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Snow Conference award nominees

You know them: the employees who go above and beyond, who work diligently to make themselves and everyone around them better, the ones who make your guests want to return again and again. They’re your Double Diamond-level people.

This year, the following outstanding groomers, snowmakers, and terrain park specialists have been nominated for a CSCUSA Double Diamond Award.


Page is updated regularly.



Groomer of the Year Nominees

Daniel Parker
Graveyard Lead Snowcat Operator
Aspen Mountain

I started my ski industry career on the lifts at Aspen Highlands, and this is my sixth winter on an Aspen crew. I have worked all sorts of jobs, from summer trails to snowmaking and ski patrol. This is my fourth season on a cat crew, and my first as a lead. I really like to navigate the mountain and set edges of trails in poor visibility. I take pride in the way guests experience Aspen Mountain, and I think that has to do with the trail maintenance I do with the summer crew. I take a lot of pride in making sure Aspen Mountain has the highest quality of skiing it can based on conditions—and it’s a year-round job.

Danny Bagley
Sunlight Mountain Resort

I grew up in central Iowa, and I started working at the mountain where I learned to ski when I was in college. I started at Sunlight as an instructor; then for several years, I was a patroller before shifting into trail crew, snowmaking, and grooming. I like working hard, using tools, and learning about all kinds of maintenance. I like the variety and freedom of being assigned different projects and then going off to work on them until quitting time. Outside of the joy of helping people have fun, as a Midwest kid, I think I’ll always be amazed by the Rockies—can’t beat an office with a view!

Gable Tucker
Fleet Groomer
Winter Park Resort

I love my job—there’s nothing quite like it. Operating a snowcat is like stepping into my own mobile office, where I perform a duty that’s vital to the ski resort. I’m constantly sharpening my skills in the machine. I like to think I take a step towards improvement everyday no matter how small. And quality work leads to happy customers.

Joel Holzman
Grooming Supervisor | Trainer
Aspen Snowmass

My parents still live in Poynette, Wisconsin, in the house that I grew up in. We were a farming family, and I started operating farm machinery when I was young. The winter after I graduated from high school, I worked at Cascade Mountain as a snowmaker. A few years later, I was hired on by Aspen as a groomer. That first season I was lost in the dark, pulling a roller with a DMC on the graveyard shift, but it was a dream come true! In twenty-five plus years driving snowcats, I’ve had some amazing opportunities, including a season at Nevados de Chillán. As a leader, I strive first to learn—and then to teach. And I’m not just an employee; I’m an ambassador. I take great pride in the mountain and believe my responsibility extends beyond my work hours, so I’ll stop and pick up debris and rocks and other hazards. I want the mountain experience to be positive and enjoyable for everybody.

Louis Miller
Equipment Manager | Snowcat Supervisor
Eldora Mountain Resort

Originally from the picturesque state of Kentucky, I bring over 25 years of experience in the ski industry, where I’ve carved my path amidst the snow-capped peaks, in both summer and winter. The list of things I love about my job is long. I love discovering hidden trails and exploring untouched, snow-covered landscapes. Operating heavy machinery requires skill and precision, and the sense of mastery and control you feel while maneuvering the vehicle through snow and rugged terrain can be deeply satisfying. It’s both physically and mentally challenging, requiring focus, concentration, and physical stamina, and overcoming these challenges and pushing your limits is incredibly rewarding. I’m surrounded by people who share my passion, and as a leader, I think patience is a critical quality, particularly in environments where precision and safety are paramount. My ability to remain calm and composed under pressure helps create a positive work environment and sets an example for my team.

Trevor Mathes
Slopes Maintenance Manager
Arapahoe Basin

When I was a kid, my dad took me skiing, and I fell in love with the mountains. Now I’ve got 16 years of ski industry knowledge and experience in all the different departments, and I’m able to see it holistically. The decisions I make benefit from the fact that I understand the whole and not just one part. But I’m also always learning. You never really know what you’re gonna get into or how any given shift will go. I learn something new every night.

