By Alicia Dziak
For 15 years, Kristen Sciara has been a fixture at Holiday Valley, so it’s no surprise to the friends she’s made along the way that she’s been recently promoted to marketing manager.
Sciara was born and raised in Ellicottville, learning to ski on the slopes of Holiday Valley at the age of two, competing on the race team, working as a ski instructor and even spending a summer driving around the beverage cart at the golf course.
After graduating from ECS, Sciara attended Baldwin Wallace College in Ohio, where she majored in international politics. She thought her path was to move to Washington D.C., but after she was presented with the opportunity to work in the marketing department for Bonne Bell, Sciara quickly realized that marketing was her passion.
From there, a marketing position opened up at Holiday Valley, and Sciara jumped at the chance to move back to her hometown, where her family has lived since the 1920s. She returned, met her husband, Nick, who happened to move to Ellicottville from Amherst right around the same time, and the couple settled down and had two boys, Cooper and Griffen, now ages 8 and 5, respectively.
Since 2003, Sciara has worked in various capacities at Holiday Valley, most recently serving as assistant director of marketing/group sales manager, where she split her time between graphic design and marketing responsibilities in the summer months, and focusing on working with school and adult clubs in the fall and winter.
Last year, Sciara began working toward her MBA from St. Bonaventure (and is slated to graduate in December), and when the opportunity came up for her to move into a more marketing-focused role at work, it was a natural next step.
Sciara, who will take on “a greater role in marketing,” will be working closely with Holiday Valley’s marketing director, Jane Eshbaugh.
“Jane and I are a really good team,” Sciara said. “There’s good communication between us, we bounce ideas off each other, and it makes our office so efficient.”
“Kristen’s many years of experience as the assistant director of marketing and in group sales has prepared her for the position of Holiday Valley’s Marketing Manager,” said Eshbaugh. “She will be taking on more marketing specific job and with her new Masters in Marketing from St. Bonaventure, she is well equipped to tackle the challenges of new marketing opportunities.”
Sciara’s new role will have her involved more in public relations, social media, website/slope reports, strategy and exploring new marketing opportunities.
Reflecting on the last several years spent in her previous position at Holiday Valley, Sciara said she will miss the relationships she had with the club advisors. “It was a special time in my career,” she added.
Stepping into Sciara’s group sales manager role will be Jake Swan, who has worked alongside Sciara in recent years, and Niki Klein will still serve at the sales director.
Since Sciara started her career at HV in 2003, she’s seen many changes. “Holiday Valley has gone from more of a winter destination to a really busy place year-round,” she said. “I’ve seen the wedding and conference business grow, and with so many additions, like Sky High, there are now amazing activities to offer folks of all interests.”
Sciara said the fast-paced nature of working for such a busy resort means that they are always thinking and planning ahead, and there is always work to be done. “I’m really excited about putting everything I’m learning in the Master’s program (into this position) and moving the marketing effort forward,” Sciara said.