Things I’ve Learned: Scotty Conerly
Scotty Conerly: former Dakine Team Manager, VP of Marketing at i.N.i. Cooperative, Oregonian.
Scotty gets the goods.
I was born and raised on Mt. Hood. Both my mom and dad worked at Timberline Lodge so I basically grew up in the day lodge either skiing or getting into trouble. I couldn’t be more thankful for growing up there.
I got into ski racing super early, so thinking back—my first memory on skis—was most likely Mighty Mite ski training at Ski Bowl. Those were some good times.
Justin Wiegand [of Nimbus] and I always talk about how funny the way people that grew up here end up because you have such a mixture of people, views, backgrounds, all within the same state. Lots of democratic, redneck, organic, Ford-driving hipster-necks.
What I love the most about Oregon is that I can jump in my car and be at the beach in two hours or head the other direction and be in the desert. Or stay right in the mountains or be in a really beautiful city. It’s really a great state and I’m very fortunate to have grown up here.
One other secret about living in Rhody [Rhododendron] is that we are next door to Windell’s. It’s paradise and to have access to B.O.B. is so amazing. A lot of people don’t know this but Tim Windell has gone out of his way to provide a skate night for locals for the last few years. That’s a huge benefit to living here.
At the time I was shooting a lot of photos and hosting some action sports web shows and contests. I was working a bit with Randy Torcom [former Dakine Snow Marketing Manager] on some different projects and one day we ended up going to lunch. He mentioned he needed help with Dakine and we both sort of looked at each other like "Maybe I'm the guy." Within the next few weeks he hired me to be the assistant team manager.
Working at Dakine was a dream come true. What an awesome company to work for and I learned so much from Randy, Mike Madlener, Chico, and the rest of the crew.
I was first approached by my snowboard shop business partner Tim Snail about i.N.i. and honestly I was pretty apprehensive at first. I was really comfortable at Dakine and loved working with the people there. However watching Tim leave Volcom after 20 years and become so excited and sort of rejuvenated with this new, exciting company I had to check it out.
The two main reasons I decided to get involved were the environmental story of trying to create the best possible product while being conscious about the environment. The other reason was the idea of working with five or six super talented people and starting a company from scratch. I wanted to see if my abilities in marketing and management could make a company make a difference.
It's such a different game. It's crazy. We all sort of call the shots together as a team and try and make it a collaboration of ideas. So far it's working out awesome and has been really fun. However there are times that it gets really stressful and really scary.
Right now we are in spending mode so every penny has to be accounted for and when you make a financial mistake during the start up process of a company it can have a negative effect.
As it develops and the new lines come out and the new ads and riders get exposure it's so fun to watch. Dakine was constantly producing good stuff and it became easy to get accustomed to. However with i.N.i., everything is brand new so it's been a treat to watch it grow.
To work in the industry two things come to mind: First off, live and breathe it. Watch every single video, every edit, read every magazine, every contest, go ski or snowboard everyday, know it inside and out and everything in between. The second is work at summer camp. It's such an important part of our industry.
Ken Wiegand has been saying something to us for years: "Find what you love to do and stick to it and you will never work a day in your life."
That saying has stuck with a lot of us. The truth is there is a massive amount of work that goes into this industry and it's almost never ending but at the end of the day you're working on an ad campaign with photos of skiing or snowboarding, or you're at a trade show talking about the sports you love, or at a contest watching it.
Yes, it's really fun, and yes it's a lot of work. It's the best life I can think of.
I'm right where I want to be. Life at 30 can be stressful having house and car payments, dealing with health insurance, working the nine-to-five. But it's awesome. However my advice to the younger kids: Enjoy it while it lasts.
Steve Kruse [Director of Timberline Lodge] is my hero. Hands down. Not only has he lived a really great full life he has always faced major difficulties and has been threw some really hard times and still has a big smile on his face and would do just about anything for his friends and family. I'm very fortunate to have such a good friend in Steve.
I live by manifestation. If you want something and can visualize it, you can make it happen. Tanner Hall has lived at my house in the summer and there is no one that is more proof of that than him. He believes in what he is doing more than anyone on the planet and that is exactly why he is where he is. When you believe you can do something and you put your heart into it, the sky is the limit.
For more information on i.N.i Cooperative, visit the company's website.
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About the author:
Shay Williams is former Managing Editor of Freeskier Magazine. He now works with Monster Energy.