SKIJOR USA
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YOUR  TEAM

AN ALLIANCE

 

The SJUSA “Team” will be comprised of people who add value to the whole, each in a unique way.  Each team member will be assigned an area on which to focus their efforts, such as sponsorships, photographic media, video media, print media, public relations, budgetary concerns, social media content, website maintenance, administrative duties, etc.

 

 
 

 
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Team Members

• Loren Zhimanskova, Chair
• Mark LaRowe, Vice-Chair
• Levi Downey, Treasurer

• Northern Division Contact - Mark LaRowe
• Central Division Contact - Loren Zhimanskova
• Southern Division - Loren Zhimanskova
• Rider Liaison (TBD)
• Skier Liaison (TBD)

 

Bios

LOREN ZHIMANSKOVA

Loren noted the potential to bring skijoring to the forefront of the sporting community while volunteering and spectating at numerous skijoring events in the winter of 2012.  She established Skijor International that year, building the first website with a comprehensive and encyclopedic presentation of the sport.  Loren went on to organize the skijor race in Minturn, CO and played a role in promoting and supporting the event in Jackson Hole, WY.  In a relatively short period of time, Loren has become well acquainted with the sport’s past and present participants, both skiers and equestrians alike, the organizers and dedicated operational staff.  The relationships Loren has cultivated over the past seven years are a key component to the success of SKIJOR USA.  She has relationships with organizers in Canada and Switzerland as well as at the USOC and IOC which will aid in our quest to be recognized as an international sport which may eventually play a role in the 2026 or 2030 Winter Olympic Games.  She has established a Skijor Hall of Fame and is organizing an exhibit on the history of the sport for European and US ski museums.

Loren is a graduate of Yale University (B.A. ’86 History of Art) with a background in building and managing businesses as well as spearheading and executing sales and marketing plans for companies such as Ralph Lauren and Tiffany & Company. Her professional experience lies in the fields of fashion, photography and history of art as well as in marketing resorts focused on skiing, horseback riding and golf.  For the past two years, she has worked for the USTA (United States Tennis Association) during the US Open Tennis Championships in Flushing Meadows, New York.  Loren built and owned her own publishing business, is an author and experienced photo editor.  Loren divides her time between the West  and New York City.   She is a skier, loves equestrian sport and is conversant in French, German and Italian. 

 

Mark LAROWE

Mark is a professional western-lifestyle and rodeo photographer. He has been actively involved with the skijoring community for the past three seasons, photographing many races from Colorado to Idaho, and Wyoming to Montana.  Mark's images evoke emotion, passion and the competitive spirit in all of the athletes, including the horses.  A non-contesting member since 2014, Mark has been a corporate partner and official photographer for the Billings, MT-based Northern Rodeo Association (NRA) for the past three years and spends his summers following the NRA circuit across western Montana.  Honored by the stock contractor, 406 Rodeo, as the "Photographer of The Year" in 2017, Mark has also been the only photographer selected, to date, for the Junior National Finals Rodeo's Mini Bareback and Saddle Bronc World Championships in 2016 and 2017. These events are held at the Las Vegas Convention Center, concurrent with the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. In January of 2018, Mark was influential in organizing the first ever-skijoring race in Helena, MT. The event paid out over $15,000 in total purse, attracted 110 racers (the most of ANY skijoring event during the 2018 season) and over 3000 spectators (2nd to Leadville, CO's 4500+).  Mark will work with the SJUSA Team to coordinate photography/videography for use by SJUSA and its races for promotion of the organization, its events, and media support for sponsors.  Additionally, Mark will be involved with the management of the website and social media presence.

Mark graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a Bachelors Degree in Landscape Architecture-Natural Resource Management.  Prior to becoming a full-time professional photographer, he worked 30 years in the general contracting, environmental remediation and civil construction industry fulfilling various high-level roles including business unit and project management, estimating, proposal writing, and national marketing and sales. Mark resides north of Helena, MT, in a small log cabin on a 300-acre alfalfa field, at the base of the Rocky Mountain Front. Its the solitude.

 

Levi Downey

Levi is a Licensed Consultant for PayneWest Insurance with a practiced eye for drilling down into the minutiae of a complex industry.  He was introduced to Skijoring in early 2017 via his wife Corie who took up the sport as a competitor.  He has watched his whole family including his children Zane(10) and Halle(8) fall in love with Skijoring and will use his talents to further the sport that his family is passionate about.  

Levi graduated from Montana State University with a Bachelors Degree in Business with an emphasis on Accounting in 2001 and entered the insurance industry shortly thereafter.  In his insurance career he has garnered a reputation for his tireless work on behalf of his clients and his professionalism in his service and attention to their needs.  He has also been involved in numerous non-profit organizations including serving initially as Treasurer and ultimately as President of both Big Brothers Big Sisters of Butte and the Butte Family YMCA.  He currently serves as Treasurer of the Whitehall Youth Soccer Association.

Levi resides on a small ranch in Whitehall, MT with his wife Corie, their two children Zane and Halle and their assortment of animals.

 

       Dana Stiles

Dana has distinguished herself as a top competitor and National Champion many times over riding her horse Merlin and pulling talented skiers such as Cody Smith and Toby McIntosh to victory. Her passion for racing and winning never overshadows her concern for safe track conditions especially when it comes to the horses. She continues to compete on her new Open horse Pacino and will be commonly seen pulling Tug Birk with her Sport horse, Newt.

       Jerry Kissell

Jerry has called Colorado home for most of him life where he grew up in a mining community.  He started skijoring with his sister behind their old Jeep on tubes and skis and attended races in Leadville as a child.  Jerry was a ski racer in junior and senior high school, and then worked as an assistant coach and part time ski instructor. He began skijoring competitively in1983 placing third in his first race in Leadville. 