Tyler Scott
Telluride Ski & Golf Resort

When I was a kid, my dad took me skiing, and I fell in love with the mountains. Now I’ve got 16 years of ski industry knowledge and experience in all the different departments, and I’m able to see it holistically. The decisions I make benefit from the fact that I understand the whole and not just one part. But I’m also always learning. You never really know what you’re gonna get into or how any given shift will go. I learn something new every night.

Will Lazaro
Snowcat Operator, Level III
Copper Mountain

I’m from Massachusetts, and my skiing adventures unfolded in Vermont and New Hampshire. After a brief stint at a traditional college, I joined the park crew at Okemo, where I built a foundation in mountain ops—and that led me to Colorado Mountain College. Their ski area operations program provided me with a more comprehensive education. Operating snowcats is more than a profession for me; it’s a passion. I love serenity of the mountains under the cloak of nightfall. I love the thrill of contending with the formidable forces of Mother Nature. I love the gratification derived from transforming rugged, untamed terrain into immaculately groomed runs. I love that the machines we use are marvels of engineering, capable of both precision and sheer power. The challenges presented by the job are demanding, but they foster a profound camaraderie among our team, and the results of our hard work are a tangible testament to the dedication and skill invested in our craft.





Snowmaker of the Year Nominees

Jay Clapper
Lead Snowmaker
Aspen Snowmass

I was born in Aspen, so skiing is in my blood. I started snowmaking when I knew nothing—including how to drive a snowcat—but I learned quickly, and now after 35 years, I’ve trained over 80 people, including at least two snowmaking managers. As leader, my policy is safety first, best practices second, and patience always. I like knowing that I’m passing knowledge on to the next generation and maybe even a future Snowmaker of the Year. I also have training as a ski instructor, and I think that any opportunity to interact with guests, whether I’m making snow or teaching someone, is an opportunity to pass on my love for Aspen—the mountains, the people, the sport of skiing—to others.

Jeremy Bodensteiner
Snowmaker, Level III  |  Snowcat Driver, Level III
Copper Mountain

I’m originally from Rochester, Minnesota, and I started out as a lift operator. I love the fact that I get to call the mountains my office— and I love my job. I’m part of a hard-working team that makes snow and gets the slopes ready to ride. I’d say that, as a leader, I’m always striving for positivity and flexibility. I really want to make the best quality riding surface for our guests, and I take great pride in my work.

Keston Downing
Snowmaking Supervisor | Snowcat Operator
Eldora Mountain Ski Resort

I was born in Fort Collins and raised in Bellvue, and I skied the Woodward Park at Eldora so often during the pandemic that the crew nicknamed me The Ice Shredder. Kevin Sprecher hired me on a couple of months before the 2020–21 season ended, and there was never a single day when I didn’t want to be there—no matter the workload. The following season, I joined the snowmaking crew, and even though I had no previous training, I ate up information like candy. At the end of that season, the summer snowmaking crew completed a series of elaborate projects: we installed over two miles of pipe, multiple valvehouses, and air and water hydrants and re-graded and finished the summer access road. This season, I was snowmaking lead, and while there have been difficult times and it has required intense problem solving and brutal manual labor, I live for that stuff. I believe those experiences have made me the person I am and continue to be. The strongest steel is forged in the hottest fires.

Micah Schulman
Snowmaking Supervisor
Echo Mountain

I was born and raised in Littleton, and I started as a lifty at Echo Mountain. I had some mechanical experience, and I quickly found my way into snowmaking—I haven’t looked back since. I love snowmaking; it keeps me on my toes, and it’s rewarding. Snowmaking is essential to how early in the season the resort can open and how late we can close. I also help with operations and maintenance on top of making snow, and I try to bring a positive attitude everything I do. I definitely have a passion for it all.

