Employee Spotlight – Tom Loring, ski & snowboard school director & head coach

Powder Ridge Ski and Snowboard School director and head coach. Growing up in Vermont, Tom got his start in the ski industry at a young age and has worked with some of the top instructor trainers on the east coast.

featured-tom-loringYou grew up in Vermont where kids are practically born skiing. How did you get your start on the slopes and in teaching?

Growing up in Southern Vermont, skiing is all around you. I was introduced to skiing through a winter sports program in 1st grade. I continued through middle school where I raced at Mount Snow and went on to both race and ski jump for Vermont Academy. I really credit this experience for launching my career.

My first job was in the rental and repair shop at Mount Snow in 1987. After attending the University of Vermont I traveled to Colorado and began teaching skiing at Keystone and Arapahoe Basin. I eventually ended up back on the east coast coaching at Stowe’s Ski School where I achieved full certification with the Professional Ski Instructors of America (PSIA). I got the opportunity to work with some of the top instructor trainers in the east like Dave Merraim, nine-time coach of the PSIA National Demonstration Team and Stu Campbell, co-chairman of PSIA’s Technical Committee and technical and instruction editor for Ski Magazine from the mid 70’s until 2008.

Before joining Powder Ridge as Ski and Snowboard School director and head coach, you were director of Thunder Ridge Snowsports School in New York. How will your time at Thunder Ridge help shape the Powder Ridge Experience Learning Program?

One of my goals is to bring the same level of professionalism to Powder Ridge as I did to Thunder Ridge – rivaling the larger resorts in the industry and growing the snowsports program to more than 20,000 lessons a season. More important than the number of lessons we deliver is creating a safe and fun experience; an atmosphere where both staff and guests are excited to learn, challenge themselves and develop their skills.

How is Powder Ridge’s Experience Learning Program different from other ski and snowboard instruction programs?

Sean Hayes, the chief executive officer of Powder Ridge, has brought together a strong and passionate team that is committed to making the Experience Learning Program a success. Joe Hession, an industry expert in creating new standards for first time skiers and riders, has also come on board and is introducing terrain-based learning to the ridge.

Terrain-based learning is so revolutionary because it teaches students as young as 2 years old how to naturally learn the movements required for boarding or skiing. From day one students are navigating elements and learning balance on features like a mini-half pipe and banks. Powder Ridge will also be home of Connecticut’s only Burton Riglet snowboarding program where kids learn to board or ski on kid-size interactive stations and sculpted terrain. My passion is skiing, but also teaching the teacher, so I’m really excited to be able to introduce both staff and students to such a powerful way of learning.