Keynote Event Words

NSAA 2015 Convention Keynoters 

to Focus on Demographics, Guest Service

One of the best things about NSAA’s National Convention and Tradeshow is the compelling keynote speeches. Even one takeaway from these presentations can inspire new ways of thinking and lead to significant improvements in resort operations and customer service.


 Paul Taylor                                                            Jim Knight

In keeping with that tradition NSAA has lined up two excellent keynoter speakers for its upcoming National Convention May 3–6 at the San Francisco Hilton. Each will address the most pressing issues the snowsports industry faces and will continue to face in the coming years.

Paul Taylor is a senior fellow at the Pew Research Center, a non-partisan
“fact tank” that provides information on the issues, attitudes, and trends shaping America and the world. He is the author of several books, including The Next America: Boomers, Millennials, and the Looming Generational Showdown (Public Affairs, 2014), a book about demo-graphic change.

Before helping to launch the Pew Research Center in 2003, Taylor served as president and board chairman of the Alliance for Better Campaigns, a public interest group that sought to reduce the cost and improve the content of political campaign communication on television. The Alliance’s honorary co-chairs were Walter Cronkite and former Presidents Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter. He was also a newspaper reporter for 25 years, the last 14 at The Washington Post, where he covered national politics.

Drawing on the Pew Research Center’s exten-sive archive of attitudinal, economic, and demo-graphic trend data, Tayor will discuss how the America of the near future will look nothing like the America of the recent past. His insights will set the tone for further discussion at the Convention’s related education sessions, where presenters will examine the implications of this demographic evolution on ski/snowboard resorts.

The other keynoter is Jim Knight, who is the CEO of Hospitality On Point, a business solutions company providing organizational expertise to the hospitality industry. Knight’s 30 years of experience in training and development informs his presentations on a variety of interactive topics, including organizational culture, world-class service, employee engagement, internal branding, and performance management—all of which pertain to ski and snowboard resort operations.

After starting out as a restaurant staff-level employee for Olive Garden and Hard Rock Café, Knight eventually became the head of the “School of Hard Rocks,” a corporate training group supporting all café, hotel, and casino properties for the theme-restaurant chain Hard Rock International. Over the years he has developed numerous cutting-edge training concepts, and has won several national awards for related programs, videos, and e-learning courses.

Knight has been recognized by Training Magazine for representing one of the top 125 training companies in the world out of all industries and businesses.