Industry Profile: Teton Gravity Research Founder Steve Jones
30 Sep, 2010
Job Title: Founder, Teton Gravity Research
Years on snow: 35
Days on snow: 120 per year
Currently Riding: Jones Snowboard
Currently I am: Getting ready for TGR’s annual film tour for the 2010/2011 Winter Season
Shay: Tell us a little bit about yourself
Steve: I love the ocean, mountains, snowboarding, surfing, skiing, books, the Grateful Dead, Jazz, eclectic food, sleeping outside and boats
Shay: How has snowboarding changed your life?
Steve: I moved from the East Coast to Jackson Hole after college and built my career based around the premise of being able to ride powder and travel the world for the rest of my life.
Shay: How did you get your start in the industry, who or what opened up more opportunities for you?
Steve: My brother and I were actually skiing as athletes for Warren Miller. We were sponsored by Rossignol at the time and were getting photos published in Powder Magazine as extreme skiers. We saw the Warren Miller film when it came out and thought we could make something a lot more progressive and relevant to the youth culture. We made some money commercial fishing in Alaska, bought 16mm cameras, and made our first movie, which generated a lot of buzz in the industry.
Shay: How has your previous education or work experience helped you in your current job?
Steve: My education opened my eyes to all kinds of creativity and taught me how to write effectively. Creativity and writing skills are both key components in my business. Commercial fishing gave me the money to start this business and to work long, hard hours in extreme conditions.
Shay: Tell us about your role at TGR and a description of the work you do?
Steve: Since I am one of the founders of the business, I have done everything at one point or another. Generally speaking, I help to oversee and build the brand. I write/pitch creative treatments for new projects, write proposals for financing; I also produce, shoot film, hire new employees and evaluate new opportunities.
Shay: What’s an average day like at work for you?
Steve: It depends on if I am in the field or in the office, but you probably can get the jist from the answer above-our days are jam packed.
Shay: What are some memorable experiences from working in the industry?
Steve: Exploring and opening new terrain in Alaska that had never been ridden before; Riding in exotic places like India, Morocco, Bulgaria, Turkey, etc.
Shay: What do you think are the biggest challenges that the snowboard industry faces and what changes would you like to see for the future?
Steve: I think climate change is the biggest challenge that the snowboarding industry faces. I’d like to see individual people and big corporations minimize their impact and be more pro-active about affecting positive change.
Shay: Education vs. Experience…which do you think is more important?
Steve: They both complement each other tremendously.
Shay: What advice would you give to people wanting to work in the industry?
Steve: If you are really passionate about what you do, you will get there.
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