PSIA-AASI Eastern Region 2024 Board Election Profiles

Mid-Atlantic Zone Board Candidate: Gerianne Breck

State of Residence: NJ

Snowsports Affiliation: Stratton Mountain

Certifications: Alpine Level II, Children’s Specialist 1

Background & Qualifications:

After retiring from a 35 yr career in financial services in 2019, I accepted a part-time instructor position. I figured after skiing for 20 years, experiencing numerous lessons, I would acclimate quickly. Boy, was I wrong! I joined PSIA-E after 2 days on the job and have not looked back since.

Prior to retiring I was VP of Professional Development at a large Financial institution where I oversaw the design, development and deployment of all training curriculum for sales teams across the USA.  Leading the department included responsibilities such as project management, providing cost effective innovative solutions, implementing new technology solutions, managing a budget, and development and growth of management staff.

I grew up in a non-skiing family on Long Island NY and experienced skiing aa a junior in High School.  The seed was planted. After graduating from College I started my career in Syracuse NY and tapped into the lesson programs offered at local mountains. Throughout my career, I was active in various ski clubs which kept me skiing every season in NY, NJ, PA, and VT on weekend, and annual trips out west. Since 2019, I have participated in numerous PSIA events both on snow and online. My certification journey was not without its hurdles, but I am a much better instructor today, not to mention a stronger skier for having persisted in the journey.

Statement of Philosophy & Direction:

My general philosophy is that understanding comes through experiences. Experiences come in different shapes and sizes. Success comes when experiences are accessible, aligned to interest and capability.  Directions I would support if elected include opportunities to further grow and engage membership to access the limitless knowledge and camaraderie PSIA-E offers; help member schools leverage PSIA as strategic development resource for instructor staff (both f/t and seasonal); capitalize on collaborative opportunities across zones and nationally across regions.

 

 


Mid-Atlantic Zone Board Candidate: Alan Kinney

State of Residence: NY

Snowsports Affiliation: Song Mountain

Certifications: Adaptive Level I, Children’s Specialist 1

Background & Qualifications:

I have been an adaptive instructor for 11 years and then an alpine ski instructor for 6 years and now a snow sports director for 4 of this years.  I also have a background in human relations, former board member of Emotional Intelligence and Human Relations and chair of promotion.  I have been a retired clergy which led to working with many different people at many different levels. I was chair of the Dismantling Racism Team which brought train to all UMC clergy in Upper New York.   I believe these experiences and trainings will help to bring a different perspective to the Board which would benefit PSIA-E that would enable us to reach new members while sustaining the current ones.

Statement of Philosophy & Direction:

I feel we as PSIA are building on a firm foundation and are in need of fresh perspectives that will enable us too reach more and varied instructors in all our disciplines.  I feel we need to open doors to people who have not been able to enter the programs and membership of PSIA.  There are some ski/board areas who do not benefit by using the resources PSIA has available to them.  I believe improving communications between area and members will not only enhance the opportunities PSIA offers it will build a stronger and better trained membership.  I would be willing to work towards this goal.

 

 


Mid-Atlantic Zone Board Candidate: Brandon Pearce

State of Residence: NJ

Snowsports Affiliation: National Winter Activity Center/Winter4Kinds

Certifications: Alpine Level III

Background & Qualifications:

I belong to a mountain in the Mid-Atlantic Region in NJ, and I am blessed to live in NJ as well. I am an Alpine Level 3, but I actively teach Snowboard and  teach Cross Country Skiing at our awesome Nordic Facility. I was Snowsports Director at Winter4Kids for the past 3 years, I am now the Trainer and Curriculum Lead.

I have the honor of serving on the PSIA-AASI Eastern Board of Directors for one term currently as Member-At-Large. I also volunteered to Chair the Eastern Nominations Committee. I have been happy to see what makes the organization strong and help create opportunities to inspire membership and stoke others in Snowsports to value our professionals. I taught at Windham Mountain for over 20 years and have been a Season Program Head Coach and Line up (like a Swiss Army Knife) Instructor. I am also a member of the National Brotherhood of Snowsports (NBS) Snowsports School and have had history training NBS National Team Athletes. I have always pursued the drive to reach higher goals and totally focused on personal development, both technically and teaching. I have served on the PSIA-AASI Diversity Equity Inclusion Advisory Group for the past 3 years as well.

