Industry Profile: Boreal Marketing Director Jon Slaughter
14 Jun, 2011
Job Title: Marketing Director
Employer: Boreal Mountain Resort
Years on snow: 18
Days on snow: 80+
Currently Riding: Academy Collective 158
Currently I am: Broke. Not sure what you are looking for here.
Shay: Tell us a little bit about yourself
Jon: I claim North Carolina as home, even though I have now lived in California longer than I ever lived in NC. I spend 7 months a year looking forward to the 5 snowy months that we get in Tahoe. Even though I work at a “park” mountain, I love riding big mountain, and I get to Sugar Bowl or the backcountry at every opportunity.
Shay: How has snowboarding changed your life?
Jon: It took me from the East Coast of the states across the country to California, away from my family and friends back home, but has taken me to some amazing mountains with plenty of snow (66 feet this season!). I think about skiing/snowboarding 365 days a year and I have the chance to promote a sport that I truly love.
Shay: How did you get your start in the industry, who or what opened up more opportunities for you?
Jon: I came out to Tahoe for my college internship working at Northstar-at-Tahoe. Not happy with the experience I was getting working in lodging/reservations, I created a skier safety program. After presenting the program to several department heads, John Loomis, Mountain Manager, liked the idea and moved me to skier safety allowing me to conduct my program on the mountain. This gave me a chance to be creative, promote my program and work with multiple departments (plus I got to ride for work 5 days/week).
Shay: How has your previous education or work experience helped you in your current job?
Jon: Every job I have ever had from paperboy to tour guide has added to my knowledge and skill set. Even waiting tables (which some consider a mindless task) helped me learn how to upsell, organize, think on the fly and interact with customers. My college experience helps me on a daily basis, not that I remember everything I learned or think it was all useful at the time. Creating detailed marketing plans, thinking analytically and setting/analyzing professional goals are all things that were developed while in college.
Shay: Tell us about your role at Boreal Mountain Resort and a description of the work you do?
Jon: You name it in marketing and I do it. The marketing office is small (only 2 other people) so we chip in and do everything. Also, I am the only year-round person in marketing so in the summer and fall it’s a one man show. Advertising, media buying, PR, social media, events, promotions, sales, CRM, email marketing, web management, you name it and I have my hands in it. During holidays you can also find me running a register in rentals or teaching a ski school lesson.
Shay: What’s an average day like at work for you?
Jon: Coffee, answers some emails, more coffee, return some phone calls, more coffee, maybe get on the mountain to shoot some photos, send some emails and call it a day. It really does not sound that exciting when I put it on paper. Every day is really so different that I don’t know how to answer this one. Coffee and email seem to be the only constants.
Shay: What are some memorable experiences from working in the industry?
Jon: About 5 years ago I was riding the pipe here at Boreal. I wound up running into Finch and taking some laps with him. After a couple runs, Andy asks if I minded him giving me a tip. “Of course you’re Andy Finch”. So for the rest of the day Andy and I rode together, Andy asking me on each chairlift ride if I mind him giving me another tip. My pipe riding progressed more in one day than it probably has during all my years of snowboarding combined. Andy is one of the nicest guys that I have met in the industry.
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?
Jon: I think many in the industry forget what it’s like to be a beginner in the sport, because we are around it so much. It becomes more and more difficult to take a step back and be empathic toward beginners. I wish more riders out there were like Finch, willing to extend a helping hand and selflessly help others progress in the sport. Just think if every rider took 5 days during the season to help someone else learn to ride, man it would be awesome!
Shay: Education vs Experience…which do you think is more important?
Jon: Both. Education is important for getting a foot in the door, but experience is important for the planning and implementation of your ideas.
Shay: What advice would you give to people wanting to work in the industry?
Jon: Work hard and keep the passion alive. Don’t let work ruin snowboarding for you because after all snowboarding is why you are working in the industry.
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