2019 Board of Directors Candidate(s)

Alpine – Section 6

See All Candidates    VOTE HERE

Jump to »
  Rick Karr | Daniel Markowitz

Rick Karr

Rick Karr

(614) 395-3346

Home Snowsports School:
Mad River Mountain

What do you see as Central Division’s greatest strength(s)?

Central Division does an exceptional job of joining together a group of diverse individuals who unite and reunite together every year for an average winter season of 90–120 days. Each March, most of the membership “checks
out” many for spring skiing out West and other dryland activities to fill the void of six to nine-month annual gap before the snow guns can fire back up. The combination of the upcoming winter with PSIA Central gets the
membership to re-engage every year in our skiing and teaching; I think this is a strength and passion in our Central Division culture. As part of the foundation of the culture, Central has demonstrated the ability to provide a
quality education platform, adapt to its members demonstrated through the recent new Alpine Exam formats and embrace of social media as an effective communication channel to bring all of us together year-round and bridge the
seasonal gap.

(These are internal strengths – what do we do exceptionally well, what
internal resources we have, what are we well equipped to do?)

What do you see as Central Division’s greatest weakness(es)?

I consistently hear access to events and their costs coupled with travel expenses as issues and weakness. Central needs to continue to develop new offerings and methods for members to maintain and enhance their skills on
the snow along with their teaching and customer/client touch off-the snow and during the off-season. The short season and long “off season” coupled with an aging membership and increasing costs provide a challenge to
providing the right services and value to the membership while continuing toattract new members regardless of age. Central needs to continue to redefine and improve its value proposition to both current, new and previous
members, not growing the membership is the biggest weakness. If we can grow the membership this results in improved economies of scale and the ability to maintain or even lower prices from dues to events or the ability to
invest in new incremental services to the members.

(These are also internal – what do we need to improve to accomplish our objectives, what do we lack, what is within our control that is detracting from pursuing our mission?)

What do you see as our greatest opportunity(ies)?

Central has several great opportunities to enhance the value to the members: 1) Develop and execute creative solutions to address rising costs and access to training. How can we provide more education offerings at
home resorts, online during the off-season or work with neighboring Divisions like the East to access larger areas near divisional boundaries to utilize more challenging terrain to enhance our skiing skills? 2) Retention and growth of the membership ranging from driving the implementation of the new junior programs, developing programs to attract and retain college age and previous members. 3) Enhance the communication platform so we can find content easier, keep up with the latest news or demos or get an email and text of the agenda and logistics before an event on where to meet, expectations and who will lead the group. 4) Promote within the home resorts’ management the value certified instructors bring to their bottom line and the personal investment each of us makes in maintaining our teaching and customer service skills we deliver to the shared customers/clients.

(external, positive factors – opportunities in the profession/marketplace which could have a positive impact on our organization.)

What do you see as our greatest threat(s)?

Two primary threats are impacting PSIA and the Central Division. Across the U.S. today over 50% of the PSIA/ANSI membership is employed by one of four companies (Vail, Altera, Boyne and Peak Resorts). The consolidation
impacts Central and PSIA, how do we get out in front of the industry consolidation and change it from a threat to an opportunity? Second, PSIA appears to be lagging in basic training and policies to protect members
related to the risks in teaching and coaching children, teenagers and young adults. I have seen other sports become more aggressive in policies and guidance to help their membership protect themselves while continuing to
work with these groups.

(external, negative factors which put us at risk – industry/consumer trends and behaviors, competition, factors beyond our control)