Neil Powell
Snowmaker | Snowcat Operator
Arapahoe Basin

I’m from the Ozark Hills of Southern Missouri and Illinois. I moved to Colorado in 2008 and got my first job with Arapahoe Basin—I’ve been there ever since. I started making snow in 2013. I love the peaceful and lonely nights on the mountain, the big storms and bright moons. I know the snowmaking system in and out, I push like a madman in the winch, I try to lead by example, and in the summers, I drive a concrete mixer. (Neil’s supervisor says that Neil is the calmest, most level-headed person he’s ever worked with and that his wealth of knowledge about the Basin terrain, combined with his years of snowmaking and grooming experience, means that Neil knows when to run guns and when not to run; he knows when to get the most out of the system and when to shut it down; and, most importantly, Neil knows that safety never gets a day off.)

Tim Ritchey
Snowmaking Supervisor
Winter Park Resort

I’m from Columbus, Ohio, and when I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in interior design in 2020, there were no jobs in the field because of the pandemic. I worked in a bike shop as a mechanic, completed a cross country bike trip from Baltimore to San Francisco, and ended up at Winter Park, in a job I thought would be temporary. But, here I am, three years later, running a snowmaking crew and then, when that season ends, giving snowcat tours, and then in the summer, I run the mechanic shop that services the Trestle Bike Park fleet. Each season brings a new set of challenges, and each season, I set new goals for myself and my crew. But no matter the season, I try to be the best supervisor I can be—and to contribute all I can to make the resort what it is.





Terrain Park Specialist of the Year Nominees

Beau Baynum
Terrain Park Grooming Supervisor
Eldora Mountain Ski Resort

I was born and raised in Kentucky, and I moved to Colorado—with my brother and without a plan—in the summer of 2011. We started as lifties at Keystone, eventually I got into a cat in that park, and then, this season, I moved to Eldora. It took a long time to get where I am; there was determination on my part and support from mentors and friends. I have a creative nature, and shaping snow is one of my favorite ways to express that. I look at it as functional art form: my canvas is the acreage, and the guests paint the picture. My goal is to make the terrain park as safe and as fun as I can, and fun, and the quality of work I strive for is just as high on Tuesday morning as it is on Saturday. I also love teaching others this craft. I think it’s one of the fundamental ways the industry can grow. At the end of the day, I try contribute as much as I can, and I don’t think of myself as limited by ropes around my park.

Kevin Lamers
Terrain Parks Groomer, Level II
Winter Park Resort

I grew up in a small farm town in Wisconsin, and I got my start in the ski industry when I was 22, as a lift operator on Mary Jane. I worked as lift operations supervisor, then as a terrain park crew member for the next eight years. Last year, I joined the terrain park crew—and now I love building features for our guests (and for myself; I try to get out there as often as I can and enjoy our hard work!). I’m most proud of learning the ins and outs of the cat and of becoming a skilled operator; I learn new techniques and hone my skills every day. My dad was a heavy equipment operator when he was young, and he always said, Do what you love, work hard, and you can achieve anything. As a leader, I think communication is important: I make sure my crew gets their grooming reports, that they’re staying on, and that they know that if they have a problem, I’m here to help.

Phoebe Shaw
Terrain Park Manager
Sunlight Mountain Resort

I’m originally from Virginia, which is where I started working as a ski instructor when I was 13. My parents met while they were both working in the industry, so you could say I’m a child of snow. I started as a ski patroller at Sunlight, but what I’m most proud of is that I took responsibility for the terrain park two-and-a-half years ago. If I didn’t understand how important it was to our guests, Sunlight wouldn’t have one. That first year, I rebuilt and maintained it by working before and after my ski patrol shifts. The next year, I had volunteers, and this year, I have a staff of seven people. And the best part? The park is poppin’!

Scott Mackie
Advanced Equipment Operator
Aspen Snowmass

I was raised in Denver, but I knew from a young age that I wanted to live—and work—in a mountain town. It was that determination that set me on a journey to find a career I love. It carried me all the way from Colfax to one of the most sought out ski resorts in the world. And it was the kindness and dedication of people I met on these mountains who made me want to pursue a career in the ski industry. I wouldn’t be able to do what I do if it weren’t for the people who gave me the opportunity to find my niche and my true passion.