Aspen Skiing Co. marketing VP resigns; ready for new campaign
ASPEN – The Aspen Skiing Co.’s top marketing official is stepping down after almost 11 years in the post and a total of 13 years with the company.
Jeanne Mackowski said she wants to try something new and “make some significant changes” in her life. She said she and her family – husband Len Zanni and their kids Grace and Curtis – intend to remain in the Roaring Fork Valley.
Mackowski, 42, was hired by the Skico in 1998 and worked in the public relations department for a year before she transferred into the marketing department. She was promoted to marketing director in September 2001, then was elevated to a vice president in the company in November 2006. She was the only woman on the Skico’s executive committee.
Mackowski said she wasn’t asked to resign, and that she has no issues with the Skico.
“This is, in many ways, my dream job,” Mackowski said. Her Twitter account handle, she noted, is “livingmydream.”
She complimented Skico President and CEO Mike Kaplan and Senior Vice President David Perry for creating a corporate culture that places it in an enviable position in the ski industry. “Mike’s created a great environment to work in.”
Mackowski’s last day is Friday. She submitted her resignation in June and it was made public Wednesday. She avoided the public limelight but had a big effect not only on the marketing direction of the Skico but the economic health of the community, said Perry.
They worked together to develop the Power of Four marketing theme, which emphasizes the diversity of the Skico’s four ski areas. Her team also launched major advertising campaigns that showcased awesome skiing shots at Aspen/Snowmass but strayed from the industry formula of blue sky, white snow, sparkling ski outfits and perfect people.
Perry said Mackowski handled the challenges of the recession and rapidly changing technology effectively. She master-minded the “Perfect Storm” promotion that packaged lift tickets, lodging and airline flights after the recession hit. She added social media, like Twitter and Facebook, to Skico’s marketing arsenal.
“She kept up. She kept moving every step,” Perry said.
Mackowski said her biggest challenges over the years were the unknowns. “The best marketing plans in the ski industry can be impacted by something beyond your control – snow and weather,” she said.
And while big marketing campaigns are what capture attention, she feels her greatest accomplishments were visible only within the Skico. She said she brought an analytical approach to marketing – tracking, measuring and evaluating results of the company’s marketing efforts.
Perry said he is in the process of filling Mackowski’s position. The timing of her departure couldn’t be better, he said, because the marketing plan is already in place for the 2011-12 season.
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