Andy Wirth, Shrewd Businessman and Overcomer

 

Andy Wirth is the President and CEO of Squaw Valley Ski Holding, with which Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows in Olympic Valley, California are auxiliaries. Squaw Valley is a mountain resort. He started his career in 1986 as an intern with Steamboat Ski and Resort Corporation. He went on to work there for two more decades working in numerous marketing positions for ownership groups. During this time, Wirth also served as a firefighter and board member of the North Routt Fire Protection District. He assised with Steamboat’s send-off for the U.S. Winter Olympic teams to Vancouver in 2010 and was involved in two other send-offs in 2002 and 2006. Wirth took over as CEO for Squaw Valley in 2010. He is the winner of numerous community service awards, including of a space on HSMAI (Hospitality Sales and Market Association International) Top 25 Minds in Hospitality and Travel Sales.

In 2013, Wirth survived a skydiving accident. The conditions that day left him with very little choice but to land in a vineyard, which is not a desirable condition for a skydiver. After a pole holding up the vineyard took off his arm, Wirth was left bleeding in the position that he was in for 15 minutes. He says that during that time, Pearl Jam’s “Just Breathe” started playing in his mind and kept him going during that time. After these 15 minutes, he was transferred to a hospital by helicopter. 

Wirth ended up spending three months in the hospital and afterward, struggle to re-establish his identity. However, he never gave up on himself. He was back to running within months and befriended several Navy Seal cadets, who he says always pulled him out of his excuses not to run, despite that he had to wear a brace on his arm. 

Wirth is a leader and role model not only in business but also as an example that overcoming and healing are possible even after the most difficult of traumas. Most importantly, he is not one to give up and pursues his goals until they are met.