meet the class of 2019
The Young Leaders Summit is an exclusive, application-only event open to young professionals working in the mountain travel industry under the age of 35. These individuals have a passion for the industry and are dedicated to growing their professional community and knowledge-base. Meet the class of 2019!
Marketing Manager, The Westin Resort & Spa, Whistler
At the start of his career, Matt was the Founder & Creative Director of a successful design & animation studio in Perth, Western Australia, that was built on the foundation of innovation and driving improvement with every project. After selling his share in the company, Matt found himself choosing whether to travel or pursue his interest in advertising and marketing. He chose travel. After 6 months in his new home of Whistler, British Columbia, the opportunity to marry those passions presented itself as he was quickly promoted to the Marketing Manager for The Westin. Even with the vast differences in industry, location and target demographics, the parallels with Matt's skills, experience and business acumen have been instrumental in accelerating innovative strategies and pushing the limits of marketing for the mountain travel industry.
International Sales Manager, Whistler Blackcomb
Marie is originally from Quebec, Canada and grew up in the Laurentians. For the last ten years, she has worked mostly in Hospitality and Sales – in Canada & Mexico - and joined the mountain travel industry about three years ago. Her passion for traveling and for the outdoors brought her to Whistler last summer, where she currently works as the International Sales Manager for Whistler Blackcomb. She feels so lucky to have the chance to work in a beautiful environment and to connect with people from around the world every day. Her greatest accomplishment to date is all the relationships and trust that she has built through the years with partners and co-workers. She looks forward to connecting with fellow leaders and being inspired by key leaders of the industry.
Account Supervisor, Origin
Part marketing strategist - part photographer - part account manager. John wears many hats as a team member of Whistler-based outdoor focused marketing agency, Origin. Closing in on 15 years in the outdoor industry, John's career has been guided by a desire to share his passion for the outdoors with as many people as possible. Some of his recent work includes campaigns for Whistler Blackcomb, Park City Mountain, and Smartwool. When out of the office, if he’s not actively skiing, biking, or drinking beer, he’s probably taking photos of it.
Sales and Marketing Manager, Castle mountain resort
Cole is a passionate mountain sports enthusiast who is fortunate to hold the title of Sales & Marketing Manager at Castle Mountain Resort, in the Canadian Rockies. After starting his career as a ski instructor, Cole has fulfilled supervisory and managerial roles in the retail, wholesale, and resort sides of ski business. He is a proud product of Canada’s Atlantic Provinces (New Brunswick) and is looking forward to making a continual impact, in the industry, for years to come.
Sales & Marketing Coordinator, Revelstoke mountain resort
Dana Ferguson is the Sales & Marketing Coordinator for Revelstoke Mountain Resort, one of North America's newest ski resorts. She spent a number of years working in ski school and ski racing before moving to BC to pursue a full time career in the industry. As a part of the dynamic and growing team at RMR, she loves that the company values a passion for skiing, and facilitates employees to get out on the mountain as much as possible. Dana is looking forward to meeting other young professionals in the industry through the Young Leaders Summit and hearing the experiences of senior leaders.
Sales & Marketing Manager, Scandinave Spa Whistler
Jen is the Sales and Marketing Manager at the Scandinave Spa Whistler. Growing up in the Sea to Sky area gave Jen a lifelong passion for living and working in the mountains. She was first introduced to the world of marketing through her pursuits as a sponsored athlete representing brands in the snowboard world. Jen refined her skills at Simon Fraser University before working to gain experience in various marketing roles in mountain travel industry. She is excited to connect with other participants of the Young Leaders Summit.
Revenue Manager, Mammoth Mountain
Nicole Hakim has been working with Mammoth Mountain for over 5 years. After graduating from San Diego State with a Business degree, a minor in statistics and captain of the Ski and Snowboard team, Nicole was dedicated to finding a career that complimented both her passions— the ski industry and analytics. She started working in a seasonal role with the Race Department at Mammoth Mountain, but after a season, she found the opportunity to work as the Revenue Analyst under the Revenue Management team. In the last year, Nicole has been promoted to Revenue Manager where she is in charge of all activity pricing at not only Mammoth Mountain, but June Mountain, Snow Summit, and Bear Mountain as well.
