SIA Newsletter

Kevin Welborn

As a kid from the relative flatlands of Michigan and Ohio, I was introduced to skiing in the early 70’s by my Aunt, Uncle and cousins from Ohio on a trip with them to Snowtrails in Mansfield, OH. Then shortly there after, my parents took us to Skyline Ski Area in N Mich for our first family ski trip followed shortly by a great trek to Boyne. I instantly got the ski buz and aggressively embraced the sport as young kid growing up in the Mich/Ohio area. I’m proud of my Dad for many things, but what has carried on with me the most is our shared love for this sport. To this day, I can’t get enough of the feeling of speed and freedom skiing produces. I am still amazed at how much fun it really is and if alongside others with that same exhilaration, makes it extra gratifying.

So what does a 16 year old HS kid, who can’t get enough of the sport do? Applies to his local ski shop to surround himself with all the cool equipment, logos, great people and the inside track on the next ski trip. I worked my way through High School and College employed by Viking Ski Shop (OH), retailer in SLC, UT and then back to Mountain Man also in OH.

My plan after college was to apply to Medical Co’s for Medical Sales but skiing kept pulling at me and made the great decision to enter Sales and Promotion in the Ski Business. I got my first foot in the door in ’79 with Head, Raichle and Tyrolia and met my wife Suzie, who was at the time with Beconta. Her entire family was also in the ski business and racing. I took a tech rep position with Nordica/Look and spent much time selling Look Integral Rental equipment to a large chunk of territory on both sides of Lake Mi.

My first Sales Rep position opened up in the E. Great Lakes for Nordica/Look totaling 13 years. Went on to work with Marker for several years when the Volkl Tecnica position opened in the later 90’s. I have been with Marker since ’97 and soon thereafter Volkl.  Being associated with and waving the MVUSA flag has been a tremendously gratifying position. I owe much to many people along the way and would like to mention them all, however I owe a lot to Mike Noonan, who gave me the chance to go to work with a great group of passionate skiing people and strong brands at MVUSA.

What motivates me is the chance to be associated with the entire team at MVUSA, the inspiration and knowledge I receive from all the MVUSA sales reps whom I work with and the tremendous satisfaction of solving issues and assisting in the profitability of all our ski retailers here in this region. We are simply selling fun to folks who really don’t need our gear but want our snow toys to enrich their lives. My goal is to strive to assist the retailer in bringing the latest fun gear to them as profitably as possible and help transfer effective product knowledge to their staff. Also to remember that as cliché as we all know and hear it to be over the years, but rings true when you really stop to peel back the layers, is that the skiing consumer is our customer but the retailer is our partner. I am honored and humbled to receive this award from SIA and our passionate retailers here in the E Great Lakes Region.

Suzie and I are handling in addition to Marker, Volkl, Volkl Perf Wear, strong brands, Gordini/Drop, SunIce(Suzie), Athalon and Point6. She along with being a great person is a strong business partner for both our retailers and me. We have 2 awesome daughters whom I can’t think of doing anything more satisfying and adrenaline producing than skiing/riding with them either in beautiful N Mich or the spectacular Western Mountains!

Kevin Welborn