Women’s Ski Jumping USA Welcomes Four Members to Board of Directors

PARK CITY—Women’s Ski Jumping USA is delighted to welcome four new members to the organization’s Board of the Directors: Kristian Anderson, Paul Benson, Deborah Edwards, and Mary Leader. As Women’s Ski Jumping enters a post-Sochi Olympics era of competition, we look forward to benefiting from the leadership of these individuals to remain a world leader in women’s Nordic ski jumping while empowering young women across the United States to soar towards their dreams.

Kristian Anderson has served as the Executive Director of the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art since February 2014. Anderson has a remarkable work and teaching history and previously served as the first full-time Director of the Association of Academic Museums and Galleries, a national organization that specializes in education and advocacy for museums, in addition to helping to set museum standards. Anderson has also run contemporary art spaces at the University of Washington and the University of Colorado, and was successful in increasing attendance, funding, and national recognition in both locations during his tenure. Anderson lives in Salt Lake City with his wife, Nancy, and their four-year-old son, Soren.

“As a former ski jumper from a family that is deeply embedded in the history of ski jumping in the United States, I am excited for the opportunity to give back to a community that gave me so much growing up,” said Anderson.

A native of Killington, Vermont, Paul Benson gained valuable experience in marketing and sales during his 17-year career as a sales and marketing manager. He began his career in real estate in Orange County, CA, and has since established a solid reputation and track record representing luxury real estate buyers, sellers, and developers from across the globe. Benson has been consistently ranked as a top producing agent both locally and internationally since arriving in Park City in 2005, and is regularly quoted in industry publications that focus on high net worth buyers and sellers. Benson and his wife Alisha live in Salt Lake City with their four children.

“I have watched the passionate and tenacious Woman's Ski Jumping USA team fight for years to compete on a level playing field,” said Benson. “I look forward to bringing my marketing background and community relationships into play to create even more exposure to help the team.”

Prior to her retirement in 2013, Deborah Edwards was Managing Director, Employee Compliance at United Airlines in Chicago, where she oversaw the integration of HR Programs during the merger between Continental Airlines and United. Prior to the merger, Edwards handled international labor and employment compliance for Continental Airlines in Houston, Texas. Edwards previously worked in Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East in the oil and gas industry. She earned her JD from the University of Houston Law Center, having graduated cum laude in Government from Smith College, Massachusetts. Edwards now lives in Park City with Ted Forbes, EVP–People for backcountry.com, and their two dogs.

“While so much has been achieved by WSJ-USA and our talented athletes, there remains much to do to ensure that we continue to develop and support the best women ski jumpers in the world,” said Edwards. “I’m proud to be a part of the WSJ-USA team and look forward to contributing to our future successes.”

Mary Bransford Leader has a diverse educational and career background. Her experience includes serving the LAOOC during the 1984 Olympics and working for a major sponsor during the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City. Prior to relocating to Park City in 2001, she worked for the U.S. Department of the Interior managing Community Relations for one of America’s newest National Parks, The Presidio of San Francisco.

A fifth generation landowner in Summit and Wasatch counties, Leader began her real estate career in Park City. As a member of Ligety, Sharp & Leader at Summit Sotheby’s International Realty, she focuses on Deer Valley and luxury homes throughout Park City. Leader resides in Park City with her husband, Lindon. She is the mother of two daughters who reside in Los Angeles.

“The U.S. Visa Women’s Ski Jumping Team and its supporters worked relentlessly to accomplish the goal of competing in the Olympics,” commented Leader. “My involvement stems from my passion for the sport and desire to increase more interest, recognition, and financial support nationwide for WSJ-USA.”

Women's Ski Jumping USA

Women’s Ski Jumping USA, a 501c3 nonprofit, is the primary support organization for the U.S. National Team. With the help of a small staff and lots of generous volunteers, the organization runs the U.S. women’s ski jumping program and raises the necessary funds to pay for coaching, travel, training, equipment and a junior developmental program.