Sales and Marketing Manager, Whistler Connection
In 2008, Dan fled the traditional jobs offered to business school graduates in the UK and instead opted for a life in the mountains. After a year guiding in the Bolivian Andes, he arrived in Whistler a decade ago. From a base here in Canada, he worked initially for Whistler Blackcomb before carving out a role as a consultant on surf park, ski resort and bike park development worldwide. This led to experience on projects in Eastern Europe, the Middle East, North America and New Zealand.
A specialist in marketing strategy, business development, market research and analysis with a passion for adventure. Dan enjoys working in the mountains and meeting intelligent people with thought-provoking ideas for how we can make marketing more relevant, engaging and timely.
Sales Agent, skican
Brenna grew up in a family of avid skiers! She now lives in Invermere, BC where she sells ski holidays to families like her own. She truly enjoys her job as it is a passion and loves getting out to test the products she sells as much as possible. In the summer months, she is the head instructor of a paddle school teaching: white water kayaking, paddle boarding and canoeing. She is attracted to H20 in all of its various forms! Brenna looks forward to meeting people who are just as passionate about skiing as she and who are interested in new ways to get people experiencing the beautiful outdoors by ski or snowboard!
General Manager Sales & Operations, Sno’n’ski
Jennifer Lund started at Sno’n’Ski nine years ago and her growth within the company has mirrored Sno’n’Ski’s rising success as Australia’s leading ski wholesaler. Starting initially in Reservations, Jen quickly progressed to a Product Team Leader role and was eventually named General Manager of Sales & Operations thanks to her comprehensive industry knowledge and exceptional leadership skills. Using her IT and technical design background, Jen has been responsible for major accomplishments on behalf of Sno’n’Ski, including the implementation of a new, companywide reservation system, multiple website updates that continue to increase user functionality and connection logic and systems that streamline the international booking process. Jen’s talent for change management and business growth strategies have been instrumental in Sno’n’Ski continued growth and success as Australia’s largest ski wholesaler.
Corporate Director of Luxury Sales and Analytics
Inspired by the travel and events that she experienced growing up, Rachel pursued a Hospitality Management degree at the University of Central Florida and soon after graduation began working for the Kessler Collection. Her career in hotels has afforded her the ability to continue her passion for travel and help others to do the same. She has spent over 10 years in the hospitality industry specializing in boutique luxury hotels including the Beaver Creek Lodge in Colorado. Additionally, she earned her MBA at Louisiana State University and as a result was promoted and is currently the Corporate Director of Luxury Sales and Analytics. Since she currently lives in sunny Orlando, FL, the closest she gets to snow on a regular basis is Blizzard Beach at DisneyWorld but she loves the outdoors and enjoys spending time in the snow whenever her travels take her North.
After completing a Bachelor of Commerce at Carleton University in Ottawa, Eric decided to head to Whistler for a season to ski as much as humanly possible. One season has turned into eight, and he now lives in Pemberton, British Columbia with his wife and dog. Eric is the CEO of Ridebooker, a leader in ground transportation software and booking services. Also having previously held the title of COO at Ridebooker, Eric is intimately aware of the issues that transportation suppliers face and leads a team to help solve these problems. A self-described ‘futurist’, Eric loves discussing what ground transportation could be.
CONTENT CREATOR AND SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER, SUN VALLEY RESORT
Cooper Morton grew up in Jackson Hole, WY in a small bed and breakfast. From an early age he engaged with visitors in the mountain travel industry and fell in love with sharing mountain places with others. After graduating from college, Cooper worked at GoPro in the resorts marketing program as a project specialist for events. He discovered a passion for camera technology, videography, and creating marketing content. Now at Sun Valley Resort, Cooper is leading the charge on creating time relevant, authentic, and engaging content for Sun Valley’s digital platforms.
National Sales Manager; Tour and Travel manager, Big Sky Resort
Josh Pelczar is the National Sales Manager and Tour & Travel Manager for Big Sky Resort. His love for skiing, paragliding, mountain biking, speedflying and the great outdoors convinced him to pursue a career in the outdoor industry. He started working at Big Sky Resort in the summer of 2013 expecting to “take a year off” before starting a career in finance and accounting. Six years later, he couldn’t be happier that he stuck with an industry that allows him to develop professionally, while also sharing his passion for the outdoors with people from around the world.
