Like many Park City residents, John Kanarowski is a lifelong skier. While at Dartmouth, he was on the college ski team.
“I grew up in Germany, my dad was a U.S. army officer and we were stationed in Germersheim, so that’s where I first got exposed to skiing.” Kanarowski said “I went to Dartmouth. That was the, if you will, pinnacle of my skiing. Afterwards, I moved out to California, in the mid-90’s. I did participate in a couple of the early extreme-skiing competitions. So, I had a lot of fun doing that as well.”
Kanarowski has spent most of his career in business management and development. He has degrees from Dartmouth, UC Berkley and an MBA from Harvard Business School. He says the marriage of his business and ski background will aid him in running the club.
“The business background will certainly help me contribute to the organization and continue on our path there as an organization. But I think the sporting side helps as well to understand our athletes, understand the coaches.” Kanarowski said “Ultimately our mission is helping these athletes, so being able to bring both of those to the table will hopefully help me have an impact in this role.”
Park City Ski and Snowboard was created just last year when five former ski and snowboard youth programs came together and formed a new organization. Executive Director Jesse Hunt left the organization earlier this year to become the Alpine Director for U.S. ski and snowboard.
Special Projects Director Walt Evans says creating the organization was a challenge, but the timing worked out well for Kanarowski to take over
“It was challenging, Bill Rock the President at Park City Mountain challenged Jesse (Hunt) and I when we first launched the program. He said ‘guys, you need to be resilient and be patient, and stay focused’ but we got a lot of systems installed. I think the real foundation of our club is the staff. We have an amazing management team and an amazing coaching staff. John doesn’t have to worry about that, John needs to worry about financial, and governance, and public relations and systems, business systems.”
Evans says the hiring process was thorough while the board of managers expedited the process. Kanarowski was chosen from a pool of 30 candidates.
Kanarowski is familiar with the program, he has two children, a niece and nephew all enrolled in the program. His family moved here from Denver 7 years ago and says the youth programs were a big pull to Park City.
“They’ve had great experiences, and they’ve really loved it. So, we as parents have loved it as well” Kanarowski said “There’s a great culture, great foundation in place. We have really strong coaches. I think that’s great and that’s something will build on.”
“I think the multi-sport aspect is really unique about our club, the breadth of sports that we cover. There’s a lot of research that shows that being exposed to a lot of different sports really helps athletes. So, I think we can really build on those assets, build on those strengths.”