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Spirit Mountain hires new executive director

Brandy Ream

Spirit Mountain announced Thursday that it has hired a new executive director to replace Renee Mattson, who is stepping down from the post.

Her successor will be Brandy Ream, who comes to the job from Ski Bluewood in Dayton, Wash., where she has served as director of development and business operations for the past couple of years.

Ream hails from Orleans, Ind., and earned a bachelor’s degree in education from Indiana University. Before her stint at Bluewood, she managed the Boston Mills and Brandywine ski areas in northeastern Ohio. She also has served as a consultant, providing advice about business planning and marketing to other ski operations throughout the Midwest. Ream has more than 25 years of experience working in the alpine skiing industry.

In her new role at Spirit Mountain, Ream will supervise Spirit Mountain’s year-round operations, including an adventure park, mountain biking, alpine skiing, snowboarding and other activities.

“Brandy brings an incredible depth and breadth of ski resort management experience,” Spirit Mountain Board Chairwoman Jane Gilbert-Howard said in a statement issued Thursday. “Each of the resorts she has managed experienced significant revenue growth while reducing expenses. But what was most notable was her passion for skiing and great customer service.”

Spirit Mountain conducted a nationwide search and received 57 applications for its top job.

“We were delighted with the response,” Gilbert-Howard said.

What distinguished Ream from the rest of the pack was her strong finance background paired with her ski industry experience, according to Gilbert-Howard.

“We also had some applicants with very strong business backgrounds who could probably come in and run just about anything. But when we found Brandy, we knew we had the whole package. I think we found the perfect person at the perfect time for Spirit Mountain,” Gilbert-Howard said.

Spirit Mountain’s new director will start work in June, after she, her husband and their two children complete their move from Washington to Duluth.

A public reception to welcome Ream is planned from 4 to 6 p.m. Tuesday, June 3, at Spirit Mountain’s Skyline Chalet.