(In Alphabetical Order)
ADAM RYS-SIKORA - President
Adam Rys-Sikora resided in western Montana since 1981. Started his first small business at the age of 16 building racing kayaks. Since then he has owned and managed many business primarily engineering and real estate related. He understand finance, accounting and insurance aspects and has utilized his knowledge to be successful in many ventures. He has many hobbies including Hunting, Fishing, Horses, Rafting, Kayaking, Mountain Biking and most of all Skiing. He has two children Mariah, 26 and Cameron, 23 both interested in the outdoors and rodeo sports. He has been involved with the 4H and Blue Mountain 4H club for nearly 18 years, leader for 12 and now assist with advice and communication skills. He's also involved in High School Rodeo and is currently Missoula County Team Leader. The club focuses on earning funds to help with practices and the members learn the “ business end” of rodeo and how to produce a rodeo. They produce 4 to 5 rodeos a year. Adam has spent 12 years in High School Rodeo including 10 years of production experience. Adam believes it takes a team to be successful; his family, along with Mariah’s support crew, helped her to earn many first place awards in state and national competition including her Miss Rodeo Montana title. He also mentor high school seniors with senior projects which include fund raising rodeos. Adam is excited to join the Skijoring America Board because his daughter will not let him compete and he wants to be involved. Not being a competitor, Adam can be a great asset with objective opinions and fair decisions. He will also be available during races and can devote 100% attention to the events. His experience at successful event production can also be utilized by Skijoring America. Adam understands fund raising, sponsor management, and sponsor recognition and advertising. His financial knowledge can assists in a successful organization and benefit the members.
Currently lives in Stevensville MT. Graduate of Univserity of Michigan and currently works for Sysco MT. Audrey Enjoys camping, hiking and of course riding the hills on horseback. Active in skijoring for the past two years and looking forward to many years to come.
Mariah GIBSON - Secretary
Mariah Gibson is Skijoring America's 2018-2019 Secretary. She has been involved with skijoring for 4 years and competes as a rider primarily pulling her husband, Jarid. Mariah has a B.A. in Communication and an M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction with a 5-12 English and History Montana Teaching Certificate. She currently teaches 7th grade Language Arts at Hellgate Elementary School in Missoula, MT. Mariah was raised in the Missoula Valley and is proud to have represented the University of Montana on the Lady Griz Rodeo Team and Montana as Miss Rodeo Montana 2012. The Gibson's live in Missoula with their dogs Ruby and Maggie.
Born and raised in Colorado until graduating from the University of Colorado in 2003 with a degree in Anthropology. She then migrated to Northern California and Washington to pursue a degree in Veterinary Medicine. In 2011 Melissa came to Belgrade Montana to be with family and pursued a career in outfitting, trail rides and pack trips. Introduced to skijoring in 2012, competing from 2013-present. Winning the 2016 Bozeman Novice Champion and the 2018 Overall National Sport Champion. Melissa loves the uniqueness of the sport and more so the community that come with it. Uniting cowboys and ski-bums to travel around in the most unfair of all seasons. the ski-joring community of friends and families has something more then any other sporting competition. We are rugged, we are tough, and above all we are family. Melissa will make a good board member because I believe in representation of all views, fair and firm rules, and keeping our horses, competitors and spectators safe. she wants to see the sport grow and eventually get world wide recognition. she looks forward to contributing to the future of skijoring as it grows, developing ideas and maintaining safe and fair competitions.
PETER JESSEN - Treasurer
Peter Jessen is a graduate of several degrees from the University of Nebraska. He has lived in Gallatin Valley permanently for almost 15 years and currently resides on the family ranch in Gallatin Gateway. Peter and his wife are both full time ski patrollers and volunteer firefighters for Gallatin Gateway Fire Department. In the ski off-season they operate their ranch as well as their fully functioning interior/exterior painting business (Big Sky Brushworks, LLC) that has been growing steadily since 2009. Peter and his wife Anna are horse enthusiasts. They breed, train, trail ride and compete in several different sports. Skijoring happens to be their biggest passion. Anna rides and Pete does the skiing. They have been competing in the novice class for the last 2 years and have attended a dozen events. The constant hard work and grind of traveling and enjoying skijoring has paid off in several ways. They have met a community of people that they now call family. They believe skijoring has improved all of their most solid horses in addition to making their relationship stronger as a skijoring team and married couple. Peter and Anna consider their skijoring family to be the nearest and dearest to their hearts. "We are all in this for the horses, the community, the fun and our commitment to the proper growth of the sport we hold closest to us. This last season, with the help of several others, we were able to put together an extremely successful skijoring event in Big Sky on very short notice. We look forward to this event growing very large in the coming years as a vital asset to the community of Big Sky!" As director of the Big Sky Skijoring Association Peter was able to assemble all of the basic infrastructure necessary to run this event. He started the business, attained non-profit status (so all proceeds are fed rift back to our community) and obtained all of the proper permits, insurance, and contracts to make the event possible. With the amazing help of Justa Adams getting sponsorship money and several other great minds on the committee they were able to piece together everything g necessary for that amazing weekend in Big Sky. Peter said, "perhaps the biggest piece to the puzzle was all of the help Big Sky received from SJA and all of your outstanding board members" and he is very excited to give back to the skijoring community as our Treasurer.
Richard Weber III
Richard has been skijoring for about 8 years now. Up until 3 years ago it was more for fun and games, but since then Richard has started to take the sport seriously and has become very involved. With the help from others, Richard started San Juan Skijoring, and it has become one of the most successful races, with one of the biggest competitor payouts on the circuit. He is excited to be a board member of SJA and cannot wait to see how this board evolves in the coming years. He believes that the sport of skijoring is at a crucial point in time, and will do everything he can to help this sport grow.
Tyler SmedSrud - VP
2019 is will be Tyler's 11th year in this exhilarating sport. He has attended races throughout MT, WY, SD and CO. Tyler said "you can't ask for a better way to spend a winter weekend, then behind a horse, competing with good friends, for cash prizes. He is extremely excited to be apart of the Ski-joring America board and looks forward to doing everything he can to help move this incredible sport forward. In 2019 Tyler take on the role of Vice President and looks forward to helping SJA acquire more sponsorships money that can be put back into the ski-joring community.