Ski NH welcomes new executive director
By JOHN KOZIOL
Union Leader Correspondent |
May 12. 2014 5:59PM
Jessyca Keeler began her new job Monday as executive director of Ski New Hampshire, an industry association based in Lincoln that represents 33 resorts, both alpine and Nordic, throughout the Granite State. (John Koziol Photo)
LINCOLN – Citing her love of skiing, snowboarding and tourism, the Ski NH board of directors has appointed Jessyca Keeler as new executive director of the 23-year old industry association.
Keeler, of Conway, on Monday officially succeeded Alice Pearce, who had been at the helm of Ski NH since its founding in 1991. The association has 33 member resorts — 15 alpine and 18 Nordic — and also represents more than 200 lodging and guest-service properties in the Granite State.
Ben Wilcox, chairman of the Ski NH board of directors and president of Cranmore Mountain Resort, said Keeler’s background in the ski industry as well as in partnership marketing made her “the lead candidate for this important position.”
Wilcox said Keeler will continue what Pearce began, saying Keeler was one of “a lot of strong candidates” to be the new executive director, “and she came out because of her partnership marketing.”
“If you have to sum up the executive director of Ski New Hampshire,” Wilcox said, “It’s working with a lot of different people and a lot of different personalities.”
Keeler has “a great demeanor, a great skill set,” he said, for working well with members.
A graduate of St. Lawrence University, Keeler started her career in ski area marketing at Whiteface Mountain in 1995 and soon thereafter did partnership marketing for the Olympic Regional Development Authority in Lake Placid, N.Y. She next worked nine years at the American Skiing Company, rising to become director of partnership marketing for the company’s six New England and three western ski resorts.
Keeler owned Align Partnerships, a marketing consulting firm that specialized in partnership and event marketing. She and her husband Greg, who is director of sales and marketing at nearby Cannon Mountain and Franconia Notch State Park, have two children and a backyard park at their home featuring wintertime glade skiing and terrain-park elements.
“I am honored to be chosen to lead Ski NH, and I’m very excited to be working with all of Ski NH’s members as well as all of its partners,” said Keeler. “Skiing and winter tourism are such important economic drivers for the State of New Hampshire. I’m looking forward to building on the great programs that Ski NH has created for both its members and the skiers who enjoy the amazing trails and terrain that our ski areas have to offer.”
Keeler said her day began Monday with what she said was a beautiful ride over the Kancamagus Highway to her still, relatively-bare office and to a job that’s “very cool.”
“My whole family are skiers and riders and to come back to the industry is exciting,” said Keeler, who hoped to follow “the good work Alice has done, build partnerships and enhance communication with members.”
Wilcox said Keeler will find her job easier in some respects because all Ski NH members are “on the same page” in wanting to grow skiing and snowboarding in New Hampshire while also keeping guests coming to the state.