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Incoming President Nick Sargent on Tackling Weighty Winter Sports Issues, Driving With David Ingemie, and his Appreciation for a Good Pair of Wool Socks

November 16, 2015 | 0 Comments

The more time we spend with our incoming president, Nick Sargent, the more excited we get about SIA’s next chapter. Between strategy sessions, traveling to meet with many members and a few casual get-togethers (including Nick and his wife Ashley mixing “McLean Mules” for the team), we’ve learned a few fun and notable facts about Nick and his family. To that end, here’s the second installment of our ‘Water Cooler Chats’ with Incoming SIA President Nick Sargent:

Let’s start with the serious stuff. You’ve been traveling a lot recently and meeting with a wide range of SIA members and stakeholders. What are some of the biggest takeaways from your trips and meetings in the past few months?

I’ve spent that last few months trying to meet as many people as possible and listen to their comments and concerns regarding the winter sport industry. Weather has been a big conversation piece, no snow in California or rain for that matter, Utah had a very dry winter, New England had a solid winter but really cold. Across the board, weather is a huge concern. I also met with Protect Our Winters and spent some time on Capitol Hill meeting Senators who back climate change mitigation, along with a few senators who don’t. I’ve learned a lot during the meetings and have started to formalize what SIA will look like going into 2016. I’m excited to share with everyone that I’ve listened and heard you all. The concerns we face as an industry are real. To name a few: show dates, buy/sell cycle timelines, manufacturer delivery dates, specialty retailer challenges, greater communication, rep groups vs individual reps, climate change. I don’t claim to have all the answers, but I do have a willingness to tackle them one by one. 

You spoke at a recent staff meeting about traveling with David Ingemie on these trips to meet with members and stakeholders. You said you were “in the passenger seat.” In the past month at these meetings, what have you gleaned from being in the passenger seat with David?

I continue to listen and learn and David has been great to introduce me to as many people as possible, as well as include me in all the conversations so I have those first hand accounts of the state of the industry. Remember, David has been in his current role for 39 years – there is no way to understand his total commitment to the industry in a few months. Listening and learning with an open mind is my greatest asset at this point.

Nick Sargent with Teddy Schiavoni, owner of Summit Ski Shop in Framingham, MA at the 2015 Stakeholders Meeting

During that same discussion, you also mentioned being literally in the passenger seat as you drove around Colorado. Sounds like you spent a lot of time together, and you have lots of common interests to bond over. Can you mention a few things that are not business related that you guys had fun talking about as you drove around from meeting to meeting?

Driving with David is an experience no matter how you slice it, but what makes this experience real and fun is that we both share a passion for winter sports. We have many experiences and stories which overlap and we know many of the same people, which makes the stories that much more exciting. I enjoy the stories and storytelling, and listening to how much fun the sports have been over his career. I can only hope that I’ll have as many stories to share in years to come.

While we’re on the topic of your interests outside of work, what are some of your favorite activities and things to do when you’re home and not working?

I’m an avid cyclist, both road and mountain. I like riding bikes and seeing the environment around me. I’ve been riding with my older daughter; she’s really fast and has good technical skills. It’s really fun to watch your children get into a sport and excel. I have a WWII fascination that I share with my son; you can typically find us driving my WWII Willys around Stowe. I also have a family sugarhouse where we all gather each year to make maple syrup. I love walking around the maple trees and collecting the sap to be boiled down to syrup. At any given moment you can find 3 generations boiling. 

So, are you a gear head? Do you always like to keep updated, or do you keep your gear for many years as long as it’s functional? In that same vein, (without necessarily naming brands!), what’s one piece of gear you can’t live without?

I have a barn on my property where I store all our gear. We love gear and have tons of it. I try to update it as much as possible, but with 5 people in my family it can get cumbersome. I love my S-Works bikes, Mystery board, the Summit 162 and my kids’ race skis. Suffice to say, we have a ton of outside fun. I’ve been hiking a bunch this fall enjoying the leaves, and my X-wing shoes are great for all trails with a little cushion from my Darn Tuff socks. Oops had to plug Ric Cabot! 

Well, if you’re going to plug anyone, let it be the man who provides the VT Maple Bacon Creemees at the Snow Show! Thanks again to Nick for taking the time to share some more with us about his journey on the road to transition here at SIA. Check out our first Water Cooler Chat for more, and stay tuned to Snow Source for our next installment!

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