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Annual Meeting presenters

General Session: Keynote Address |  11:00 AM–12:15 PM

Harnessing ChatGPT for Ski Resort Marketing & Communication Strategies
A high-level presentation exploring how the AI-driven language model, ChatGPT, can revolutionize marketing and communication strategies for ski resorts

Just months after its release, ChatGPT is being used by organizations around the world to automate a growing list of tasks traditionally done by humans and changing both the digital and business landscapes. It’s easy to use and astonishingly capable when it comes to writing compelling text. Now, the question isn’t how you’ll use it; it’s how well—and how to avoid going off-piste. Join us for an in-depth exploration of how your business can use digital tools like ChatGPT for content creation, social media, advertising, and email campaigns to maximize the reach and impact of your marketing and maintain your brand’s reputation.

Leah Faul is a business leader, growth strategist, national speaker, and subject matter expert on ChatGPT. With over a decade of experience in marketing and business growth, she is the owner and founder of 15000 Cubits, a strategic SEO agency, and a founding partner in HackHer Growth. Leah is a Goldman Sachs 10k Small Business Winner and a 40 Under 40 Winner in Houston, TX. She has a proven track record of helping businesses achieve significant revenue growth and is an expert in growth strategies, SEO, digital marketing, and AI-driven content creation. Leah is committed to empowering others to impact the world positively and effect change through her work.

Breakout Session 1  |  1:45–3:00 PM

Workplace Culture: What Is It & What Is the Business Case for It?

In this breakout session, DU Assistant Professor Andrew Schnackenberg lifts the lid on workplace culture for those who have given a good deal of thought to the subject—and for those who haven’t. What do we mean when we talk about “workplace culture” and what are some of the building blocks that form its foundation? Why is workplace culture important to successful businesses and teams? And how can ski areas and other businesses think about building and sustaining culture, particularly if their workforces are seasonal?

Andrew Schnackenberg teaches strategic management at Daniels College of Business at the University of Denver. He earned his PhD from the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University. Prior to joining Daniels, Andrew was a faculty member at the Kogod School of Business at American University in Washington, D.C. He has published in leading management journals, including the Journal of Management, Academy of Management Annals and Journal of Organizational Behavior, and is a current editorial review board member of the Academy of Management Review.

Challenges and Opportunities in the Growing Airline Industry

Join United Airlines Managing Director for Global Market Strategy BJ Youngerman for an insider’s—and insightful—presentation on the challenges and opportunities at United Airlines, including growing the airline to meet increasing levels of demand for air travel, workforce and hiring challenges, navigating increasingly complex supply chains, making operations more sustainable, and the growth opportunities in markets of interest to Colorado’s ski areas.

BJ Youngerman, United Airlines’ Managing Director for Global Market Strategy, oversees United’s local strategy work in key domestic and international markets across the United network, working closely with internal and external stakeholders, including business and civic leaders, local community leaders, and others to further United’s growth and raise the company’s visibility at a local level. His team also oversees United’s efforts to respond to customer needs and market trends, driving innovation solutions to support United’s commitments to the communities it serves.

Prior to this role, BJ held a variety of positions for United in Chicago and San Francisco. A life-long aviation enthusiast, he started his airline career with US Airways in Charlotte, NC, and he holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Davidson College. BJ lives in Denver, alongside 9,000+ fellow United employees based in the state of Colorado.

ChatGPT Deep Dive: Mastering AI-Powered Content Creation

In this smaller breakout session, dive deeper into the world of ChatGPT and AI-powered content creation. Keynote Speaker Leah Faul will cover essential tips, best practices, and techniques for optimizing ChatGPT’s performance, followed by hands-on exercises and interactive demonstrations. Attendees will leave this session with a strong understanding of how to maximize ChatGPT’s impact on their marketing output and achieve outstanding results.

Breakout Session 2  |  3:15–4:30 PM

Lessons from NASCAR: Ideas for Creating a Welcoming Culture in the Ski Industry

NASCAR’s diversity and inclusion efforts date back to 2000; they were redoubled in 2004, with the Drive for Diversity program, which produced drivers like Bubba Wallace and Daniel Suarez. And their commitment was tested again in 2020, in the aftermath of the pandemic and the death of George Floyd. For the last two decades, NASCAR has made—and continues to make—a concerted effort to evolve the culture of a sport from one that has been historically less-than-welcoming to anyone who was not a straight white man to one that endeavors to make everyone feel welcome and included. They are growing a workforce that is both diverse and equitable and are working to ensure that the culture at the racetracks and in the corporate offices aligns with NASCAR’s mission, strategies, and core values. How do they do it? Join Brandon to find out—and to find out what lessons there might be for the ski industry.

Brandon Thompson is Vice President, Diversity and Inclusion, leading NASCAR’s strategy for diversity and inclusion. He oversees a department responsible for multicultural programs including the NASCAR Drive for Diversity Program and strategic alliances with the Institute for Sport and Social Justice and Diversity and Inclusion Sports Consortium, among others.

Prior to his D&I appointment in June of 2020, Brandon served as Managing Director of the NASCAR Touring Series, and he has held multiple NASCAR positions across Racing Operations, Industry Operations and Diversity and Inclusion. His career in motorsports began in 2003 as an intern at Nashville Superspeedway, a role he applied for through the NASCAR Diversity Internship Program. In 2020, Brandon became the first diversity intern graduate to join NASCAR’s executive ranks as an officer.

He is a 2005 graduate of Clark Atlanta University and holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration/marketing.

Current Agency Priorities, Projects & Issues: An Interactive Roundtable

Join members of the U.S. Forest Service R2 Mountain Resort Team for an interactive discussion about current agency priorities, projects, and issues. Resort operations and planning teams are invited to participate in this discussion about what’s working, what’s not, and what to be anticipating in the months ahead.

As part of the National Forest System, the Rocky Mountain Region enjoys a proud heritage in the Forest Service. The Shoshone National Forest in Wyoming and the White River National Forest in Colorado are among the first National Forests Congress created from the original Forest Reserves. The Region, headquartered in Lakewood, Colorado, comprises of 17 national forests and seven national grasslands.

Double Diamond Awards Reception  |  5:00–7:00 PM
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Thanks to our In-Kind Sponsor

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Please visit this page again for updates about the keynote address, general and breakout session topics and presenters, and more!


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