Snow Conference - Speakers


April 3rd - 5th, 2018
Two Rivers Convention Center in Grand Junction, CO
Trade Show: Tuesday, April 3, 2018 from 5 - 7 p.m.


Andy Daly Photo

Andy Daly
Owner, Powderhorn

Andy Daly has been a part of the Colorado ski industry since he took a job on the ski patrol at Aspen Highlands in 1970. From President and Chief Executive Officer of Vail Associates, now Vail Resorts, to involvement at top ski resorts including Copper Mountain, Beaver Creek, Eldora and now the owner of Powderhorn, he caps an outstanding career as an inspirational ski-sport builder who has brought international stature to Colorado skiing. Andy is currently serving on the Vail Valley Foundation, Vail Valley Medical Center, U.S. Ski Team Board of Directors and recently retired as Mayor of Vail. Andy is also a long-time member of the Colorado Ski Country USA Board of Trustees, having served two terms as Board Chairman. He is an avid skier and outdoor enthusiast.


Brian Lazar Headshot

Brian Lazar
Deputy Director, Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC)

Brian Lazar has worked in the field of snow and avalanches for the past several decades. He began backcountry skiing in Colorado as a college student, and later as a mountain guide. Brian was an avalanche educator, curriculum developer, former executive director with the American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education (AIARE) and member of the American Avalanche Association Education Committee. After a decade or so of guiding and teaching in a variety of snow climates on both sides of the equator, Brian returned to graduate school where he earned a MS in Engineering, studying snow and ice mechanics in Alaska’s Chugach Mountain Range, and conducting research at the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research. He worked for many years as a consultant to the ski industry, investigating snowpack runoff and potential changes to seasonal snowpacks as a result of climate change. Brian has been the Deputy Director of the CAIC since 2010.


Chris Herndon Headshot compressed

Chris Herndon
Denver City Councilman - District 8, Denver City Council

Councilman Chris Herndon represents District 8, Northeast Denver on the Denver City Council. Chris graduated from The United States Military Academy at West Point and served nearly seven years in the U.S. Army, including deployments to Kosovo and Iraq. This commitment to public service is what motivated him to leave his management role in the private sector to run for office and serve the people of Denver. Chris holds a master’s degree in management from Webster University and a Master of Public Administration from the University of Colorado Denver. He was recognized as one the Denver Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 and was named Rookie of the Year by 5280 Magazine. He is the founder of Northeast Denver Leadership Week, a mentor with Denver Kids Inc. and serves on a number of community boards.


Mistica Walker
Specialty Claims Adjuster, Safehold Special Risk

As a specialty claims adjuster for Safehold Special Risk, Mistica Walker focuses on liability, property and auto claims. She also monitors ski resort worker’s compensation claims in Colorado and New Mexico. Prior to joining Wells Fargo, Mistica worked 11 years in ski resort operations, primarily in mountain operations, risk management and legal. She has a bachelor of arts degree in legal studies from the University of Maryland University College and is a frequent presenter on risk management issues across the U.S. ski industry.


travis benson
director of trails, buttermilk mountain, aspen skiing company

Travis Benson is the director of trails for Buttermilk Mountain at Aspen Snowmass. He oversees snowmaking, winter trails and summer trails. This will be his eighth year on the Colorado Ski Country USA Snow Conference Committee, where he previously served three terms as the chairperson of the committee. Travis is a proud fifth generation Coloradan, born and raised. 


Graeme Bilenduke
Director of Development, Copper Mountain

Graeme Bilenduke is a 30-year resident of Summit County, CO. With his time in Summit County he has been able to pursue his lifelong passion of skiing. He expanded his passion into his work and expanded his skills into multiple branches of the ski and ride industry. As a ski instructor, he earned his PSIA Trainer Accredited Instructor certification and continually works at Copper Mountain to develop the next generation of skiers. He was also nominated as the CSCUSA Groomer of the Year in 2010 and 2013. Graeme has improved the sustainability of the ski and ride industry by collaborating with many different partners as he oversees the development and construction of over 100 employee housing units in Summit County, CO. The most recent development, Copper Point Townhomes, was nominated for the Colorado Housing Now “Eagle Award” in 2017. As Director of Development at Copper Mountain Resort, Graeme continually strives to promote the ski and ride industry, through development, for both guests and employees to ensure the growth and sustainability of Copper Mountain. 


Jason Gusaas
Assistant Professor, Ski Area Operations Colorado Mountain College

Jason Gusaas started his career in the ski industry by aiding in the construction of a small area in North Dakota called Huff Hills. He was foreman of all phases of construction from the ground up, including installing the snowmaking system, lifts, clearing trails and building the chalet and shop. Jason attended Bismarck State College at the time and graduated with a degree in Ski Area Management from Gogebic Community College. He then interned at Copper Mountain and stayed on for the next 11 years before finding his current home at Colorado Mountain College.


