The North American Snowsports Journalists Association is a professional group of more than 250 writers, authors, photographers, videographers and broadcasters. Members report on ski, snowboard and Nordic related news, information and features via various media outlets. Over 100 corporate members include media contacts or employees of ski resorts, convention and visitor associations, manufacturers and others who have a commercial interest in the journalistic coverage of winter sports.
Pictured above: NASJA members at the 2018 Annual Meeting. Dan Giesin, Richie Silver, Emily Summers, Jeff Blumenfeld, Iseult Devlin and Martin Griff at Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows.
By Alex Silgalis
Originally published online at localfreshies.com, April 17, 2018
I still vividly remember visiting Alpine Meadows Resort for the first time. The year was 1998 and not just my first time… it was also the first-time snowboarding was allowed at the resort. A good enough reason to visit Lake Tahoe for me! Memories of the topography were burned into my brain. It rode like a wave with gullies, cliff bands and fall-line terrain that begged to be slashed. For whatever reason, it had been two decades since I last visited. Getting a call from a friend at NASJA to join them for a day at Alpine Meadows, I thought “Why not?”
Morning Dawns Cold, Clear and Brisk
The next day dawns cold, clear and not a wisp of wind. The thermometer barely hit 20 degrees at 7 am. But, the forecast was for the temps to rise rapidly into the upper 50’s. Just classic Tahoe spring weather, conducive for producing the perfect corn snow. Zooming out of South Lake Tahoe, I head over Emerald Bay and the views as usual take my breath away.
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.
Interested in joining NASJA? We’d love to have you! Our membership is open to those who are employed by accredited journalistic properties or who work as freelancers for a variety of media outlets.
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.
Photography: Dino Vournas
Dino, a NASJA member for over 40 years, started his career as a photojournalist and ski and travel writer in the early 1970s with the Hayward Daily Review in California. He then had stints at the Oakland Tribune and the San Francisco Examiner as chief photographer. For 10 years he was a freelancer for the Associated Press, mainly shooting pro and collegiate sports and writing ski travel stories for the Tampa Tribune. Presently he is freelancing for local municipalities and the Department of Energy, and writing travel stories for the Bay Area News Group in the San Francisco Bay Area. This is his fourth Hirsch Award, three for photography and one for newspaper feature writing.
Columns: Moira McCarthy
Growing up, Moira was constantly counting the days or hours -- depending on the time of year -- until she'd get out skiing. "I knew from a very young age, it was my place," she said. A marginally competitive freestyle skier, Moira was a champion, however, at making friends on the slopes, putting in full ski days and just plain savoring it all. Writing for Snow Country Magazine, SKI, Ski Area Management and the Boston Herald, she said, is surreal.
"That I get to do what I love as my career is just incredible," she said. "I am thankful for every single day." When she's not skiing or writing about it, McCarthy can be found running, playing tennis, hanging out at the beach or plotting her new granddaughter Molly's ski future.
Blogs: Wendy Clinch
Wendy is a two-time winner of the North American Ski Journalists Association’s Harold Hirsch Award for Best Ski Blog (2016 and 2017). She is the owner of TheSkiDiva.com, the leading online community for women skiers, which she founded in 2006. TheSkiDiva consists of a blog, where Wendy writes on a variety of topics related to skiing and the outdoors, and a forum where women can discuss ski gear, technique, resorts, and more. Wendy graduated from the S.I. Newhouse School of Communications at Syracuse University, and is also the author of two ski novels: DOUBLE BLACK: A SKI DIVA MYSTERY (Minotaur, 2010) and FADE TO WHITE: A SKI DIVA MYSTERY (Minotaur, 2011). She lives in Plymouth, Vermont, with her husband, noted author Jon Clinch.
Feature Writing: Lisa Ballard
Lisa has won 3 Emmys for TV production and hosting; 3 Harold Hirsch Awards, TV; numerous awards for TV, photos, writing from the Outdoor Writers Association of America. She has been a freelance ski journalist since 1991 and is a past president, OWAA. Her media outlets include SkiRacing.com, NSAA Journal, Vermont Sports, PSIA's 32 Degrees.
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.