Meeting & Events Manager, The Westin Resort & Spa, Whistler
Naomi is a born and raised BC girl with a passion for the outdoors and warm(er) winters! With over 14 years of experience in the hospitality industry, ranging from boutique properties to large hotel brands, Naomi has spent the last 8 years with The Westin Resort & Spa, Whistler. Naomi was able to allow her passion for people and love for the Pacific Northwest to flourish in her role as hotel concierge. For the last two years, she has been part of the Meeting & Event Management Team where she takes pride in working with group guests to showcase all that Whistler has to offer. Naomi is currently a member of the Marriott Movers JR Business Council of BC where she participates with other young industry leaders to work together on common challenges and community engagement. She is looking forward to meeting and learning from other peers in the industry.
National Sales Manager, Whistler Blackcomb
Jessica Pratt is the National Sales Manager at Whistler Blackcomb. Originally from Vancouver, Jessica grew up skiing Whistler Blackcomb. Her love of mountain adventure brought her to move to Whistler seven years ago when she started working for a luxury hotel. Jessica believes the best part about working in this industry are the opportunities to meet passionate like-minded individuals who value community, activity and the environment.
Senior National Sales Manager, Mammoth Mountain Ski Area, LLC
Stephen is the Senior National Sales Manager of Mammoth Mountain Ski area. Stephen got his first taste of working in the ski industry when he landed his first job with Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. After one season, Stephen was hooked and decided the ski industry was where he wanted to continue his career, but first chose to attend graduate school to study International Hospitality and Tourism Management in Auckland, New Zealand at Auckland University of Technology. Stephen’s passion pulled him back to the ski industry which led to an opportunity with Mammoth Mountain. Five years later, Stephen has progressed from Sales Coordinator to National Sales Manager, and now Senior National Sales Manager on the corporate sales team, and is responsible for managing all corporate group business and race camps at Mammoth.
Revenue Manager, Tantalus Resort Lodge
With over 10 plus years of working in mostly in resorts across Canada, Matt has worked his way up to various senior leadership roles with major branded hotel chains. Matt had an early start as a Hotelier as his parents ran a bed and breakfast in a small town outside of Toronto, Ontario. While pursuing Hospitality Management Studies at Niagara College; Matt started his career in the resort town of Niagara Falls, Ontario with Starwood and Hilton Hotels. Matt has recently joined the Tantalus Resort Lodge as Revenue Manager this winter 2019 season; overseeing Revenue, Sales and Front Office. Although Matt is more of a summer mountain activity fan as he is a golf and stand up paddleboard nut; he is looking to learn how to ski or snowboard with his return to working and living in a ski resort.
CLIENT RELATIONSHIP MANAGER, RED SKY TRAVEL INSURANCE
Liz serves as the Client Relationship Manager for Red Sky Travel Insurance. Born and raised on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, family trips out West inspired her to move to Aspen, Colorado for “just one ski season,” after graduating from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. While relatively new to the mountain travel industry, Liz has worked in a variety of travel and hospitality businesses since her first job on the Outer Banks eleven years ago. Liz’s love of mountain adventure and travel brought her back to the industry after her graduate school studies at the University of Colorado Boulder.
Group Sales Manager, Whistler Blackcomb
Originally from Kent in the UK, Jessica moved to Canada 7 years ago and fell in love with the mountains (and a boy)! Knowing at this point she was never going back, she looked for a career that involved the mountains.
Jessica started in food and beverage at Whistler Blackcomb, then moved to the Sales Team as a Service manager pre-executing events before moving into her current role as the Groups Sales Manager covering weddings, social and east coast corporate markets.
Travel Industry Sales Manager, VAIL RESORTS
Seth Tucker grew up in New England and made his way to Crested Butte in 2008. At Crested Butte Mountain Resort he has worked in many capacities including hotel front office manager, conference service sales manager, groups sales manager and travel industry sales manager. Seth currently represents Vail Resorts as a Key Account Manager for Western North America. When he is not working you can find him backcountry skiing, Nordic skiing, mountain biking, trail running, and cooking. Seth actively volunteers with the Crested Butte Mountain Bike Association and the Crested Butte Avalanche Center.
Groups Coordinator, Skican
Lindsay Wicke is the Groups Coordinator for Skican. She decided to pursue a career in this niche of the travel industry because of her love for tourism, skiing, and her inquisitive personality that could lead her around the world. Although she is the newest member of the Skican family, with less than a year with the company, she looks forward to carving her path and creating life long memories!