Statement of Philosophy & Direction:

Since discovering the sport as a teenager, my joy, resolve and respect for the sport has never waned. I gained my Level 3 in 2009, since then, I’ve had the chance to see more of what the organization has to offer. I enjoyed taking a new look at the resources besides preps and assessments. I am always finding new ways to mentor and be mentored. I realize there are always people working on the same goals that are my allies.

Having been fortunate to be one of the Eastern region’s board members. My biggest priority is that every member should easily find value in the organization. Basic knowledge that every benefit offered can make a difference in their career. I see PSIA-AASI Eastern as playing the same role in providing direction and guidance to members, as we do in connecting with our own students. I feel that our organization has taken care of me in every part of my journey. However, we often need a heads up in accessing resources; for example letting us know when Mentorship opportunities are open (i.e. Nextcore), when Scholarship deadlines are due, or when popup events take place. When we spread the word, we strengthen our organization, that is also it is good for your development, a win-win.

I love what we do because as a group we all share the same spirit. I am responsible for the work I put in, to earn my success, but the organization puts the tools in our hands.

I come from a small school that I am proud of, I think it is valid to represent the perspective of big operators, as well as small and independent programs involved in PSIA-AASI and our Industry. Being from a Foundation that operates on a mission to serve youth, I think that I bring skills in Fundraising, forming partnerships, building a community, mentoring and setting team goals. All important skills in our Industry.

I hope members feel the organization is an actor in their development and career path. I think there is a need to sharpen our communications, sharing member stories, share the joy and fun of our front-line contributors.

I like to bring the voices of the many instructors in my organization. I like to have input in training and fresh ideas in programming all the time. I am sure that is because I work at a “Kids” mountain. However, I think the younger generation is a spring of re-invention that PSIA-E can never get enough input from. Initiatives like the Next-Gen really are game changing, there is much feedback that can be channeled for the greater good. I would also like to invest time and planning to promote the activities of the junior instructor programs out there and make a network within the division of the milestones achieved by young instructors.

I was an Area Rep before becoming a Director and I believe very strongly that we should share everything that is available freely with our team and especially with newer staff. I love the organization because it gives opportunities to all. I am able to play a mentorship role for numerous colleagues, especially those of color, ensuring timely updates on PSIA events, scholarships, and important information. I share equally with everyone in my circle regardless of background because I think everyone should know how to navigate our organization. This includes the sharing of event calendars, scholarship deadlines with members and prospective members so that they can share in their circles and grow our organization. Because of my background and involvement in Clubs I was able to impact on encouraging women of color in becoming Snowsports instructors and certified PSIA-AASI members. This development I am very proud of because I strongly believe that if you know the opportunity is there, then you are welcome. To me, fostering inclusivity is to guide anybody and everybody equally.

I have participated in several selections for Women of Winter Scholarships. If there is any opportunity that you ever have to do such activities, do it.  It is life altering to hear the stories of literally earth changing individuals. What an inspiration. We all play a vital mentorship role for colleagues; I advocate at all times. Sharing knowledge and undeniable care makes newer staff find their stride.

 

 


Mid-Atlantic Zone Board Candidate: Christa Ross

State of Residence: PA

Snowsports Affiliation: Seven Springs / Okemo Ski & Ridge School

Certifications: Alpine Education Staff, Alpine Level III, Children’s Specialist 2, Freestyle Specialist 1

Background & Qualifications:

I am interested in serving on the Eastern board to get more involved in the organization I have been a part of for over three decades. I started teaching at Seven Springs in Western Pennsylvania when I was 17, not knowing that the job I took to get a ski pass would change my life. Through those years, I worked my way through the certification process, taught and trained for our Snowsports school, juggled family with a spouse who also teaches, got two kids out on the mountain, ran a full-time business, made Dev Team in 2021, and was elevated to Alpine Examiner this past summer.

This year, I am splitting my time between my home resort at Seven Springs in Pennsylvania, Okemo Mountain in Vermont, and working PSIA/AASI events in Zone 3. All this travel lets me meet many of our members and gives me insight into the different resorts and their needs.

My educational background is in design, marketing, and media technology, and for the past 15 years, I have worked in real estate and community development. Experience that I hope can be useful in helping foster inclusivity within our organization and the skiing community.

Statement of Philosophy & Direction:

My goal is to help PSIA/AASI-E continue elevating the skill and professionalism in teaching Snowsports, which is respected by the resorts we serve. I want the organization to aid in building a viable career path for instructors who want to make this their full-time profession, while also recognizing the passion and dedication our part-time instructor members contribute. This would include promoting to the general public the value and excellence that PSIA/AASI instructors provide to all types of skiers and riders at all levels.

