I’m a lucky man. It’s as simple as that.
It was four and a half years ago that I started SlopeFillers and just over three years ago that I joined Ryan Solutions. Since then I’ve found myself surrounded by extremely talented peers working at a job I love with an amazing wife and adorable daughter waiting for me at home.
Like so many lucky breaks, it’s rarely the result of my own efforts but rather really good people like you. So, to hold with tradition, I’d like to share my appreciation with 10 more of these people.
Before I get to them, I’d like to recap lists from previous years because each of these people could easily show up here again.
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).
Callie Blanchard, Shawn Gallagher, Mark While, Steve Pope, Krista Parry, Paul Allen, Corey Ryan, Kory Samson, Dave Gibson, Kim Blanchard.
Now, back to this year’s list.
I was given a few opportunities to speak at conferences last year, so you might see that theme in my gratitude. Of all the people they could have chosen to speak, they chose me. And I don’t take that lightly.
1) The Origin Crew
Once up a time, SlopeFillers struggled to get more than a few pageviews a day. Even then, Origin was there. Danielle, MJ, Andrew, and the rest of the crew have been super supportive and complimentary of my efforts. That means a lot to me.
2) My Parents, Paul & Kim
I’ve often spoken of the value of sandboxes – side projects that let you get your hands dirty and teach you 10x more than any assignment at work will. This belief exists because, even with my stubborn independent attitude in college, my parents chipped in to buy me a new laptop so I could build the things I dreamed up during class. I owe a lot to that laptop and, in turn, even more to my parents.
3) Halley O’Brien
Hard to believe Halley hasn’t been on my list before. Whether it’s sitting on panels or being patient with me as I organize/refine panel content or delivering real-time video content at Destination Summit, Halley has put in long hours on my behalf with awesome results. Skiing is lucky to have Halley.
4) Brad Larsen (Telluride)
It’s really, really hard for me to get a good view of the ski industry from my desk. So when a guy like Brad Larsen regularly sends me the things he’s working on, it helps more than I can say. Thanks, Brad, for keeping me in the loop.
5) Patrick Sande
Patrick is an account manager at Ryan Solution. And if you don’t know him, you should. He’s genuinely one of the nicest people I know and I owe some of the better ideas I’ve had that have come out of The Stash to him and his willingness to just “jam” on an idea. Always appreciated his example of good, solid, hard work.
6) Jason Dyer (Snowbasin)
I first met Jason at NSAA 2011 when he recognized me from the blog and introduced himself. Since then he’s be super supportive of me and the site, always willing to shoot over a quote or two when I need it, and someone I always I hope I run into at conferences. Thanks for the support, Jason.
7) Chandler Burgess (Killington)
While attending the NASJA meeting at Killington, I only had a few hours to ski at The Beast. Remembering an invitation from Chandler to give me a tour of the mountain, I asked him with very short notice and he delivered, meeting me just a couple hours later to help me see parts of the mountain I wouldn’t have discovered with a week of skiing.
8) Greg Kwasnik (Loon)
Also while at NASJA, my extrovert reserves were waning come the group dinner at the Wobbly Barn. But as chance would have it, I ended up next to Greg Kwasnik, a humble, talented writer from Loon who also happened to be a new father (like me), endurance guy (like me), and, yes, introvert (like me). Thanks again for the less-intense convo, Greg.
9) Mary Jo Tarallo
Speaking of NASJA, after a really confusing response to what multiple NASJA members had asked me over and over to write, a short chat with Mary Jo at MTS helped me better understand where some of the membership was coming from. That and being willing to write for me on short notice, Mary Jo deserves a lot of thanks.
10) Kim & Callie Blanchard (my wife & daughter)
Yes my wife and mother have the same name and, yes, it can be confusing at times and, yes, Kim will always be on this list. I really don’t think anyone can understand how much my little family means to me. I love skiing, I love marketing, I love the mountains, but I love and appreciate Kim and Callie 10x more than any of those combined. Even if I were still working my high school summer job of cleaning mink cages to afford to live in a wet cardboard box under on overpass in Juneau, as long as they were there it would be worth it. Life is good because of them.
BONUS: James Keddington, Rob Megnin, Bruce Rosard
I had a goal last year of speaking on more panels and these three fine gentlemen were willing to extend invitations to me to do so. Speaking is something I work harder at than most realize, but without chances to be on stage, that practice is worth very little. James, thanks again for working with my schedule last Thanksgiving. Rob, really appreciate you taking the time to help me make it to NASJA. Bruce, always a pleasure to be involved with MTS. Thanks for trusting me with the reigns on that topic.
And, of course, many thanks to all of you. Please look past the cliche and see the truth in my saying that I wouldn’t be here without you.
Here’s to a very happy, snowy, and safe Thanksgiving.
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