Rick is a PSIA Alpine Level II, Freestyle I and Children’s Specialist I Certified Ski Instructor and has been teaching since 2004 at resorts including Mad River Mountain and Snow Summit/Big Bear’s Children Program. Rick leads
instructor clinics at Mad River each season. Offseason or the “day job” Rick leads commercialization, product marketing and business development, an early stage medical device company, Genetesis. Rick holds a B.S. in Business Administration and an M.B.A. from The Ohio State University, earned Professional Project (PMP) certification and led multiple Class II medical devices through their development, the FDA, product launches and growth from initial business plan creation through external licensing agreements. Rick’s career includes working for NCR, Microsoft, Vertebration, PercuVision, and Alphatec Spine in a variety of sales, marketing, program management and executive leadership roles. Rick has extensive board experience through his membership on the Board of Directors of Vertebration, Inc. for over ten years from the company’s formation, funding rounds and the licensing of the Company’s Minimally Invasive Spinal System. Rick resides in Powell, Ohio just north of Columbus with his wife, Laurie, a professional swim coach and U.S.A. Swimming Team owner, his daughter, Makenzie, attends the Physical Therapy Doctorate Program at Ithaca College and his son, Jeremy, attends Case Western Reserve, majoring in business and accounting. Rick is proud that his kids still ask him to join them on the slopes and even request a tip or two on their skiing.

Daniel Markowitz

Daniel Markowitz

(330) 388-6513

Home Snowsports School:
Boston Mills/Brandywine

What do you see as Central Division’s greatest strength(s)?
I think Central Division has the benefit of a large customer base which gives us the ability to introduce this sport to many new skiers. Our large base of small resorts close to large metropolitan areas creates an entry for both new skiers and new instructors. PSIA-C has a large influence on the quality of the experience for newcomers. PSIA-C has a strong track record of providing quality instruction and quality instructors.

What do you see as Central Division’s greatest weakness(es)?
Many of our members are part time staff including students who have to balance the cost of education credits with the benefits of PSIA certification, Some of the recent education changes are trying to address this challenge but the division needs to examine costs continually in order to make membership more attractive to more instructors. Our population of instructors includes many who may only make a few hundred dollars a season teaching if their costs to belong to PSIA and maintain certification are too high than they will drop the membership.

What do you see as our greatest opportunity(ies)?
The skiing industry has adopted many innovative changes beyond traditional skiing equipment. The proliferation of video, development of smart phones and new tools like ski run tracking and in boot tools like CARV gives us an opportunity to better understand not just body movement but actual pressure data at the sole of the foot. Using these tools we can continue to refine the basic skiing skills to create more effective skiing technique.

What do you see as our greatest threat(s)?
Far and away the greatest threat to skiing in the Midwest is the effects of climate change on skiing. The recent (November 2018 US government report on global change) science strongly supports a climate model where winter will start later and spring will start sooner in much of the central region. Our ski season has become dramatically shorter at many resorts. PSIA-C needs to work with resorts and add our voice to the growing concern about our unsustainable relationship with fossil fuels which is directly related to global climate change. Many ski areas are adopting more sustainable practices to contribute to a reduction in carbon emissions. We need to support those efforts in order to stabilize and potentially restore our winter climate. Resorts can work to purchase renewable power for snowmaking operations and lifts. PSIA should work with resort management to explore any and all opportunities to reduce carbon footprints of an industry that relies entirely on consistent climate for its success.


As an environmental consultant and college biology instructor I have a lifelong love of nature and the outdoors. In addition to skiing I enjoy hiking and almost any activity on the water. I am a certified small boat sailing instructor and race my Melges 14 avidly in the summer.  In winter I switch to frozen water and I am in my 14th Season as a certified instructor at Boston Mills/Brandywine Ski resort in Ohio.   I started my career as an instructor while my children learned to ski with PSIA certified staff at my home resort of Brandywine.  Watching my children learn gave me an appreciation for how quality instruction can provide a much better on hill experience than my childhood ski “training”. Teaching skiing has allowed me to impart my love of this sport to numerous newcomers and to spend quality time with my family on various slopes. My wife and children have not only joined me for skiing but they also have joined me as instructors. 

My perspective on skiing is to show anyone how skiing can be safe and FUN.  I would like the opportunity to help our members focus on skills applicable to our customers and within the bounds of the terrain and amenities we have at our central resorts.  An important part of ski instruction is to understand our student’s needs, which often involve less talking and more skiing.  I look forward to this opportunity to represent my fellow instructors on the PSIA Central board.