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A Happy Thanksgiving to You…and These Awesome Marketing People

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What a journey this has been.

I’ve said it before, but I never expected SlopeFillers to last much longer than about a year. Yet, over three years later, I’m still here and I have a million people to thank for it.

To hold with tradition, I want to be public about my appreciation. While the list could be a mile long, I’ll keep to that side of the tradition as well and limit my appreciation to just 10.

Before I do, let me recap the last couple lists because each of these people could easily be included in this year’s.

Eric Hoffman, Christian Knapp, Corey Ryan, Dave Amirault, Kim (my wife), Jon Slaughter, Evan Reece, Doug Holton, Brian Rodine, The Utah Joes (Johnson & Myers)
Missy W Larsen, Milena Regos, Shawn Alain, Thomas Prindle, Ben Zeeb, Kim Blanchard, Ryan Blanchard, Alex Kaufman, Troy Thompson, Davy Ratchford, and everyone who drinks (the ski industry).

So, without further delay, let me share my appreciation for another round of ten on this fine, Thanksgiving day.

1) Callie Blanchard
Callie is my 5-month-old daughter. Going into parenthood I knew what I’d be doing, but I had no idea how I’d feel doing it. The last 5 months have been the most incredible of my life. Thanks, Cal, for being born and reminding me that new SlopeFillers designs are pretty boring compared to you. Life was good before, now it’s off the charts.

2) Shawn Gallagher
Shawn is my uncle who, on a random day well over 20 years ago, showed me his new Burton snowboard and described the feeling of carving down a mountain. There were many seeds planted that got me interested in skiing, but that one stands out from the rest. Despite being 1/10 the boarder he was, he also let me tag along on night-skiing trips to Brighton once I finally did start strapping a board to my feet.

3) Mark White
Another seed was planted by KSL’s SkiUtah TV show back in the early 90’s. The host, Mark White, was always so happy, so psyched to be on snow, that I couldn’t help but want to do the same. Finally last year after a long search, I found Mark’s email address and sent him a thank you note. Few skiers made me want to learn how to ski more than Mark White.

4) Steve Pope
I’ve only met Steve once in person, but ever since that introduction in 2011, I’ve always been impressed with Steve’s insight, candor, and time he’s made to hammer out ideas. When I was in a jam and needed some content, Steve delivered in a matter of hours. When I wrote something he disagreed with, he took the time to see my perspective and start a great discussion.

5) Krista Parry
Most of you know Krista, but until January I had never met her in person. Before and since, Krista has always been extremely helpful and encouraging. When I needed someone for a panel at Destination Summit, she happily obliged. When I stumbled onto the (then) unknown “Ski Resort Marketing 101” video, she got Mike on the phone and gave me the whole story. The list goes on. I think skiing is lucky to have Krista.

6) Paul Allen
It’s getting close to a decade from when I first caught the internet marketing bug, but I have Paul Allen (of fame, not the co-founder of Microsoft) to thank for it. I had been fascinated by sales and marketing before, but when I found a talk of his where he spelled out his data-driven approach to the online side of things, I was hooked. I vividly remember walking to the library afterwards and my mind spinning with connecting dots and new ideas. The ol’ brain hasn’t stopped since.

7) Corey Ryan
I included Corey the first year but need to include him again. When you consider the time required to maintain SlopeFillers, build the dashboards, and create content each week, I hope you appreciate the fact that there are no banner ads or blatant promotions for Ryan Solutions. The freedom and flexibility Corey has given me is why SlopeFillers exists in the form you see it. The next time you see Corey, give him a high five.

8) Kory Samson
Here I was at Destination Summit, distracted by the fact that my wife was 9 months pregnant at home and I was in Denver, sitting at a table thinking and worrying. When along comes Kory Samson, a guy I only knew through email. He sat down and for the next hour got me more excited about being a father than ever. I could say the same for Mike Henderson and Josh Strebel at Snowcial, but the timing of Kory’s encouragement was impeccable. Thanks again, Kory.

9) Dave Gibson
I’ve known Dave since the early days of SlopeFillers and honestly don’t know why he wasn’t on any of my previous lists. Dave’s always been encouraging and extremely complimentary of what I’m trying to do even when we don’t see eye to eye. Not to mention he’s helped me out with some great content. It was support from people like Dave that kept me going during the first year of the site.

10) Kim Blanchard
Yes, Kim again. I don’t think any of you quite understand how much she helps me and listens to me ramble about marketing. I’ll come home and, in reply to a “how was the rest of your day” query, proceed to lay out an overwhelmingly flawed automated marketing system triggered by various social events and behaviors. Of course, I’ll have to define the rules for those events as well. Yet, time and time again, she listens, smiles and even asks questions. I’m a lucky man.

I really do appreciate you taking the time to read SlopeFillers on a somewhat regular basis. I appreciate the fact that so many of you have reached out and, despite the many flaws in my writing and development work, have shared a few kind words. This is more than part of my weekly routine, this site is a big chunk of who I am. I love marketing, I love the ski industry, and I am incredibly grateful to be involved. Thanks for your support.

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