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President's Corner

By Scott Pyles, Most Recent Past President

May 6, 2016

On April 18 the MACC Board met in person to close the 2016 season and adopt the 2017 race schedule.

At that meeting as planned, Ginnie Uhley was elected Michigan Alpine Competition Council s new President. I am highly confident that MACC is in good hands going forward and I appreciate Ginnie’s support as Vice President and race-day organizer. We share many values and principals and it was a great honor to be a team with Ginnie.

So, as I step away from the helm, I want to say a very special thank you to each of you MACC members for the privilege of allowing me work with you, the members, the teams, the officers and the board of directors, that have created MACC over the past 60 years. I learned a lot as your President and I hope we all stretched a bit to try some different ways of doing things.

Where did we as an organization go?

Here is a partial list of contributions made by many hands working together:

  • We have a new exciting logo and branding theme
  • New designer bibs
  • Expanded to Marquette, return to Searchmont, tried full season at Boyne
  • Joint venture training camp with Midwest Masters – Thanks MWM
  • Reconfigured to 3 courses
  • All Slalom on the South Course all GS on the North
  • Multiple starting order concepts. . . (Well … not everything works.)
  • Yearbook Highlights in 2015
  • Return to MDSC membership
  • Focus on Sponsor Gratitude & Recognition
  • Organizational Streamlining

The core remains strong and neither the weather nor the changes wore us down. MACC is strong, resilient and welcoming to new people, new ideas and poised for growth.

I remarked 3 years ago about what a special community is MACC. As your President, I was able to see that passion and intentionality flowing at every gathering; members encouraging guests, guests becoming members, younger racers encouraging veterans, veterans helping younger racers flourish and grow into leadership positions. We all learn from each other. That’s awesome.

Thank You!

As I transition back to racer, I would like to say personal thank you to each and every member (YOU) because you will never know how deeply you have really touched my spirit. Thank You!

I would also like to say public thank you to people who stepped forward and said yes, no matter how my request burdened them.

Debi Koltoniak always responded regardless of the task or timeline to keep communication flowing. As a partner running a big company, I know that imposition was a burden on her workload. I’d like to thank Debi for huge contributions such as the logo, highlights book, newsletter and in very classy, humor filled way of being.

Alexandra Carrico, thank you for taking on and commanding the registration/membership director position with strength and flair. Nice job on the Bib design change. Thanks to Kaitlin Aitkin as the essential morning race organization wizard. Without Alex and Kaitlin, races would not run on time. Thank you both.

Steve Coatney, without Steve MACC would grind to a halt. Thanks Steve for being the heartbeat of MACC. Shawn Hughes, Kurt and Chuck, without you MACC would be timeless. Your contributions are recognized.

Every morning, I arrived at 7:30am, walking up the hill in the dark to Othmar. Off to my left, at the base of the timing shack was the Arena team, Mick, Sue, Dave, Kathy and team setting up the finish fence, timing lights, digging trenches to bury wires. Not waiting for sun-up. Then, they tore iit all down the end of the day.

As soon as the lift started cranking at 8am , Kermit, Jason, Sherry, Heather, David, Paul, Howard, and others headed up to set courses. They set, test, repair, tear down 4 courses each day and no complaint from them, not one. They are truly dedicated to making racing happen, fun and safe.

Ted Jablonski and Gary Bloodworth and each Chief of Course, starter, course maintenance workers and all essential gate keepers made sure the course run on time, safe and fun.

MACC racing is what it is because everyone works to make it so special. Every job that someone does, makes or breaks the racing experience for someone else. The most misunderstood job on the hill is that of the Gate-Keeper. This job is essential, it’s the most important in many ways and it’s a job that everyone should be proud to do. Here’s why:

During a race, things happen. Gate keepers are the first to arrive at the scene of that incident. Gate keepers rush to get the skis & poles out of the course after a yard sale, replace the pole that got bounced out, replace a panel that went askew. Oh, yah and write down bib-number and type of infraction if someone missed a gate. Pretty much in that order. Gate keepers are the EMS. The First Responders that keep the race moving, so someone isn’t standing in the starting gate freezing in their zip suit while nothing is happening to repair the course hold. Gate keepers Rock!

Thanks also to the various photographers who record our every good turn, and ignore our bad ones. Thanks to all timers, announcers, Team Representatives and members who pitch in to make it all work. Thanks to Mike Sayers for his council and for being the steady benchmark to keep MACC on the road, while allowing the driver to meander a bit. Your contributions are very meaningful Mike and I appreciate that.

I can’t leave without expressing my deep appreciation for the support of Boyne Mountain, their management team, hill support and generous support they provide. Nichols Ski and Snowboard and Norm’s Ski Shop are such an important part of MACC Racing. Thank you so very much.

Thanks to everyone. Let’s all rally to give Ginnie and the new MACC leadership team a great start and awesome support.

See you on the hill!




MACC sends out newletters during the race season with updates about coming events. Here are links to recent newsletters.

(Former) President's Corner

MACC president Scott Pyles has raced his entire life, including the US Ski Team, working his way up to MACC.

May 6, 2016. Review of 2016 and thanks to those essential to MACC.

March 12, 2015. Observations of MACC when you can't race.

November 12, 2014. Where were we 52 years ago, and where are we now?

April 21, 2014. Scott's story of how he was introduced to MACC, told at the 2014 Marks Banquet.