Renowned Steamboat cyclist, business executive Mark Satkiewicz dies at 51
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Mark Satkiewicz, an avid cyclist, co-founder of the SBT GRVL mountain bike race and former president of Smartwool, died on Saturday, according to the Routt County Coroner’s Office. He was 51.
Satkiewicz is survived by his wife, Amy, and two daughters, Olivia and Mia.
“He was our rock,” Amy said Monday. “We were everything to him, and we always felt that. He always made us feel safe and secure.”
A Steamboat Springs resident and dedicated community member, Satkiewicz was cycling Saturday afternoon on Routt County Road 82 near mile marker 31 in North Routt when he suffered a heart-related incident, according to Routt County Coroner Rob Ryg. He died at the scene.
Satkiewicz had suffered from heart issues in the past, Ryg noted, but a final cause of death has not yet been determined.
He was born and raised in Glenview, Illinois, and received his undergraduate degree from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and his graduate degree at Loyola University Chicago.
In 2006, Satkiewicz joined Smartwool as vice president of sales. He was promoted to president of the formerly Steamboat-based company in 2009. Before that, he spent a decade with Nike, Inc. Satkiewicz left Smartwool in 2016 to take the role as general manager of the Americas at Toms Shoes in Los Angeles. His family then returned to Steamboat, where he co-founded SBT GRVL. The inaugural race was held on Aug. 18, 2019.
Satkiewicz was a teacher and mentor to his family, Amy said, helping his girls with math homework over the phone while he was away. He was goofy, said his daughter, Mia. He was also a diehard Chicago Blackhawks fan.
He was also “an amazing leader” in his profession, Amy said. “He genuinely cared for people and wanted them to succeed. Coaching and developing people was one of his biggest passions,” she said.
There was also another side to Satkiewicz, as Amy said he was a fierce advocate for gender equity — in the workplace, on the gravel and as a husband and father of two daughters.
When Amy returned to full-time work in a demanding career, following her husband’s retirement, he was fully supportive and wanted his daughters to see that side of their mother, Amy said. When it came to advocating for women on a larger platform, “he lived that and had a passion for it.”
“Because of that I’ll be strong and my girls will be strong,” she said.
Having moved around numerous times in their careers, when the Satkiewicz family moved to Steamboat they knew it was their “forever home,” Amy said.
“The girls and I feel very blessed to be surrounded by so much love and support within this community,” Amy said. “The reason Mark chose for us to move back to Steamboat is because of his love for the people here. Mark would add, ‘It sure wasn’t for the warm weather.’”
Aspen’s Fourth of July festivities came to a close after the sun had set on Monday with a laser light show.
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