The SnowSport Safety Foundation (SSF) is an education, research and public information organization incorporated in California in 2008. It has an IRS 503 c (3) designation as a non profit charitable (contributions are tax deductible for the donor) organization.
OUR MISSION: TO ENCOURAGE AND ENABLE SKI AREA* SAFETY IMPROVEMENT THROUGH RESEARCH, EDUCATION AND PUBLIC ACCESS TO RELIABLE SAFETY INFORMATION.
OUR VISION: SKI AREAS DISCLOSING AND PROMOTING THEIR SAFETY PRACTICES AND PERFORMANCE TO WELL INFORMED PATRONS WHO CONSIDER SAFETY IN THEIR CHOICE OF SKI AREAS.
OUR VALUES: TRANSPARENCY, OBJECTIVITY, ACCURACY AND RELEVANCY
OUR FOCUS AND SCOPE
The snow sport equipment manufacturers, ski area operators and medical Communities focus almost all their safety research and education on the two upper tiers of the Safety Pyramid—personal equipment and personal preparedness and behavior. In general they do a very good job and provide a great deal of good quality education, information and guidance to skiers and snow boarders. On this site we provide only a few links to reliable sources of some of this information.
We believe the greatest opportunities for safety improvement are in the two foundational tiers of the Pyramid—Public Policy and Facility Operations and Management. Therefore, the focus of our research, information and education is on these two tiers.
Our work has begun in California. We intend to expand soon into to other states with ski areas. We have recently received expressions of interest from Oregon, Maine and Colorado. We welcome expressions of interest from other states.
We hope and expect that one or more ski areas will recognize the opportunity to improve safety at their facilities and see it as a competitive advantage they can promote in marketing to families. We welcome an opportunity to collaborate with one or more of them in improving and expanding our work. In particular, we would like to work with them in exploring the development of ski area safety certification program that could provide them recognition for quality of their safety programs as well as provide their patrons objective of that quality. Such an independent certification process would serve as a element for a balanced public policy.
*We use the terminology ski area and ski resort interchangeably on this site in referring to Alpine snow sport facilities.
BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Daniel A Gregorie MD, MsM is the founder and President of the Snow Sport Safety Foundation. He is a physician with Board Certification in Internal Medicine. He also has a Master of Science in Management (MsM) from the Sloane School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge MA. He has practiced medicine in several states as well as served as an executive in several multispecialty medical groups, including three in the Kaiser Permanente organization, as well as the Chief Executive Officer of a major health plan in Cincinnati, Ohio. In 2008, after investigating the death of his twenty-four-year-old daughter in a skiing accident at a resort near Lake Tahoe, he established two non-profit organizations in California, The California Ski and Snowboard Safety Organization to promote ski area safety transparency legislation and the Snowsport Safety Foundation to support improvements in snow sport safety.
William Douglas Smith is an information technology executive and consultant. He is an avid outdoorsman and has skied for over thirty years at ski areas all over the United States and Europe. Doug earned his BA from Saint Michaels College in Vermont and a Masters of Health and Hospital Administration from Duke University. In 2009, Doug was appointed to the Board of Examiners for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.
Richard Penniman is a ski safety expert, consultant and educator. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Economics at Santa Clara University in 1973. He has over 40 years of snow sports experience including as a ski patrol director as well as a mountain operations manager at several ski areas in California and other western states. He has skied and consulted all over the US and the world, including Europe, South America and New Zealand. He has special expertise and conducts courses in avalanche management. He resides in Truckee California.
Raymond Durkee is a retired Kaiser Permanente executive. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan. He is an avid recreational skier as well as is a licensed pilot and boat captain. He currently resides in Alameda California and has skied for over 30 years at resorts all over California as well as other parts of the country.
Christopher A. Brown, PhD, FASME is a professor of mechanical engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Worcester MA. A ski racer and men’s alpine coach at the University of Vermont, Chris also earned his PhD there in 1983 while studying ski bindings, knee ligament injuries and inadvertent binding release. At EPF-Lausanne he continued studying ski safety, developed equipment standards and was a Swiss level 3 monitor for ski competition. At WPI since 1989, Chris has published numerous papers on sports engineering and surface metrology. He has patents on ski bindings for reducing inadvertent release and knee injuries. He teaches a course on the technology of alpine skiing and studies performance and injuries is alpine skiing.