Jim VanderSpoel, Gogebic Community Collegeís Director of Mt. Zion and the Ski Area Management Program, has been named to the Board of Directors of the Midwest Ski Areas Association (MSAA). This seven-member board represents approximately 90 ski areas across the Midwest.
According to VanderSpoel, the role of an MSAA board member is to oversee the organization, determine the groupís direction and goals, work on insurance issues, provide continuing education options, and to establish the organizationís projects each year. MSSA has a regular staff of three.
One function of MSAA is an informational website for the public that includes the member resorts. The site, snowplaces.com, includes links to each resort, as well as snow conditions, a resource section for kids, and a designated section for members only.
Another important function is group buying. This buying group negotiates the best purchasing price from companies for the joint organizations. Most major ski and board manufacturers, as well as clothing manufacturers, are a part of the group.
MSAA hosts trade shows as well. The summer meeting typically holds an attendance of approximately 500.
Vanderspoel has been with Mt. Zion for 33 years, serving as its Director for the past five. In addition to the MSAA Board, he is also in his second term on the State of Michigan Ski Area Safety Board. This board determines rules for all safety aspects at resorts throughout Michigan for the Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulatory Affairs.