.S. Ski Writers Association.
2017 winner: Jason Levinthal - Twin Tip Ski Designer.
Check out the NASJA member clipbook--it's currently a work in progress. NASJA invites all members to submit their latest work and help spread the word about snowsports journalism.
NASJA provides the opportunity to network with over 250 press and corporate members. We are the largest snowsports communication group in North America. Our goal is to drive awareness and participation in snow sports.
This article is part of a continuing series highlighting the recent work of NASJA members, taken from our Member Clipbook. Spread the word--submit your work today!
BY WENDY CLINCH | OCTOBER 17, 2017 | from theskidiva.com
There’s nothing unusual about female ski instructors. And women in resort human resources, marketing, communications, and sales? Common as dirt.
But women general managers are a somewhat rarer breed. According to statistics from the National Ski Areas Association [NSAA], there are only about 20 to 30 nationwide. It’s more or less a boys’ club.
All this is about to change. Because starting in January, the boys’ club will have a woman in charge. Kelly Pawlak, GM of Mount Snow, VT, will become NSAA’s first female President and CEO. NSAA represents 313 alpine ski resorts that count for more than 90 percent of the skier/snowboard visits nationwide, as well as 414 supplier members who provide equipment, goods, and services to the mountain resort industry.
That’s a pretty big responsibility. According to its website, NSAA’s primary objective is to meet the needs of ski area owners and operators nationwide and to foster, stimulate, and promote growth in the industry. To do this, it analyzes and distributes ski industry statistics; produces annual conferences and tradeshows; produces a bimonthly industry publication; and is active in state and federal government affairs. It also provides educational programs and employee training materials on industry issues including OSHA, ADA and NEPA regulations and compliance; environmental laws and regulations; state regulatory requirements; aerial tramway safety; and resort operations and guest services.
I recently spoke to Kelly about her new position.
SD: You’ve been in the ski industry for a long time. How’d you get started?
KP: Quite honestly, it was sort of by accident. When I graduated from college, I realized that if I wanted to ski, I’d have to pay for it, myself. My dad wouldn’t do it anymore. So I looked for a job, found one at Mount Snow, and never left.
SD: You really came up the ranks, too. I understand you held a variety of positions, correct?
KP: Yes, I’ve been there since 1985, and I’ve worked in marketing, sales, operations, events…pretty much everything.
SD: So how has this has helped prepare you for your position at NSAA?
KP: Well, I think it helps me understand some of the needs of the 300-plus member ski areas. Clearly, my expertise is not very strong in the west and midwest, so I have a lot of learning to do there. Luckily, I’m not alone. There’s an extremely qualified staff of about 12 people behind me, so I’m confident that with their assistance, and talking with the folks at the ski areas, retailers, and suppliers, I’ll be a quick study.
NASJA has introduced me to fellow ski writers from around the country, many of whom I may not have met otherwise. It’s inspiring to hear about their deep experience in the snowsports industry. It’s also been a great way to get to know resort PR people from other regions than my own. I’ve called on other NASJA members when I needed information for stories I was writing that included ski areas I wasn’t as familiar with. And it’s been fun to get to know colleagues of all ages.
Early in my career, deep in the last century, I had the good fortune to win the Harold Hirsch Award a couple of times. It did a lot for my credibility within the industry and helped me score some freelance assignments.
As a relatively new member to the ski and snowboard industry, NASJA has provided me with an invaluable network of writers, resorts and ultimately, resources. In my first year with Ski Vermont I was fortunate enough to travel to Colorado for NASJA’s annual conference where I was given the opportunity to learn more about industry trends and influencers from a panel of industry professionals. The experience was not only informative but also incredibly fun.
As a long term member of NASJA, Deer Valley Resort has benefited from the opportunity to create lasting relationships with both press and corporate members. The annual conferences have provided us with an invaluable opportunity to connect with key players in the ski industry. NASJA has provided us with a way to keep informed about trends and personal updates among the snow media.
With NASJA, I've skied New Hampshire,Vermont, Colorado, California, British Columbia. Because of NASJA, I've also skied France, Italy, Scotland, Montana, Idaho, Maine, Alberta and maybe a dozen or so other snowy places.
When I joined NASJA as a snowsports blogger, my contacts in the ski industry were limited. After one meeting, my network exploded, as did my opportunities. Not only that, but now I call many of these contacts my friends.
In July, NASJA restructured its organization to better adapt to the continually changing media world. The new NASJA no longer has regions and members join NASJA directly (instead of through a region) and vote for officers directly. It is run by a five-person Board of Directors consisting of a president, 2 VPs, a corporate liaison and immediate past president. For the first time in NASJA's history, the corporate board member has a vote.
Ski journalist Iseult Devlin has been elected president. Bob Cox and Dan Giesin are vice presidents. Stowe’s Jeff Wise is the corporate liaison and Martin Griff is the immediate past president.
Goals include strengthening relationships with other industry organizations and driving awareness and participation of snow sports through communication.
“As the collective communication force within the ski industry, NASJA is in a unique position to organize its members in a way that can help us drive awareness and participation in snow sports,” Nick Castagnoli, Rossignol Group NA brand/communications manager commented.