The SSCV Equipment Management Program (the Tune Shop) has added an additional full-time technician this fall. AJ Hoelke was a technician intern with U.S. Ski Team Men’s B/C team for the 2016-17 season after graduating from the Ski Area Management (SAM) Program at Gogebic Community College in Ironwood, Michigan. AJ is from New Berlin, Wisconsin and relocated to the Vail Valley to join the Tune Shop team.
AJ’s presence in the Tune Shop this season will work in tandem with Jay Vestich’s departure to tech for the Alpine Program Men’s NorAm team for the 17-18 season. In addition to adding his previous experience with USST and the SAM program to the Tune Shop knowledge base, AJ will assist Equipment Manager Brian Eggleton with ski transport duties between the Gold Peak Base Area and the Tune Shop, located in Minturn. Athletes will see AJ or Brian driving the GoPro-wrapped Sprinter van to Gold Peak to drop off or pick up skis during the week, especially during the Early Season Training weeks.
“It’s great to be in a position to be able to provide AJ the opportunity to work in the Tune Shop this season,” said Equipment Manager Brian Eggleton. “The Spring 2017 Tune Shop Business Analysis identified the team’s desire to provide opportunities for additional staff in the near future, and a bunch of items just lined up, including AJ’s interest in being part of the team, so here we are, and we are all excited about AJ joining the team.”
In addition to AJ, the Tune Shop has also added Branden Berg and Mark Cassidy to the staff. Branden relocated to the Vail Valley a couple years ago and has a decade’s worth of experience in tune shops in Washington state and Colorado. Mark Cassidy is father to alpine program U16 athlete Carissa Cassidy. Returning for the 17-18 season is Senior Technician Paul Suomi and Stephen Gunther, father to alpine program U12 athlete Andrew Gunther.