SR Staff Report
Release Courtesy: USCSA
BOSTON, Massachusetts. – July 15th, 2022. The United States Collegiate Ski and Snowboard Association announced the winners of several 2021-2022 annual awards, including Coach of the Year, Volunteer of the Year, and the Keystone Award. Additionally, The USCSA is excited to announce the activation of a Development Committee.
USCSA Coach of the Year
USCSA presents the Coach of the Year award to the person who exemplified all the qualities of a great coach during the past season. Accordingly, for 2022, the USCSA awards Coach of the Year to Andrew Willihan, Head Alpine Coach for the University of Maine at Farmington (UMF).
Coach Willihan’s leadership of the UMF Beavers’ Alpine Ski Teams began in 2016. After that, Willihan became the University’s overall Director of Snowsports in 2022. UMF’s Alpine Teams have consistently seen success with Coach Willihan at the helm. He has led UMF to 3 Conference titles, 2 Overall Men and Women Combined Ricker Cup titles, and qualified his teams for the USCSA Collegiate National Championships. Coach Willihan also serves as Co-Coordinator for the USCSA Reynolds Division of the Eastern Conference, one of the country’s largest and most competitive collegiate ski conferences.
“I am beyond humbled by the award,” said Coach Willihan. “I do not consider myself for these types of awards, so to be noticed, nominated and then named to this award made me speechless. The University of Maine at Farmington Snow Sports Program is an ideal home for skiers and riders at all levels. This award is for them. They deserve the recognition as their efforts brought light to our program, not mine. Thank you, USCSA!”
USCSA Volunteer of the Year
The USCSA relies on hundreds of volunteers to make its regular season and National Championship competitions successful. Every one of these individuals is critical to the organization. However, occasionally one volunteer will go above and beyond the others to enhance the USCSA experience for athletes and fans. The USCSA recognizes Amy Johnson as this year’s 2022 Volunteer of the Year.
Johnson has been a core volunteer at the USCSA Midwest Conference and at the National level for nearly a decade. For the past several years, she has also been Chief of Awards at the USCSA Collegiate National Championships. At the nationals, she organizes and distributes dozens of individual and team awards every day during the week-long competition. Her diligent organization and management of these awards have ensured that the daily National Championship awards ceremonies run smoothly.
“The upcoming year will be my 10th year volunteering with USCSA,” said Johnson after winning the award. “I am honored to be awarded Volunteer of the Year by some of the most hard-working people I know. At the regional races throughout MN, WI and MI, I typically help with timing and announcing. At the Nationals, however, my focus is on daily and final awards. Not a year has gone by that I haven’t gotten choked up feeling a sense of pride and accomplishment for all the individuals and teams that come and make lifelong memories with their friends and teammates.
Johnson continues, “USCSA volunteers are some of the best friends and teammates I could ask for. Sorting through awards and putting on daily and finals awards is often stressful and I couldn’t do it alone. I want to thank all my fellow volunteers for their support and encouragement. Additionally, I want to thank them for the vivid memories we’ve made together. I love being a part of this organization and can’t wait to do everything again next year in Mammoth!”
USCSA Keystone Award
The USCSA President gives the USCSA Keystone Award to honor an individual who has assisted the President in the organization’s operations. Subsequently, by going beyond the role of a volunteer, this person helps to ensure the delivery of the best service possible to the organization and its membership. For the 2022 season, President Chris Shumeyko awarded the Keystone Award to Andy Rangen.
“Our volunteers are the heartbeat of the USCSA,” said President Shumeyko. “Without them, this organization wouldn’t be what it is today and it’s inspiring when we recognize these individuals each year at our Summer Conference. This year, I was truly honored to present Andy Rangen with the Keystone Award for his continued contributions to the USCSA. From ensuring a successful resurgence of our National Championships to helping identify and onboard Meegan, our new Managing Director, Andy has made my job easier and has made a tremendous impact on every member of this organization.”
Upon winning the award, Rangen said, “it meant a lot to me to receive the Keystone award. I’ve been involved in the USCSA for a long time and at various levels of the organization and receiving the Keystone award has been one of the highlights. Although I am not one to feel like awards and accolades are necessary for my involvement, I do recognize the importance for everyone else to see these awards given out and the recognition of the wonderful volunteers we have in USCSA. As I’ve transitioned my role to be more advisory, it’s very gratifying to have that value recognized. However, I’m appreciative of and humbled by the recognition.
Development Committee activated
With the growth of the USCSA comes a responsibility to diversify revenue sources to help offset operating expenses. The newly developed USCSA strategic plan has identified many priorities for the organization’s future. Consequently, enhancing USCSA’s financial security is a priority that will directly support the desired outcomes.
There are numerous opportunities to engage donors and partners, but obtaining, supporting, and growing these opportunities require individuals with specialized skill sets. Consequently, the USCSA is seeking interviews with committee member candidates with experiences and backgrounds that would enhance the organization’s ability to achieve stated goals. Near-term initiatives and questions that the committee will address include:
- Investigate and understand a target partnership market for the USCSA
- Partner with Strategic Planning and Marketing Committees to establish USCSA pitch/marketing materials for sponsorship recruitment
- Determine best practices for the financial management of investments and/or partnership income
- Evaluate the advantages/disadvantages of establishing an independent USCSA Foundation to manage a long-term endowment on behalf of the USCSA
- Develop a 1, 3, and 5 year plan, in concert with the strategic plan, to diversify the USCSA’s revenue streams beyond membership dues.
Interested individuals with a relevant background should contact the USCSA at [email protected].