Earlier this week, SnowSports Industries America (SIA) welcomed three new members to their Board of Directors during SIA’s annual spring meeting, held in-conjunction with the 2015 NSAA (National Ski Areas Association) National Convention & Trade Show (May 3-6) in San Francisco, California. SIA’s newest directors include Erik Snyder of Armada Skis, Ron Steele of Group Rossignol and Kathy McGuire of K2 Sports. SIA also welcomed back Clark Gundlach of Spyder Active Sports, Inc. as a returning director.
“I’m excited to join the SIA Board of Directors for a second time — being part of a group that works for the benefit of the entire snow sports industry is truly gratifying,” commented Clark Gundlach, Spyder.
Additional changes to board roles include Mike Noonan of Marker-Völkl USA who will move up to second vice chair, and Mike West of Westlife Distribution moving up to third vice chair. Exiting board members include Tom McGann, Tyler LaMotte and Peter Ashley.
Other agenda items included the trade show and expanding SIA’s educational program beyond the dates of the annual SIA Snow Show. The board also voted not to increase the annual SIA membership dues and trade show space rates. SIA’s membership dues have not seen a rate increase since 1984.
Due to the success of this year’s inaugural Industry + Intelligence a full day of educational offerings hosted the day before the 2015 SIA Snow Show, the board voted to expand SIA’s educational programs to include several year-round programs. New programs for 2015/16 will include a fall workshop series, monthly webinars, on-demand sessions, and a digital library for download.
“SIA has always been an incredible resource for the snow sports industry in terms of research and education to better plan, manage and maximize your business. Now they will be rolling out programs that provide more opportunities throughout the year, making it even easier to take advantage of these critical resources,” said Jared Bevens, VP Global Footwear Merchandising,VANS.
On Tuesday, David Ingemie, SIA’s President, received the National Ski Areas Association (NSAA) 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award during a special presentation at NSAA’s National Convention and Tradeshow. Each year, the NSAA Lifetime Achievement Award is given in recognition of extraordinary lifetime commitment to NSAA and the ski industry. Recipients’ contributions are noted for their efforts that will benefit the industry for decades to come.
“I was truly honored to be recognized by NSAA with a Lifetime Achievement Award. I’m so proud to be associated with the snow sports industry and NSAA has always been a great partner to SIA. Our industry works together on so many levels, we all share the same passion for snow sports and I have so much respect for NSAA and its staff,” said David Ingemie,SIA’s President.
Board members also received a report on various efforts to gather data this season for the Downhill Consumer Intelligence Project(DCIP). More than 100,000 on-hill interviews were conducted this season that will provide insights and a far deeper understanding of snow sports participants including their overall skiing and snowboarding habits, buying activities, communication patterns, their snow sports identities and behaviors. Furthermore, information gathered from interviewing potential participants, and lapsed participants, will provide insight on how to bring more consumers to the snow sports market.
“One of the most amazing findings in Phase One of the research data was the total number of resort visits was nearly identical now to what it was 40 years ago. We have had unbelievable consistency for a four-decade period. I am looking forward to the huge amount of information we are going to learn about our on-snow participants once this project is completed next fall,” saidDan “Sully” Sullivan, Rome SDS.
Another highlight included a presentation by Tiger Shaw, CEO of the United States Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA), regarding recent membership changes and the expansion of the athlete development programs. Gold medal Olympian and World Cup Champion, Mikaela Shiffrin, charmed the SIA Board with her words on the sport and personal inspirations. She thanked the snow sports industry and all the individual suppliers that support athletes and help make them the best in the world.
In January 2015, David Ingemie announced he would be stepping down from his role of president in 2016. Ingemie’s successor will begin in a transitional role this summer and assume the role of president following the 2016 SIA Snow Show.
A SIA Member search committee, chaired by Julie Garry, CEO of Outdoor Gear, and managed by Buffy Filippell of TeamWork Consulting are currently interviewing candidates for the position. Filippell has attended several committee and board meetings to develop a comprehensive understanding of SIA’s future goals and the qualifications for an ideal candidate.
Wrapping up a very productive couple of days ending the sales season and enjoying time with NSAA and industry colleagues, the SIA Board of Directors and staff look forward to the summer and the 15/16 snow sports season.