PARK CITY, Utah (Dec. 11) – The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association has named Jeremy Forster to the new position of U.S. Snowboarding program director. Alan Ashley, vice president of athletics, announced the position Thursday.

“In this position, Jeremy will be able to manage USSA’s overall strategy for snowboarding,” said Ashley. “This strategy includes preparing our elite athletes for competition in the Olympics, to grow the sport domestically and to nurture and expand our relationship with the snowboarding industry.”

Forster, a graduate of the University of Oregon, began his career at Mt. Bachelor Resort, where he worked his way from marketing intern to event coordinator. In 1996, he joined USSA in a similar capacity as event coordinator, and currently serves as director of events. Ashley noted Forster will be transitioning out of this role, but will continue to lend his expertise to the Events Department.

During his tenure at USSA, Forster was responsible for the development and management of the U.S. Snowboard Grand Prix series, which has become one of the most respected tours in the world. He also has been instrumental in the international management of USSA’s snowboard program, development of the new U.S. Snowboarding brand and partnership with Burton.

“I’m incredibly excited for the opportunity to guide the development of our programs and help the sport continue to grow,” said Forster, who lives with wife, Molly, and their two-year-old son, Jack, in Heber City, UT. “Ultimately it’s about creating opportunities for the riders to progress and push their limits. If we can do that, we will have the success everyone is hoping for in 2006 and beyond.”

Forster will continue to work closely with Marketing and Events in USSA’s branding efforts for U.S. Snowboarding and the direction of its major snowboard events, and will act as the key internal and external contact for the sport. Ashley said Forster’s position is key to building stronger relationships with the elite athletes, FIS and the industry. Snowboarding has traditionally guarded its spirit of independence, and Ashley said he recognizes the need for a culturally different model of management when it comes the sport.

“If we want to prepare these athletes for the Olympics, we have to be sensitive to their needs,” Ashley said. “This is where Jeremy is really strong. He understands these athletes and has demonstrated good interaction with them, the industry and the resorts.”

USSA is the national governing body recognized by the U.S. Olympic Committee to develop and prepare U.S. athletes for national and international competition, including the Olympic Games. The vision of USSA is to make the United States of America the Best in the World in Olympic skiing and snowboarding by 2006. U.S. Snowboarding, an arm of the national Olympic governing body, is dedicated to the progression of snowboarding by assisting in the development of American athletes through athletic programs and competitions coast-to-coast.