12/05/2009 9:48:07 a.m.
WANAKA,New Zealand (May 12, 2009) – Snow Sports New Zealand (SSNZ) today announced the appointment of James Lazor as Alpine Director. In the newly created role, Lazor will oversee the development of alpine ski racing in New Zealand, from grass roots to elite.
The appointment was made in consultation with the Ski Racing New Zealand Board as part of the ongoing integration of Snow Sports New Zealand member sports into Snow Sports New Zealand, the recognised National Sporting Organisation for snow sports.
Lazor will oversee the development, direction and coordination of alpine ski racing in New Zealand, taking a whole-of-sport approach. Working directly with the Ski Racing New Zealand Board and Snow Sports New Zealand CEO Ross Palmer, Lazor will set the strategic direction for the sport of ski racing, engaging members, providers and other stakeholders to grow the sport at all levels, including establishing the programmes and resources that will see New Zealand ski racers excel on the international stage.
“Alpine ski racing is a cornerstone among snow sports, and New Zealand has a proud history in the sport,” said Palmer. “By engaging with training providers and other key stakeholders, I’m confident that James will deliver effective, coordinated ski racing programmes that will grow the sport at every level.”
Lazor, who will work from the Snow Sports New Zealand offices in Wanaka, has an impressive background in business and sports management. He served as Director of Operations for the US Grand Prix, overseeing the staging a Formula 1 event in Phoenix, Arizona. He was also President of ACATS, Inc., a full service aviation company in Alexandria, Virginia.
Lazor grew up as a ski racer in the United States, once winning his local club championship before moving on to USSA racing in Western New York state. He later competed in high school-level state championships, and went on to become a ski instructor at Mt. Mansfield (Stowe) Vermont.
Lazor, who has lived in New Zealand since 2006, has also been a longtime financal contributor to the sport of ski racing in the U.S. and New Zealand, and brings with him numerous high-level contacts in the industry.
“This role is an opportunity for me to combine my passion for the sport of ski racing with my experience as a successful leader and businessman,” said Lazor, who holds a Masters degree in Business Administration. “I’m looking forward to working alongside the many talented and knowledgeable individuals in the New Zealand ski racing community to help take the sport forward. I believe my experience in sports management, combined with the established contacts I have in the international ski racing community will be an enormous asset to me and to ski racing in New Zealand.”
Ski Racing New Zealand Board Chair Tony Oxnevad said Lazor’s appointment marks an important step for the sport of ski racing in the process of integrating all snow sports into the national body.
“Our goal has been, and remains, the effective delivery of ski racing programmes at all levels,” said Oxnevad. “Having James and the rest of our organisation working more closely with Snow Sports New Zealand will provide immediate benefits to our athletes and our programmes. We’re fortunate to have someone of James’s calibre to help take the sport of ski racing in New Zealand to new levels.”
Snow Sports New Zealand is the official governing body and National Sports Organisation representing all snow sports in New Zealand. Ski Racing New Zealand is a member of Snow Sports New Zealand.