Jan 27, 2016
Industry + Intelligence
Denver, CO
Jan. 28-31, 2016
SIA Snow Show & Sourcing Snow
Colorado Convention Center
Denver, CO
Feb. 1-2, 2016
On-Snow Demo/Ski-Ride Fest
Copper Mountain Resort, CO

2012 Canadian Rep of the Year


Bill Yano - Saskatoon, SK

I was born in Saskatoon, Sask., Canada in 1962 and, like all prairie kids, grew up playing hockey. Gordie Howe was a friend of my fathers, so I was always told that I would play in the NHL for the Detroit Red Wings.

At the age of 14 I discovered alpine skiing at a local hill that was built for the Canada winter games, (the first skier down the hill was gold medalist Nancy Greene). After my first day of skiing, I was hooked.
The following winter, I stopped playing hockey to take up skiing. In 1976,  I got a part-time job at a local ski shop working after school and on Saturdays. I guess you could say I was consumed by skiing and the industry. I soon became involved in the local race leagues for a number of years, first as a competitor, then as a coach. Then I went on to be a member of the Cassia as a level 2 instructor and the CCSA, as a level 2 coach as well. In August of 1984, I was hired by skis Rossignol to be a tech rep in Alberta, Canada..... WOW! My dream job just landed in my lap. I moved to the city of Edmonton to start my career in the ski industry. Six months later (March of ‘85) I was offered a sales position, covering Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and the Lake Head territory.

Here we are 27 years later and I still have the same passion for the sport and industry. I have seen a lot of changes over the past 27 years. Trends come and go, but it’s the people that keep me working, I have been at store owners kid’s birthday parties, seen them graduate high school then college, and be present at their weddings—damn I’m old! and even take over the family business. I have been Saskatoon very lucky to have had the pleasure of working for The Rossignol for the last 27 years. I have also enjoyed over a decade with Helly Hansen and have recently joined Smith Optics.

This award is the highest honour that can be given  to me. It is voted on by my customers. They’re saying that I’m one of the reasons that they’re succeeding in or with their business. That makes me proud.

I love the sport. I love to be on the snow. I am still the end user. I have the greatest job in the world. I get to tell people how much  fun sliding is. Do what you love, but love what you do! I sell fun. I project fun. Today’s successful retailers have fun. There also end users. They ski together. They ride together. They hike together. They are committed to the sport, embracing new trends, colours or technology. If you go to your local Apple store, chances are it’s always full and you have to wait to talk to someone. The kids on the Apple floor love their product. They eat, sleep and breathe it. The consumer feels that excitement, and more often than not they buy something before leaving. That is what I do every time I go into a store. Talk about the sport, remind them we are selling fun — new snow in the hills, new rails, or big air. When you love what you do, it’s easy to do what you love.

These are my two favourite quotes:

  • Find a job you love and you will never work a day in your life
  • Never knock a competitor’s product—you might be selling it the next day.

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"The SIA Snow Show is the best time of the year! You get to see all the new technology coming out, you get to see all the sales reps you have relationships with, and then right around the corner you get to test everything out at the On-Snow Demo at Copper." Katy Graul, Ski Brokers, Fraser, CO
"For me, the Show is so much more than just a product presentation, it's a true breeding ground for ideas and inspiration. The forums, the marketing information, and the opportunities for retailers like me to network with each other has become a major feature for me." Teddy Schiavoni, Summit Ski Shop, Framingham, MA
"It's the place to go to see as many manufacturing companies as you can see under one roof at one time. It’s the latest and greatest of everything that’s going to be coming through the stores in the next six to eight months. I think people do a disservice to themselves by not going." Susan Woody, sales rep, Turtle Fur
"This Show is so important because it's the preview for what’s to come; it's the big picture. You can talk to the people that are in sales, product development, we can tell you plans for next year as well as help retailers with their buy so they become informed and make better decisions for their business." Ryan Green, Nordic Division Manager, Rossignol
"From an international perspective, I can see that the whole US snow sports industry is truly a community. Everybody's here and you can see that it's a family." Sigi Rumphuber, Product Designer/Engineer, G3
"This whole business is based on relationships, so if you don’t get that face to face time it's difficult to continue those relationships or build new ones. And of course we have to be at the Show because it gives a chance for everyone to see the full line, and to talk about any problems or potential opportunities." Josh Roberts, VP, Nitro Snowboards

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