US Ski Industry Leadership

The recent National Ski Areas Association conference in Scottsdale, Arizona, and the Rocky Mountain Lift Association conference in Grand Junction, Colorado were significant in many ways.  First, both conferences revealed many collective opportunities and challenges north and south of the border.  These included growing summer experiences, safety and risk management best practices, securing staff, and managing generational change.  It quickly became very evident that CWSAA has much to gain by aligning both east and west, and north and south.  Fortunately, these growing partnerships find fertile ground with the likes of Dave Byrd and Earl Saline at NSAA.

These meetings were also the last for two incredible industry leaders…Michael Berry, NSAA President, and Sid Roslund, NSAA Director of Technical Services.  We trust we will see both gentlemen at future conferences…but they may be far more relaxed as both retire later this year.

Michael and Sid arrived at NSAA 25 years ago and have moved the industry and organisation to new heights.  One of the highlights at the NSAA conference was hearing Michael Berry’s commentary for the future of the industry.  He said it was critical for us to anticipate trends and the different demands of a new generation of skiers and riders. We needed to develop new product to meet these needs.  And we needed to break out and seek fresh models to create new skiers and riders.

The NSAA Board is in the midst of its search for Michael’s replacement and will be concluded later this year.

Christopher was dispatched to hand deliver congratulations and a personal note from a particular British army officer.


Paul, Bruce, and Christopher could not convince Michael Berry that the exchange rate was not a Canadian ski industry plot.


Sid Roslund is a ski industry pillar.  CWSAA caught up with him at the Rocky Mountain Lift Association trade show.  There is tremendous discussion about capturing and retaining institutional knowledge in our industry. For this reason we suspect Sid has an invitation to every ski area across the continent as he has helped evolve the mechanical aspects of our industry for generations. Thankfully he intends to serve the industry far beyond his formal ‘retirement.’


Here are some of the Canadians attending NSAA. While most time was spent networking and discussing common topics with US colleagues, it was essential for the Canadian folk to briefly gather once per day to review the status of the NHL playoffs. (left to right) Marie-Annick Tourillon (ASSQ), Paul Pinchbeck (CSC), Bruce Haynes (OSRA), Yves Juneau (ASSQ).


CWSAA found some close friends at the NSAA trade show. Leah Muirhead from Inter-Mtn and Robin and Kim Locke of Lake Louise.


Paul and Linda Mathews could not be more proud than to see their Ecosign Mountain Planners move into the hands of long time employees Ryley Thiessen, President (right) and Eric Callender, VP (left).  Paul continues as the Chair of the Ecosign Board of Directors.


Joe Hession, (right) founder of Snow Operating, architect of Terrain Based Learning, and CWSAA keynote speaker, launches as new ski school point of sale product ‘SnowCloud’ with Brett Bagley at the NSAA trade show.