Retiring Snowsports Industries America (SIA) president David Ingemie was presented with the 30th Annual BEWI Award at a luncheon in his honor on Nov. 13 at the Seaport World Trade Center on Boston Harbor as the Boston.com Ski & Snowboard Expo got underway.
Bernie Weichsel, president, BEWI Productions, called Ingemie "an iconic figure in the U.S and international snowsports business," noting that he had headed up SIA for over 30 years (actually 39 years). SIA is the association of snow sport product suppliers that runs the annual member-owned Snow Show in Denver. Annually, ski retailers place orders with product suppliers for 80-90% of the wholesale sales for the year at the Snow Show. The organization also collaborates with all components of the snow sports industry with the goal of promoting the growth and development of snow sports and conducted research for many aspects of the business.
In making the presentation before more than 150 ski industry leaders, Weichsel said, "David has been an innovator in snowsports marketing and market research. He has worked steadfastly to expand participation in and sales throughout all aspects of snowsports. Our industry is that much better thanks to the tremendous contributions David has made to it."
The native New Englander, from Fitchburg, Mass., began his career in his hometown, working at a local ski shop and later at Wachusett in Princeton where he was named marketing director in 1969.
In accepting the award, Ingemie credited his success to his work with a wide variety of snowsports industry people and organizations. "I'm very lucky to be standing here and have the attention, but if it wasn't for all of us in the room and all the people I've worked with, none if this would happen. I'm just kinda the lucky guy at the top that gets the credit for it. I'm fortunate enough to have perspective to see 360 degrees."
Ingemie strongly believed in the value of market research to guide product and program development in the ski industry, demonstrating how such research could guide both the trade association and its members in how best to react to market and demographic changes over the decades. He conceived or conducted various programs to increase snow sports participation with titles such as the "Ski It to Believe It!" Campaign, "Let's Go Skiing, America!" Subaru Deduct-a-Ski, "Inside Skiing" school assembly program, and so on.
He was among the first industry leaders to not only embrace snowboarding but to place it on par with alpine skiing in promoting and growing the snowsports market. He was involved with the early development of snowboarding from "Share a Chair" program to garner snowboard acceptance at ski areas, to the development of the USSA Grand Prix program that still provides the highway for snowboarders to get into the Olympics, and the Mountain Dew Snowboard Festival that introduced snowboarding to thousands at ski areas across the country in the middle 1990s.
Ingemie likewise placed great value on the role of cross-country skiing and snowshoeing developing committees to create marketing programs such as Cross Country Close to Home and Winter Trails. He always included these snow sports segments in the world of snowsports marketing and supported efforts to organize the retailers, product suppliers, and area operators to work together.
Ingemie was also awarded the NSAA Carson White Golden Quill Award at the NSAA Convention in May of 2015 and was nominated for a NASJA Lifetime Achievement Award. Following the 2016 SIA Snow Show in January, he'll work on a legacy project for SIA. The industry will indeed miss Ingemie's positive energy and drive to popularize snow sports. Reposted from SnoCountry.com by Martha Wilson and embellished by XCSkiResorts.com editor Roger Lohr, (former SIA employee hired by David Ingemie in 1986).