About 2017-11-13T20:00:44+00:00

Bear Valley Snowsports Education Foundation

Located in Northern California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains between Lake Tahoe and Yosemite, Bear Valley is the ideal location for kids, families and outdoor enthusiasts of all ages to build their snow sports skills while enjoying the world class beauty of the environment.

Founded in 2001 as the Bear Valley Race Team Foundation, Bear Valley Snowsports Education Foundation has evolved to support all Bear Valley’s teams including All Mountain Development (Devo), Freeski, Snowboard as well as the Race team. Working in close collaboration with Bear Valley Mountain, BVSEF provides support in ways which otherwise would not be possible for the Mountain.

Our Mission

The Bear Valley SnowSports Education Foundation (BVSEF) is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the support of Bear Valley’s snow sports athletes in achieving their athletic, academic and personal goals. The programs we support promote the development of essential skills; stimulate interest in competitive events and the positive values of sportsmanship, self-discipline, goal setting, character building and the pursuit of healthy lifetime activities.

BVSEF assists Bear Valley’s competitive and development teams in many ways including team communication and administrative tasks. We support the professional development of coaches and support their efforts in providing the best possible skills development for our athletes. Our members assist coaches with training setup, safety monitoring, team communication and administrative tasks. Through fundraising and on-mountain volunteer work, we provide Bear Valley with the necessary parent and community support to develop highly competitive ski and snow sports teams. Through these efforts Bear Valley’s programs are among the most affordable in the Sierras. This enables more young snow sports athletes to participate in a sport that would otherwise not be affordable.

How We Support Our Athletes

  • Provide a communication and information resource for all our teams through our TeamBV website and regular email updates

  • Organize and run the Rasmussen Classic SL Race, the Far West USSA Central Series race at Bear Valley

  • Manage and underwrite NASTAR races at Bear Valley

  • Subsidize coach education and participation in USSA annual Congress

  • Assist coaches with training setup, safety monitoring, team communication and administrative tasks

  • Negotiate group purchase agreements such as MedEvac services, wax, uniforms

  • Procure equipment including radio equipment, video cameras, video analysis software and computer for training evaluation, gates, timing equipment, safety gear and other hill supplies

  • Publish the Race Team Orientation Guide for new team members

  • Provide equipment and coach education for the Adaptive Program

  • Assists BVM event staff with events such as Senior Games, BV Ski Club Family Race

Bear Valley Mountain is the manager of of all the team programs which means they hire the coaches, set the schedules, collect the team fees and in general direct all team program activity.

Board Of Directors

Mike Comstock, Redwood ShoresBoard President
Mike has been skiing at Bear Valley since 1993 when the Comstock Family, (Mike, Nancy, Zac and Mackenzie) found their ideal vacation home in Big Trees Village. Both Zac and Mackenzie learned to ski at Bear Valley and were avid participants in Skiing Bears, Devo, Race Team and BV Team coaches.

Mike has been involved with BVSEF since 2004 and its President since 2007. An avid skier since his teens, Mike’s passion for skiing included a college internship at Aspen Highlands, participation in the Corporate Ski Challenge and NASTAR racing. Mike’s professional career has spanned over 20 years with DHL Worldwide Express operating in a variety of management and executive roles. He has been consulting in the ecommerce, strategy and logistics areas for the 10 years with clients ranging from startups to Fortune 100 companies. Contact Mike

Katie Crawford (Voigtlander), San FranciscoBoard Member
Katie took her first steps in the Bear Valley Ski Lodge at one years old in 1989, and her Dad (Mike Voigtlander) quickly had her out on the mountain to ski. She grew up on the Bear Valley race team 1996-2004 competing across the US. She was named to the FIS Technical team in 2004 and finished 4th in the GS Tech Championships among an international field. After retiring from the racing scene she became a Development Race Team coach from 2004-2006. At Bear Valley through ski racing Katie learned life-long lessons about the importance of independence, accountability, camaraderie, leadership, and that a little friendly competition never hurt anyone.