Dave Hagerman
Senior Manager of Slope and Vehicle Maintenance, Winter Park Resort

Originally from a small farm in western Kansas, Dave Hagerman attended college at Fort Hays State on a football scholarship. After college, Dave worked on a harvest crew that stopped just outside Denver, giving him his first taste of the mountains. Soon after, Dave followed his brother to Winter Park and began working for the ski area in 1993 as a lift operator. Dave worked a variety of jobs at Winter Park, including snowmaking and grooming, before finding his niche as a heavy equipment mechanic. After learning the ins and outs of the maintenance world, Dave became the shop supervisor in 2008. Dave is now the Senior Manager of Slope and Vehicle Maintenance at Winter Park Resort. During the summer, Dave spends his time rafting, playing softball and enjoying the Colorado scenery, while winters are spent snowmobiling, skiing and taking the occasional ice fishing trip.


Chris Hargrave
Chief Consultant, Hargrave Coaching Innovations

Chris Hargrave is a 25-year ski industry veteran. He has worked in various roles, starting in ski school leadership and progressing to developing programs like the summer freestyle camps and parks at Mt. Hood and Woodward training facilities, the Burton Snowboard Academy and terrain based learning with SNOW Operating. He has been an instructor and examiner with PSIA and AASI, and is in alumnus of their national demo team. He coaches Olympic level athletes and travels the country training instructors and terrain builders to develop learning terrain and parks that work to enhance all levels of guest experience. He has helped author freestyle manuals for PSIA and has worked on NSAA task forces to help develop safety education for terrain parks. Most recently, Chris was president of Windells Academy and VP of Operations at High Cascade and Windells Camps. He has transitioned into his own consulting business and is developing specialized programming in China and the US. His key inspirations are his wife and three kids. Chris has a passion for coaching and enjoys the amazing experiences he has connecting with people throughout our global industry. “This industry has helped me develop relationships and learn how to connect with people in ways that I never thought possible and has taken me places I could never have imagined when I began, all it takes is caring enough to help others.”


Paul Hoagland
Grooming Foreman, Copper Mountain

Paul Hoagland started working at Copper Mountain as a snowcat operator in 2008. His experience in ranching helped develop his skills as a machine operator. Paul worked at Copper until this past December when he joined an international team of snowcat operators in South Korea to help build the race and training courses at Jeongseon Alpine Centre. The team built, prepared and maintained the venue for the Olympics and Paralympics. The Olympics, Paralympics and cultural exchange Paul saw first-hand living in South Korea for 90 days was the ultimate challenge and pleasure of participating in this unique opportunity.


Bob Holme Headshot

Bob Holme,
Director of Mountain Maintenance, Winter Park Resort

Bob Holme is Winter Park Resort’s Director of Mountain Maintenance and the visionary behind Trestle Bike Park. BOB oversees slope, snowmaking, lift and vehicle maintenance and the resort’s terrain park and bike park programs. He is also the General Manager of Colorado Freeride Festival, the nation’s largest freeride mountain bike festival. After graduating from the University of Colorado, BOB combined his athletic experience as a 2-time Olympian (ski jumping), marketing and finance degrees, 22 years of resort operations experience and 29 years of snowboarding into a unique set of responsibilities for the resort.  


Bill Leclair

Bill LeClair
Snowmaking and Vehicle Maintenance Manager, Arapahoe Basin

Bill LeClair has been in the ski and snowmaking business since 1984.  He started at Mount Sunapee in New Hampshire before relocating to Colorado to work as the snowmaking manager at Keystone Resort for many years. He was recognized as the CSCUSA Snowmaker of the Year in 1993. Bill is now the Snowmaking and Vehicle Maintenance Manager at Arapahoe Basin. He is serving his first year on the CSCUSA Snow Conference Committee.


Allison Marriner
Snowcat Operator, Beaver Creek

Allison Marriner grew up on the slopes of Mount Hood, OR. After a few years of attending art school, the call of the mountains became too great to ignore and she arrived in Leadville, CO in the fall of 2003. While in Leadville, she attended the Ski Area Operations program at CMC’s Timberline campus. That next winter she started her career as a snowcat operator at Beaver Creek. Allison has fourteen winters of grooming at Beaver Creek and ten summers working with lift maintenance under her belt. She spent seven years as a member of the Birds of Prey winch cat crew and worked on the women’s Raptor course for the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships. In 2016 she joined the international cat crew for the Jeongseon Olympic Alpine Centre in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Her duties included course construction for the 2016 FIS Men’s World Cup Downhill and Super G, 2017 FIS Ladies’ World Cup Downhill and Super G, 2017 Paralympic World Cup Finals and 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics and Paralympics. Allison continues to work with the grooming and lift maintenance departments at Beaver Creek.


