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Four finalists picked for top Eaglecrest job

Posted: June 29, 2011 - 9:15pm

Four finalists have been selected for the manager position at Eaglecrest from a pool of more than 70 applicants.

The finalists are Brian Bressel, of Lakeshore, Calif.; Jodie McCutcheon, of Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada; Matthew Lillard, of Londonderry, Vt.; and Ray Gardner, of Atlanta, Ga.

Bressel works as a ski industry consultant, but just finished a 29-year career with the Sierra Summit Mountain Resort in Lakeshore and was its general manager for nine years.

“I have had the great pleasure of working hands-on in most every position at a ski resort and have enjoyed every moment,” Bressel wrote in his application. “Being part of a team as well as leading a thriving and growing mountain resort operation has been very rewarding.”

Bressel holds a Bachelor of Science in general administration with a business management emphasis from Fresno State University and has taken many specialty courses and seminars relating to business, skiing and guest services.

McCutcheon most recently served 1 1/2 years as the outdoor operations manager for Mount Sima in Whitehorse, and served as acting area manager for four months last year. McCutcheon spent 18 years working at Whistler Blackcomb in British Columbia, Canada, in various roles. He spent his last nine years as manager.

“I’ve had the opportunity to ski Eaglecrest on occasion over the last several years and have found it to be a great area,” he wrote in his application. “I believe there is an opportunity to develop the area in ways that improve its appeal to other users. The ski area has a lot of potential and I believe my vision for its future, when combined with my experience in ski area management, uniquely qualifies me to contribute positively to the continued evolution of Eaglecrest Ski Area.”

He also recently relocated to Juneau with his family.

McCutcheon holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Western Ontario, and has taken additional courses in management, ski resort topics and potable water training. He also has experience with other snow recreation facilities and resorts in Australia.

Lillard currently serves as assistant general manager and marketing director of Magic Mountain Ski Area in Londonderry, and has since 2009. Prior to serving as manager he served as its marketing director since 2006. Lillard worked in various positions with Okemo Mountain Resort, also in Vermont, for several years.

“My nine years of experience in the ski resort and hospitality industry, background in finance, education, life experiences, and drive to excel can be tremendous assets to Eaglecrest Ski Area,” he wrote in his application. “I have been contemplating relocating westward for some time and am very excited about the prospect of working at an area outside of New England.”

Lillard holds a Bachelor of Science degree in applied economics and business management from Cornell University.

Gardner currently works as the attractions manager for Herschend Family Entertainment at Stone Mountain Park in Georgia and has for the past three years. Prior to working in that position, he was the mountain manager for Williamette Pass Ski Resort in Oregon for nearly 16 years. He also has experience as a firefighter and has had Level 1 avalanche training, among other rescue certifications.

The finalists will come to Juneau July 14-16 for a look at the city and the final assessment will be held in the Assembly Chambers, with portions open to the public.

A release from the General Manager Selection Committee states there will be an Assessment Center program for the candidates to go through, which will simulate situations that occur in day-to-day duties of the manager. A public reception also will be held for a meet-and-greet, tentatively scheduled for July 15, though the time and place have yet to be announced.

Of the 70 applicants, 30 went through a preliminary interview with City and Borough of Juneau staff, the release states, and the committee chose eight to interview again.

“Overall, I have been very impressed with the quality of the candidates we’ve seen,” said Dave Lefebvre, committee chair, in a statement. “It was a difficult decision to narrow the field to four finalists. I am confident that any one of the individuals participating in the final selection process will be able to do the job. Now it is a matter of finding the right fit for Eaglecrest.”

• Contact reporter Sarah Day at 523-2279 or at sarah.day@juneauempire.com.

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