Katie went on to complete her BA degree in Business Economics while competing in D1 NCAA Cross Country and Track for the University California, Santa Barbara. She was named Academic All- American for her academic success and athletic accolades. Katie’s professional career started at Deloitte & Touche where she worked as a financial auditor for consumer business companies. Since 2012 she has been pursuing her love for fashion and numbers working at Gap Inc. as a retail buyer for Baby Gap- Japan and US stores, and most recently has been promoted to Buying Manager for Banana Republic Men’s online.

Katie has a strong passion for youth development and giving back to the community. She has been an active volunteer with the Tenderloin Boys & Girls Club in San Francisco. Katie and her husband (Scott Crawford) were honored with the 2015 Tenderloin Clubhouse Community Partner Award for their service.

Lindsay Gwin, Murphys, CABoard Member, Race Administrator
Lindsay grew up skiing at Bear Valley and was a part time ski instructor there during her college years in San Francisco. Hoping to get a year or two in as a ski bum, she moved to Bear full time following school, and wound up working in the Marketing Department at the resort for several years.

Inspired by her love of wine and the desire to ski more days, Lindsay transitioned from the ski industry into wine sales. She now owns and operates a wine distribution company covering the Sierra Nevada. She has a daughter racing on the Bear Valley Team and joined the board to help contribute to the growth and success of the program. She recently passed her level 100 race coach exam, but plans to focus on powder days.

Gary Smith, Brentwood Board Member
Gary Smith grew up in the Bay Area and lives in Brentwood for the past 11 years. He’s been Skiing at Bear Valley Ski Resort since the late 1970’s with his family and friends. Gary has literally grown up in the grocery business working for Safeway Stores since he was in high school and currently works as a Web Specialist in the company’s Corporate Communications group.

Gary is also been engaged with many non-profit foundations including (Easter Seals, MDA and Safeway Foundation) to help improve our communities. He is currently a member of the United States Ski and Snowboard Association and is a Competition Alpine Official. His son, Matthew, is a former member of the Bear Valley Race Team, and also participated in both DEVO and in the Skiing Bears programs. Gary and his wife Charisse have been married for nineteen years and met on the slopes at Bear Valley. They love to travel, and being outdoors.

“My goal is to support the mountain with our athlete’s development and life enhancing values thru the BVSEF educational programs. I strongly believe the foundation helps build both life-long friendships and positive life lessons for all our members.”

George StoneBoard Member
George moved to Bear Valley after attending UC Davis, in the spring of 1971. Hewas hired as a ski instructor by Jon Reveal, the assistant ski school director for The Peter Brinkman Ski School in 1972 and became full-certified (Level III) in 1976. Around 1978, he moved to Kirkwood still teaching for the Peter Brinkman Ski School as he had expanded his ski schools to Kirkwood and Telluride, CO. At Kirkwood he worked as a supervisor, taught in the KIBS (Kirkwood Instruction for blind skiers) program, worked as an examiner for PSIAW, and ran the kid’s program for one season.

George returned to Bear Valley when the ski school administration changed and also at Tim Petrick’s invitation. With his return to Bear Valley, he taught all levels, ran the kid’s program for 5 years and started, with Rick Van Aiken, an adaptive ski program. He had met Mike Young when he came and worked for Kirkwood so when he took over the ski school, George asked to do some coaching and was put in charge of the program for one year.

In 2001, George went back to school at CSU Stanislaus to earn a teaching credential and Masters degree and stopped working full time on the mountain. In the past few years he has been coaching development team and teaching regular ski school at all levels as well as adaptive students.

Bill Colon, San FranciscoBoard Member, Communications
Bill and his family have been skiing at Bear Valley since 2011. His daughter Eleri and his son Liam have both grown up on the BV ski team and are both active racers.

Bill joined the Board in 2015 with the intent to help reinvigorate the community around the TeamBV Race Team, and to help build the program up in terms of the number of youth athletes participating.

Bill works in the Bay Area for Genentech. He is a windsurfer, skier, and open water swimmer but spends the majority of his time these days carting the kids around from field to field, and back and forth to BV.

Ellen Hoffman, Bear ValleyTreasurer
Ellen is a fantastic board member
Aaron Johnson, Bear ValleyBoard Member, Bear Valley Mountain Representative
Aaron is a fantastic board member
Nick ShawkeyBoard Member, Head Coach Race Team
Nick is a fantastic board member
Paul PetersenBoard Member, XC Representative
Paul is a fantastic board member….