I hope to work on developing exciting educational events that go beyond certification and encourage members to step out of their comfort zones, and bring quality events to all our members, even those in the far reaches of our region. For those pursuing certification, I want to continue the development of tools which help members succeed, including those at ski and ride schools that don’t offer robust training resources.

Our members vary in age, abilities, and experiences, and they ride on different equipment across many mountains. As a board member, I want to foster a sense of community that embraces and serves the needs of everyone within our region.

 

 


Mid-Atlantic Zone Board Candidate: Gordon Sinclair

State of Residence: NJ

Snowsports Affiliation: Killington

Certifications: Alpine Level I

Background & Qualifications:

I have about 25 years of leadership and experience in finance, including owning and operating my own advisor and brokerage firm. I believe I could leverage these experiences to help us grow and become a stronger organization.

Statement of Philosophy & Direction:

My general philosophy and direction of the organization would be on the growth of membership, while continuing to produce the best teaching product in the world. Additionally, I would focus on the fun aspect of snow sports.

 

 


Mid-Atlantic Zone Board Candidate: Aleks Smith

State of Residence: NY

Snowsports Affiliation: Whiteface

Certifications: Alpine Education Staff, Alpine Level III, Children’s Specialist 2, Freestyle Specialist 1

Background & Qualifications:

I am excited by the prospect of contributing to the Eastern Region as a Zone 3 member of the Board of Directors and representing you and the PSIA-E members. As a 22-year PSIA-E member with a wide range of ski industry experience I believe that I can make excellent contributions to the PSIA-E board.

I am a native and current resident of The Adirondacks with a uniquely regional, national, and global perspective on snowsports education. As a PSIA Alpine Examiner for the past 10 years I have had the good fortune to travel to many ski areas and meet numerous PSIA-E members and Snowsports School Directors. This has allowed me to learn and realize what is important to the members. I am also accredited as a Children’s Specialist II and Freestyle Specialist I.

As the former Snowsports School Director at Whiteface Mountain from 2002-2013 I was able to work with many instructors and guests to help them meet their needs.  I’ve also had the good fortune of working as an instructor, staff trainer and manager for the Aspen Snowmass Snow Sports School.

Statement of Philosophy & Direction:

It has been the driving passion of my career as a former Snowsports School Director, Certified Ski Instructor, PSIA-E Examiner and Coach to work with the PSIA-AASI membership to help them achieve their goals and in support of our organization’s mission. My hope is to continue to contribute to the Eastern Region alongside the other board members as we consider and plan for our future including our focus on the strategic alignment of PSIA-AASI and all 8 Regions.

I am a candidate who understands first-hand the challenges and interests of the members and member schools in Zone 3. My greatest strength is my ability to voice what is needed while listening to and working well with the staff and membership to move toward common goals. I’m hopeful that my background and forward-thinking ideas will bring a fresh perspective to our Board of Directors. Your support and vote for me as your Zone 3 Board of Directors representative would be greatly appreciated.

 

 


Mid-Atlantic Zone Board Candidate: Dave Wenn

State of Residence: NY

Snowsports Affiliation: Whiteface / NY Ski Education Foundation

Certifications: Alpine Education Staff, Alpine Level III, Children’s Specialist 1

Background & Qualifications:

Level 3 Certified member for 50+ years

Eastern Examiner for 35+ years- still active

Head of School National Sports Academy for 35 years..retired 2012. NSA was a 501c3 not-for profit independent boarding and day school for winter sports athletes, located in Lake Placid , which I founded in 1978 . I worked closely with the school’s Board of Trustee for all those years. I am very clear of the do’s and don’ts of a Board member. Board members supports the mission of the organization, foster the organization’s sustainability, set policy, support and guide management and stay out of operations, raise funds and have a passion for the organization- PSIA-E, Which I very much do.

Currently employed with the New York Ski Education Foundation as alpine race coach. 6 years running.

Past coaching position have been with the Vail Ski and Snowboard Club and Green Mountain Valley School

Two time PSIA National Team Selector

Statement of Philosophy & Direction:

I approach this Board membership position with a very open mind ,listen and learn. It will be necessary that my philosophy will be that of the needs of the organization, I have no personal agenda , my responsibility is to support and carry out the agenda of the organization for the benefit of the membership . I will avail my experience and expertise in areas as directed by the chairman. I am strongly committed in my role as an Examiner to provide the membership with the highest level of skiing education and certification available as our my Examiner colleagues. Maintaining that standard assure our membership receives a respected and quality experience and product. PSIA-E member first philosophy.

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