Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation Names New Executive Director and Alpine Program Director


Scott McGrew, photo by Julia Seyferth

April 20, 2018
Ketchum, Idaho (April 20, 2018) – The Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation (SVSEF) announced a change in leadership today, naming current SVSEF Alpine Program Director Scott McGrew Executive Director. McGrew succeeds longtime SVSEF proponent and current Executive Director Sam Adicoff, who has tendered his resignation, effective June 30. Involved with SVSEF in multiple capacities since his move to Ketchum 18 years ago, Adicoff will continue to support the organization on a volunteer basis, and will help ensure a smooth transition.
Sam Adicoff has been involved with SVSEF since his family relocated to the Wood River Valley from California in 2000. His three children participated in SVSEF programming, and Adicoff joined the Board of Directors in July 2011. He served as Treasurer and Board Chair, stepping down from board duties in 2016 to become Interim Executive Director in May. In January 2017, the Board appointed Adicoff to the position of Executive Director. In this leadership role, Adicoff’s dedication to the organization, success in increasing communications with parents, staff and the community and implementation of various process improvements have continued to serve the organization and its 678 athletes.
“I have enjoyed working with the athletes, parents, Board of Directors, and especially our very dedicated staff, who are the real heroes of the organization,” said Adicoff. “I am ecstatic that the Board has selected Scotty to succeed me. He brings an extremely strong work ethic, organization knowledge and incredible passion to the position. I am confident he will be successful leading SVSEF for many years to come.”
“Sam has been an integral part of SVSEF for many years, and provided strong leadership and countless contributions, originally as the Board Chair and then as Executive Director,” said Jim DeWolfe, current Board Chair. “Sam’s tireless commitment has served to deepen our strategic relationships throughout the Valley and comprehensively organize the financial structure, and has provided keen oversight for administrative and programming initiatives. Sam will be missed on a day-to-day basis, however he will provide important guidance as Scotty takes the reins, and will remain a valuable advisor to the Foundation.”
In a meeting on Thursday, April 19, the SVSEF Board of Directors appointed Scott McGrew, who has extensive ties to the organization, to the position of Executive Director.
“Scotty brings a level of passion and commitment to SVSEF that is unparalleled,” remarked Board Chair Jim DeWolfe. “He is highly regarded throughout the Wood River
Valley, and will provide strong leadership for years to come as we strive to improve the Foundation’s programming from grassroots initiatives to the most elite competitive levels.”
“I’m honored to be selected as the SVSEF’s executive director,” said McGrew. “For the past 15 years that I’ve been professionally involved with the organization, I’ve seen a magnificent amount of evolution and change. I’m excited to steward that continued evolution as we work to provide impactful and transformative experiences for our community. SVSEF has a long-standing heritage of excellence through sport, and I’m excited to build on that heritage and further define SVSEF as one of the highest regarded winter sports clubs in the country. Thank you to Sam Adicoff and all the previous EDs and coaches who have built an amazing launch point for the future of the club. “
McGrew has been involved with SVSEF since its early days. He was a member of the alpine program from the age of eight until he graduated high school, gaining important perspective that would prove invaluable when he returned years later. McGrew attended the University of New Mexico, where he earned two B.S. degrees in biochemistry and cultural anthropology. He later pursued a graduate degree, earning a Master of Business Administration from Boise State University in October 2016. Seven years after the close of his career as an athlete with SVSEF, McGrew rejoined the organization in a new capacity – as a coach. McGrew quickly moved up through the ranks, serving first as an assistant FIS coach and then as a head coach. He assumed the role of Assistant Alpine Program Director, and most recently Alpine Program Director, a title he has held since 2014. McGrew oversees the largest SVSEF program; with over 300 alpine athletes and 45 coaches, there are a lot of moving parts. McGrew has worked to grow South Valley initiatives, implemented numerous programmatic changes resulting in accelerated growth and professionalism of the team and generated and nurtured support for the organization as a whole. McGrew’s professionalism, depth of knowledge and enthusiasm and passion for SVSEF and the heritage of this community are qualities that will lend themselves to his new role as Executive Director.
McGrew lives in Hailey, Idaho, with his wife, Sirimukh, and their three children.
Will Brandenburg, courtesy photo

With the appointment of McGrew to Executive Director, SVSEF is pleased to welcome Will Brandenburg back to the organization as Alpine Program Director. Brandenburg will step into the position with a broad range of relevant industry experience. Hailing from Walla Walla, Washington, Brandenburg grew up racing with the Spokane Ski Racing Association and Schweitzer Mountain before being named to the U.S. Development Team in 2006. He was a member of the U.S. National Team for the 2010 Winter Olympics, with a top finish of 10th place in the super combined. Brandenburg has experience on the World Cup circuit as well, with a best finish of sixth in the slalom at Kranjska Gora in 2012. In 2013, he finished first in the combined at U.S. Alpine Championships. Shifting to a career in coaching, Brandenburg joined SVSEF in 2015 as the USSA Team Head Coach, and was most recently the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Western Region Coach from 2017-2018.
“SVSEF is extremely excited to have Will Brandenburg return to and lead the alpine program,” said SVSEF Athletic Director Phil McNichol. “His experience as a World Cup and Olympic athlete, combined with his coaching success both at SVSEF and the Western Region is a powerful combination.”
In other personnel changes, SVSEF Athletic Director and Interim Mogul Program Director Phil McNichol will be moving onto new opportunities, and has tendered his resignation, effective June 30. With organizational restructuring, the Athletic Director position will be eliminated. McNichol joined SVSEF in 2014 as Alpine Technical Director. In his expanded role as Athletic Director, which he assumed at the start of the 2016-2017 season, he oversaw all athletic programs and helped guide the growth of the organization, tackling initiatives pertaining to coaches, travel and programmatic strategy and objectives. Before SVSEF, McNichol led the U.S. Men’s Alpine Team for 11 years.
Also leaving the organization at the end of June is Jody Zarkos, who currently serves as Director of Events and Community Relations. Zarkos joined SVSEF in 2011, and has held numerous roles for the organization throughout her tenure. Her work in fundraising efforts has contributed to the continued success of SVSEF programs, and has helped make possible the subsidization of team costs for all participating athletes.
52 years strong, the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation (SVSEF) provides year-round ski and snowboard training and competitive opportunities for 20% of Wood River Valley youth in Ketchum, Idaho. The driving philosophy behind SVSEF is to create a positive, fun and productive environment that inspires each one of our athletes to meet his or her fullest potential. Team members acquire the tools for success, not only in their winter sport, but also in the pursuit of their ultimate goals and dreams. In the 2017-2018 season, SVSEF supported 678 student-athletes across alpine, big mountain, cross country, mogul, freeskiing and snowboarding teams. SVSEF has achieved numerous accolades; the organization was named USSA Club of the Year in 1999, was given USOC Olympic & Paralympic Training Site designation, first in cross country in 2012 and then in all disciplines in 2015, and was upgraded from silver to gold USSA club status in 2017.
Contact Us
If you have questions, please contact the SVSEF office at 208.726.4129, or