2011 US Rep of the Year
Northeast (ME/ VT/ NH/ MA/ RI/ CT)
Andrew "Beach" Shaw
The first thing I want to say is that I am honored to receive this award but feel that my two partners, Scott Heald and Aaron Reis, contribute greatly to everything I am able to accomplish as a rep. I have partnered with my best friend Scott Heald, college buddy and UVM Ski teammate since 1989. Our agency, Shaw and Heald Sales(shawheald.com), was created to provide a team effort to service every dealer in New England. It is about coverage in a short selling and servicing season. If Scott drives by an account that I manage, he will stop in to check on business…and visa versa. The geography of the New England territory is relatively small, compared to other territories across the country, but it is loaded with many specialty accounts North to South. By splitting the territory, it would fragment our efforts to ultimately service our dealer base the best we know how. Four years ago we added Aaron Reis to our team as our right hand man. His expertise, as a buyer for ASC and most recently Boyne Resorts, has given us a new perspective to better partner with our retailers for increased sales and overall profitability for all of us.
Brands we sell: Volkl, Marker, Seirus Innovations, Under Armour MTN, Bern All Season Head Protection, Superfeet, Baffin Winter Boots, and TSL Snowshoes.
Background: I grew up in Stowe Vermont, admiring ski racing legends like Billy Kidd, Marvin Moriarty, Ron Biederman, brother Tiger Shaw, and many others local heroes. I come from a family rich in ski racing. My aunt, Marilyn McMahon, was on the US Olympic Ski Team in the early 40’s, but her dreams were crushed when the 1944 Olympics were canceled due to World War II. Another aunt, Ann Savela, raced at the University of Vermont in the early 50's and created the first official women's ski team there. She and I both share wall space at the UVM Athletic Hall of Fame for skiing. My third aunt, Barbara Wick, moved from Stowe to Burlington and opened up the first ski shop ever in Burlington, VT in the early 50’s called The Ski Shop. My father, Gale, was a Middlebury Ski Team Captain, where my sister Dani also raced and became a Middlebury NCAA All American Skier. My mother, MJ, was also the Rhode Island downhill champion while attending Brown University. My brother, Tiger, was the most successful ski racer of us all. He skied in both the Sarejevo and Calgary Olympics and won the 2nd most U.S. National titles behind Bode Miller. The Shaw family skiing legacy is the responsibility of my great grandfather who started Shaw's General Store in 1896, which was one of the first ski shops in America.
Started Repping: My father Gale was a rep for as long as I can remember and one of the reasons I became one as well. He started with Nordica boots when they were leather and represented them for 25 years. I remember spending every "Black Friday" after Thanksgiving driving from Stowe, VT to Hartford, CT working at Pete Aldrich's Ski Haus sale helping dad sell Nordica boots from the age of 16 until my early 20's when I realized what I was doing was a form of child abuse and didn't want to do it anymore.
I learned the ins and outs of the business by osmosis. I took messages from dealers growing up, orders over the phone in my teens until I finally left for college where I skied for UVM. In 1986, I got a call my senior year from Warrington in Swanton, VT on the Canadian border, looking for ski team graduates interested in working as a tech rep for Spaulding Skis, Caber Ski Boots, Kerma Poles and Cebe goggles. I wasn't interested at the time because I had majored in Ski Area management. After sending out resumes to my favorite 36 ski areas for any job availabilities and not receiving one return call, I realized I may want to show a little more interest and take the job. In January of 1987, 2 weeks after working for Warrington, Rossignol bought the Warrington ski division and the rest is history. That is how I got my start with a major brand at an early age. I was very fortunate to have been given the opportunity by Hugh Harley and so many other great industry mentors.
I became an independent rep after working for Rossignol for 3 years when the owner of Tecnica Ski Boots, John Stahler and his sales manager Richie Woodworth invited me to stop by and meet with them and my college roomate Scott Heald who was working as the Northeast Regional Promotional director for a cup of coffee. I was enticed to leave Rossignol at the time by two very good salesman. Obviously I was young and impressionable, because leaving Rossignol at the time probably wasn’t the best move I’vw ever made. They pitched me on the fun of joining forces with Scott Heald and how we could make a name for ourselves as young independent rep agency. They set the challenge and I took the bait. Twenty-three years later I’ve survived, but it’s been a challenge. I wonder every day if it would have been easier to have worked for one company over all these years. There aren’t many left. Rossignol is still one of the few companies that have enough lines under one umbrella to still make it financially work. I’ve learned a lot working with multiple lines, and have never regretted my decision. I am currently representing Volkl Marker, Athalon Sportgear, Inc., Komperdell, Seirus Innovation, and Under Armour – MTN.