Ski Area Management, an industry trade magazine that has been around for 36 years, announced this week that Perry is one of four winners of this year’s SAMMY Future Leadership Awards.
"The SAMMY Award is most definitely an honour," said Perry, president of W1 Inc. the company that founded the World Ski and Snowboard Festival.
"This award is very much about the festival, and in accepting it I’d like to dedicate the SAMMY to the team at W1. At W1, I have the privilege of working with the very best event managers in the business, and they're the ones who deserve all of the credit for making the festival what it is today."
SAM’s profile of Perry states that he "…has worked in the industry since he was 16, starting out as an instructor and coach at Whistler. Perry was one of the youngest skiers ever to achieve Level 4 certification and Level 4 Senior Examiner status with the Canadian Ski Instructors' Alliance. Perry also worked with Salomon Japan and the TV series Ski Now, which is where he picked up the idea of staging a World Technical Skiing Championships at Blackcomb Mountain in 1994.
"In 1996, Perry expanded the concept and founded the World Ski & Snowboard Festival (now sponsored by Telus), which put Whistler on the map and in the black in mid-April. The Festival has grown and currently drives a $20 million impact on the resort. This spring event is a grand celebration of music, arts and sports and brings the entire community together in a way other resorts can only envy. Indeed, Perry was awarded businessperson of the year by the Whistler Chamber of Commerce for his efforts.
"Outside of the Festival, Perry's company W1 has staged 250 concerts and produced television specials for distribution in over 100 countries."
The SAMMY Awards were created seven years ago because "SAM decided… that there was a need to recognize those who may lead our industry into the future. The Future Leadership Awards go to individuals whose strong, innovative leadership demonstrated at mid-career shows exciting promise for even more accomplishments and leadership to come."
SAMMY winners are nominated by industry peers and chosen by an industry committee.
Other winners this year were Jeff Boliba, Global Resort Manager for Burton Snowboards and North American sales manager for Anon and RED; Russ Coloton, president of Hunter Mountain in New York; and Lucy Kay, vice president of marketing for Breckenridge and Keystone Resorts.
Previous winners of SAMMY Awards include former Intrawest employee and Whistler resident Ed Pitoniak; Jack Turner, founder of Snow Monsters and a WSSF contributor; and Dave Barry, formerly with Blackcomb and now in charge of Intrawest’s Colorado operations.