The desire to improve quickly took hold, and with mentors like local legends Joe Manly and Paul Copper, Jerry’s career took off.  In 1988, he was awarded the Colorado all-around champion skier pulled by Tommy Hill riding a horse named ALPO.  Jerry decided to compete in Red Lodge where he also captured the 1988 championship title.  He earned this distinction again in 1991,1992 & 1993. 

Jerry began his profession in 1981 in the underground hard rock mining industry.  His career took him to Arizona, which made competing in skijoring events difficult during this period.  But, in time, Jerry’s career led him to be hired on with the Federal Department of Labor / Mine Safety and Health Administration that through promotions, ultimately, led him back to Colorado. 

Jerry has been a production miner, a shaft supervisor, and a manager of men and materials supplies into and out of the mine.  Other experiences include drilling, blasting, coordination and facilitating Total Quality Management programs for the mine, co- chairman for the Joint Western Regional Safety Conference and Exhibition, field office supervisor for the Mine Safety and Health Adm. (MSHA), staff assistant to the District manager, and Accountability Specialist for the Agency as an internal reviewer of management oversight.

Jerry is a hunter with both archery and firearms, appreciates the fresh air of high country mornings and will always be from Leadville, regardless of where his address is. He appreciates that Leadville still has a Legends Division.

Clay Martin

Competing in a sport previously not known to him, at the behest of friends, Clay tried Skijoring at the Wisdom, MT event in 2009. It took a single run for him to become hooked, and he ended up winning Wisdom that year, as well as in 2010. He was an active competitor until he suffered a severely broken leg in Red Lodge during the 2013 race, and then incurred a torn ACL in 2015. Since then his skijoring career has slowed down, but still continues to be a big part of his life. He met his wife, Ali (mulitple-time women’s race champion skier) at skijoring races, and they just welcomed their daughter, Harper, into the world the past winter and plan to introduce her to the sport in time. Clay loves the friendships and sense of community that exists in skijoring, and enjoys the challenges of helping new races get started and become successful. He looks forward to interacting with the Skijor USA family, sharing his knowledge and experience, and being a partner and voice for those competing

BRUCE STOTT

 

 

 

Interested in joining our team? 

If you have been active in the skijoring community, do not compete, and feel you have specific talents to offer, please submit a brief statement. 

If you organize a race or are planning a new race and would like to be considered as a Qualifying or Associate Race, please tell us!

If you are a competitor who no longer competes at the level of Sport or Open, but attends a few races a season as a Legends competitor, or if you have retired from skijoring completely, we would love to make use of your expertise and perspective!  Please feel free to contact us.

If you are currently a competitor and have nominated for points, you may be considered within your region as a rider or skier representative.  If you are interested in playing this leadership role, please let us know, and we will add your name and profile as well as a statement to a roster to be voted on once our regional members have been established.  

 
 

Advisory Committee

The Advisory Committee is compromised five (5) members and is made up of a diverse group of people that have competition and race management history in the sport of Skijoring. Its purpose is to review and discuss major issues that arise, write an analysis and decision and make recommendations to the voting body. It will be comprised of five to seven individuals. To date the committee is comprised of the following people:

Dana Stiles, Clay Martin, Bruce Stott and Jerry Kissell.  Bios are to the left.  

finance committee

The Treasurer is chair of the Finance Committee, which includes at least two other Corporate Council members. The Finance Committee is responsible for developing and reviewing fiscal procedures, creating an annual budget, and other fiscal duties as assigned by the Corporate Council.

Sponsorship committee

The Sponsorship Committee shall be comprised of three (3) members. The Sponsorship Committee shall work under the direction of the Corporate Council to identify and reach out to potential national and regional sponsors for both monetary gifts and gifts in-kind.  The committee may also reach out to individual donors and collect donations at race venues to support the organization and individual races.

Equine Safety & Wellness Committee

The Equine Safety and Welfare Committee shall be comprised of three (3) members. Dana Stiles is Chair of this committee. The Equine Safety and Welfare Committee shall address issues pertaining to, but not limited to, optimal course design, proper equipment recommendations, training materials and videos, a future drug testing program and a fund to assist competitors with unexpected and exorbitant veterinary expenses.

social outreach committee

The Social Outreach Committee shall be comprised of three (3) members.  The Social Outreach Committee shall compile data such as email contact information and social media addresses.  The committee shall set goals, brainstorm solutions and monitor progress by running reports and providing this information to the Corporate Council on a quarterly basis. 

RULES COMMITTEE

The Rules Committee shall be comprised of five (5) members.  One delegate from each region shall be assigned; one Northern, one Central and one Southern, with one national rider liaison and one national skier liaison in addition.  This committee will work closely with the Corporate Council and the Advisory Committee on issues pertaining to races, rules and major issues facing our community as we grow.  

COMMITTEE ON YOUTH

The Committee on Youth shall be comprised of three (3) members who will actively promote the inclusion of Youth Divisions at Alliance Races.  This committee will be responsible for identifying families who wish to teach and train their children to skijor.  The committee will also be responsible for awards and a year end Youth Competition.  

Historic & Olympic Committee

This committee shall be made up of three (3) members who will actively identify archival and historic photographs and articles on skijoring.  They will also be working to bring skijoring back into the Olympic spotlight at future Winter Games with our sights set on 2026. 

HALL OF FAME COMMITTEE

This committee will serve to determine future inductees to the Hall of Fame, vote on those nominated and write bios.

Tony Fox and Kitty LeDonne

Bios to follow shortly