By: Skiing Business
March 6, 2012
As the North American operations president for the Rossignol Group, Tim Petrick is both the leader and the visionary of four of the most storied brands in the ski industry, Rossignol, Dynastar, Lange and Look, on this side of the Atlantic.
His career, which started in ski instruction, has made pit stops in all aspects of the sport from media to resort management to leadership positions at both K2 and Olin. His experience gives him a unique perspective on the industry and the skill set to run one of its biggest companies.
Skiing Business talked to Petrick about his distinguished career, strategy at the Rossignol Group and snow.
Is there any hat you haven’t worn in the ski industry? Retailer? Liftie? Bartender?
I have been blessed to make a living as a skier for nearly 40 years. I started as a ski instructor and went on to become a member of the PSIA Demo Team, run ski schools and junior racing programs, wrote for Powder magazine and sold advertising for the magazine, and then on the supplier side for the past 22 years. I have loaded lifts, parked cars and done just about anything else necessary to stay employed.
What’s the best part about making a career out of skiing?
Way back when, my father said, “To be really happy, you need to make your avocation your vocation.” I have been fortunate to be able to spend my entire life thinking about sliding on snow. There was no grand plan, just an attempt to do my best and make a contribution wherever I landed in this crazy business. Helping people recreate in winter has been my life’s work, and I have no regrets. There were probably easier things I could have done, but I don’t think they would have been nearly as much fun.
You worked out of the French headquarters of Rossignol Group as the VP of global sales and marketing. How did that international experience help as you moved into your latest role of North American operations president?
The 18 months I spent at headquarters in Moirans, France was invaluable to my current position. I developed personal relationships with the responsible people at the parent company. When something happens or needs to happen, I know whom to call, and they know me. I also gained a deeper understanding of winter sports retail in Europe, the distribution system, and the market preferences. This allows me to be a better partner with the other senior executives as we allocate time and resources to various projects.