By Ellicottville Times Staff
The very first Ron Kubicki Staff Appreciation Award went to Susan Smoll of Bear Creek, PA, who received 24 individual nominations from staff members at the resort. It was presented at the Snowsports Management Seminar at Mount Snow, VT, Tuesday, Dec. 1, where Kubicki was also honored during a banquet and awards ceremony.
On Oct. 18, the Professional Ski Instructors of America, Eastern Division’s Board of Directors approved the creation of a new award for snowsports school directors: the “Ron Kubicki Staff Appreciation Award.”
The award recognizes snowsports school directors of smaller and perhaps less-known resorts that have demonstrated support and advocacy for their staff and earned tremendous respect, admiration and loyalty from their school staff members.
The award is named for Holiday Valley’s Ron Kubicki, who retired November 1 after decades of service at the resort (the last 15 years as snowsports school director).
“Ron served as our PSIA Eastern Division president from 2012-2014, and throughout that time working with him I enjoyed one of the most genuine and down-to-earth people of my career. I can see why his staff at Holiday Valley held him in such high regard and I am so happy that his name will be forever linked to an award recognizing the attributes he possessed and promoted to others,” said Michael J. Mendrick, PSIA Eastern Division Executive Director since 2001.
According to Mendrick, Kubicki has been both a loyal servant and advocate for his staff as well as a respected and admired director by staff throughout his tenure at Holiday Valley. The Eastern Board felt that naming this award for him is a fitting tribute as he retires from volunteer service to PSIA-E, professional service to the industry and personal dedication to his snowsports school staff members over the years.
Kubicki served on the PSIA-E board for 14 years, starting as a representative for Region 5 with Region 5 director Mickey Sullivan. He served as secretary in his second term, vice president in his next term, president in his 4th term and is now serving out his immediate past president term. He also served on the National President’s Board for three years, which represents the individual divisions at national PSIA meetings.
“I joined PSIA-E to represent the Holiday Valley staff,” Kubicki said. “I’ve always felt that the staff needed a voice – and I wanted to be that ‘locker room’ voice for them at the regional and divisional level. I am truly honored that the PSIA-E clearly values that goal.”
In a previous nomination of Ron for the PSIA-E Einar Aas Award, a staff member wrote, “Ron Cares! He is there daily for his snowsports school staff and the adults and children who come to learn at Holiday Valley.”
Dana Forbes, a former assistant director at Holiday Valley who worked for Ron for many seasons before heading off to become the current executive director of the PSIA-AASI Rocky Mountain Division, wrote of Ron:
“He showed me the difference between being a supervisor and being present for your staff. He taught me the art of staying positive and keeping a smile no matter how much a customer beats you up. He supported me through moments of genius and times of complete failure as I grew from instructor, to supervisor to director, and was a shoulder to cry on in-between. He put the ‘P’ in professional, setting the highest standards for his staff, his supervisors and everyone around him, as he himself was the consummate pro.”
Winners of the new Kubicki Award will be a school director that receives eight or more individual nominations by school staff in the opening round for the Einar Aas Award for Excellence in Snowsports School Management.