Vermont Business Magazine The board of directors of the National Ski Areas Association (NSAA), a nonprofit trade association that represents ski area owners and operators throughout the United States, named Parker Riehle on Monday as the new president and CEO of the organization. Riehle—who is currently the president of Ski Vermont, the Vermont Ski Areas Association (VSAA)—will assume the position on January 1, 2018, replacing Michael Berry, who is retiring after 25 years.
“We are excited to welcome Parker to the organization,” said Tim Silva, general manager of Sun Valley and chair of the NSAA Board of Directors. “His industry experience as the long-standing president of the Vermont Ski Areas Association will serve the members of NSAA well.”
Riehle comes to NSAA from the Vermont organization where he first held the position of director of government affairs starting in 1998, and later as vice president and general counsel before becoming president in 2006. Riehle previously worked for then Vermont Governor James Douglas as special assistant to the governor and secretary of civil and military affairs. He also worked for several law firms in both Vermont and California after graduating cum laude from Vermont Law School in 1992.
“I am thrilled, honored, and humbled to be named the next president and CEO of the National Ski Areas Association,” said Riehle. “Under the unparalleled leadership of Michael Berry, NSAA’s role in educating, inspiring, and empowering ski areas all across the nation has become ever more important in the face of critical challenges to the industry, and I could not be more excited to help convert those challenges into opportunities. While it is certainly bittersweet to be leaving the Vermont Ski Areas Association, I am looking forward to taking my rewarding experience and insights with VSAA to the national level.”
The Vermont ski industry is coming off a tumultuous four-year stretch in which the World Cup returned to Vermont for the first time since 1978 with colossal success and a Mikaela Shiffrin win at Killiington last Thanksgiving; the EB-5 developments at Jay Peak and Burke Mountain led to both scandal and success; two of the best ski seasons in Vermont's history and also one of the worst; the commingling of ski passes with the large resorts out West; and the buying of Stowe Mountain Resort's ski operation by Vail and the acquisition of Stratton by Aspen.
Vermont Tourism Commissioner Wendy Knight said: “As president of the Vermont Ski Areas Association, Parker Riehle has been a formidable force in leading an industry that generates over $1.6 billion in direct and indirect spending in Vermont and drives the state’s $2.6 billion tourism industry. Under his leadership, the Vermont ski industry has maintained its position among the top ski states in the country for skier and rider visits alongside Colorado, California and Utah, initiated sustainable ski resort operation practices that have inspired substantial development and environmental conservation, and vastly expanded Vermont's marketing reach by creating collaborative partnerships with national and regional advertising partners. Parker’s recruitment for the top job with the National Ski Areas Association speaks to his leadership and expertise, as well as the national recognition of the Vermont ski industry. In recent months, Vail Resorts announced its acquisition of Stowe Mountain Resort and Aspen Skiing Company acquired Intrawest Resorts Holding, parent company of Stratton Mountain Resort, signifying the strength of and national interest in Vermont's four-season tourism industry.”
“We are sorry to see Parker leave the Vermont ski and snowboard community, but wish him well in his adventures as NSAA President and CEO,” said Sarah Wojcik, Director of Marketing and Communications at VSAA. “Parker’s 20 years at Ski Vermont will have a lasting impact on the way we conduct our association and on the state’s ski and snowboard industry as a whole, and now, we are all very lucky to have him progressing the sport at a national level.”
The Vermont Ski Areas Association board of directors has begun a search to find the next Ski Vermont president to lead the association and the $1.6 billion ski and snowboard industry here in Vermont. A job listing can be found online at skivermont.com and interested candidates can apply via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ski Vermont (Vermont Ski Areas Association/VSAA) is a private not-for-profit trade association founded in 1969 to help create a legislative, economic and social environment in which the state's ski industry can grow and prosper, addressing issues including environmental integrity, economic and social contributions to the state's welfare, and competitive positioning of the state as a destination for winter tourism. Ski Vermont serves its 20 Alpine and 30 Nordic member resorts in three major areas: Governmental Affairs, Marketing and Public Affairs.
The National Ski Areas Association represents 303 alpine resorts that account for more than 90 percent of the skier/snowboarder visits nationwide. Additionally, it has 370 supplier members who provide equipment, goods, and services to the mountain resort industry. NSAA 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. The association 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 service. The association'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.