Geoffrey Marriner
Mountain Operations Manager, Jeongseon Alpine Centre

Geoffrey Marriner began his ski industry career in 1989 at Arrowhead at Vail while attending Colorado Mountain College’s Ski Area Operations program in Leadville. Geoff moved to Beaver Creek in 1994 after it’s acquisition of Arrowhead where he was a snowmaking crew leader and groomer. After leaving the ski industry in 1998 for a career in excavation, Geoff returned to Beaver Creek in 2003 as a part- time groomer. From 2004 to 2014 Geoff was one of Beaver Creek’s swing shift grooming supervisors as well as the supervisor of the winch crew for the annual Birds of Prey World Cup races. For the 2014-15 season, Geoff was promoted to assistant grooming manager. Geoff was also an equipment operator at Beaver Creek and helped to construct the women’s Raptor downhill course for the 2015 Alpine World Ski Championships. In the fall of 2015 Geoff left Beaver Creek to become the mountain operations manager at Jeongseon Alpine Centre, the site of the Olympic alpine speed venue and Paralympic alpine venue. After successfully leading the mountain operations teams at Jeongseon through three test events (2016 Men’s World Cup Downhill and Super G, 2017 Ladies’ World Cup Downhill and Super G and 2017 Paralympic World Cup Finals) the Olympics and Paralympics, Geoff is returning to Colorado and will be in search of his next opportunity in the ski industry. 


Jason Rakow
Demo Operator/Trainer, Prinoth LLC

Jason Rakow is currently in his 27th year in the ski industry. He started working as a snowmaker at Windham Mountain, NY while interning for his Associate Degree in Ski Area Technology from SUNY Morrisville. The majority of Jason’s grooming career has been at Beaver Creek.  While working there, he worked on the building of 12 World Cup Downhills, two Alpine World Ski Championships and the 2002 Salt Lake Olympic courses.  Jason has also worked as an Assistant Mountain Manager at Windham Mountain, a Service Representative at Prinoth and the Grooming Supervisor at the Arizona Snowbowl. Jason currently works for Prinoth as a Demo Operator/Trainer.


Kelly Renoux Headshot

Kelly Renoux, SPHR, SHRM-SCP
Director of Employee Experience, Copper Mountain

Kelly Renoux is the Director of Employee Experience at Copper Mountain Resort and has worked in Human Resources in the ski industry for almost two decades. She is certified with the HR Certification Institute and Society for Human Resources Management, and participates on the NSAA HR Committee. In addition to Copper Mountain, she has worked with Intrawest and Winter Park/Steamboat Resorts. When not immersed in employee culture, relations, and policies, she can be found onstage as a local actress and singer with the Lake Dillon Theatre Company.  


Yannick Rioux
Terrain Park & Bike Trail Manager, Snowmass, Aspen Skiing Company

Yannick Rioux’s experience in the industry is hard to match. Past projects include the FIS Snowboard Cross World Cup and designing the course for the Whistler Blackcomb FIS Big Air. He also earned the titles of Pipe Cutter, Park Builder and “Halfpipe Master Jedi” for Aspen Snowmass, which has placed him among the ranks of world class park and pipe designers.


Kevin Rowe
Terrain Park Manager, Beaver Creek

Kevin Rowe started his career back in 1997 at Schweitzer Mountain in northern Idaho where he convinced the mountain manger that they needed to build a terrain park. He moved to Colorado the following year and has worked with Beaver Creek Terrain Parks ever since. Kevin also spent 20 years as a wood and metal worker. When the snow dries up you will find him out on the golf course or on his mountain bike.


Andrew Roy
Grooming & Fabrication, Woodward @ Eldora

Andrew Roy began his ski industry experience working in the terrain parks of Waterville Valley. After a few years of competitive snowboarding, he made the transition to snowmaking operations and eventually became Park Manager at Wachussett Mountain. Last season Eldora went from a small park program to a Woodward terrain park, in what felt like an overnight build. Andrew is a key player from the welding shop to the snowcat and has been a huge help with the success of the new park program.


RRS Headshot

Robin Smith
President, SnowConsult LLC

Robin Smith is the President of SnowConsult LLC, an independent snowmaking consulting company with a who’s who of resort clients.  Robin has been in the ski business for 50 years.  He was president of Swain Resort in western New York and President of Mt. Creek, NJ, which had one of the largest snowmaking systems in North America. He has also been on the supplier side of the industry as President of York Snow and TechnoAlpin USA. Although Robin can still drag hose, he brings a uniquely objective upper management perspective to snowmaking.        


Mark Voegeli
Assistant Mountain Manager, Crested Butte Mountain Resort

Mark Voegeli has been working in the ski industry at Crested Butte Mountain Resort since 1991. He started at the ground level on the trail crew in mountain operations and has since worked in most, if not all, aspects of mountain ops to get to his current position as the Assistant Mountain Manager. In his free time, Mark is a volunteer with the local fire department and holds the rank of assistant chief. He is a family man with two daughters and a very understanding wife who knows what it takes work-wise to get the resort up and running.


For more information about the event, or to sign up as a trade show participant or sponsor, please contact Katherine Rainbolt at or 303.866.9728.

Written material may be mailed to:

Attn: Snow Conference
Colorado Ski Country USA 
3773 Cherry Creek North Drive
Suite 955
Denver, CO 80209