Women in the Industry: Colleen Quigley
You might recognize this redheaded snowboarder from her parts in the peepshow films, among other things, but now she is taking on new challenges behind the scenes at the PR desk for Bonfire/Salomon. And obviously we love to interview their PR People. Despite what we’ve heard about gingers, we found Colleen to be down-to-earth, and very nice, and we were stoked to interview her for this series. Though she was immersed in filming and competing for many years, she is college educated, and driven enough to move into a career behind the scenes - young riders who are out there shaping their careers should take note!
Colleen’s part from Peepshow.
Tell us about your role at Salomon/Bonfire. How’d you land the gig?
I do PR & Communications for Bonfire and Salomon Snowboards- so far it’s been amazing. The job came up when a friend was leaving the brands to move onto new opportunities and she let me know about the opening. From there I just applied and went through the hiring process.
What’s the best thing about your job?
The best thing about working for Salomon and Bonfire is the people. Everyone who works here are snowboarders; they are all funny, talented, and just awesome people all around. Plus Brad Steward, who founded Bonfire and is in charge of everything, is a straight up g. It feels good to work for people and brands that have such a deep history rooted in snowboarding. A lot of companies aren’t like that anymore, and at this point in my life, I couldn’t have worked for one that wasn’t.
So do you still have time to do “professional snowboarder” stuff, or are you more of just a professional… professional now?
I don’t know if I ever was much of a “professional”, but I still love snowboarding as much, if not more than I did last year. If it’s dumping at Meadows or a sunny Timberline day, I’ll be up there riding as hard as I can all day, but I’m not pulling a bungee in my spare time anymore.
Did you make it to Ms. Superpark this year?
I did, it was a great time. Snowboarder Magazine puts on the single most fun and progressive women’s event in the world, and every year the setup is bigger and the riding is better. It’s amazing to see 100 of the world’s most talented women snowboarders gathered in one place to push the limits of what women’s snowboarding is defined as. It’s definitely an event I look forward to every season.
Would you be more likely to survive being chased by a jaguar through powder in the trees, or being chased by a cougar down a stair rail. Wait,
are jaguars and cougars the same thing?
I think they’re different, and that I’d probably be screwed either way.
Pirates or Ninjas?
I’m a sucker for a man that can sail.
Your educational background is in business - were you hoping to work in the snow industry?
For a long time I wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted to do, but as I began to think about the next step in my life I knew I wanted to work in snowboarding for the time being. Do what you love and love what you do, right? Getting to snowboard a lot, and being around snowboarding, is a very appealing perk to me at this phase of my life.
Okay, how about you demonstrate your PR skills and tell us about the coolest thing Salomon/Bonfire has going for next year.
Oh man, both brands have a lot of fiery stuff coming out that’s you’re going to want to keep your eyes peeled for. On the Bonfire side of things, the Pendleton collaboration looks amazing and performs on the streets, the mountain, and everywhere in between. Bonfire¹s Tailored to Destroy outerwear design aesthetic meets Pendleton¹s legendary wool in a limited collection in our BSC line, serving up natural warmth and style focused on common values‹authenticity, quality, and craftsmanship.
As for Salomon, there are almost too many innovative stories to name just one, but for me, if I had to choose, it would be Salomon’s ShadowFit binding technology. ShadowFit features a flexible heel loop for a better fit and flex with boots, a Kevlar Quickwire for strength and support, and a baseplate engineered for weight reduction. The big thing here is the flexible heel loop- bindings hold your feet to your board, but other than that they just restrict movement. By having a flexible heel loop, not only is your binding more comfortable, but you can begin to forget that your binding is there by the way it moves with your body and feet, and the transfer of those motions without disruption.
Who’s the best female rider we may not have heard of?
It’s hard to pick one and say she’s the best. There are a lot of young girls coming up who are filming and riding in the street, and quite a few hitting jumps and pushing that side of things. Usually you don’t get to see girls ride until they sort of break through, but I’d say there are quite a few hungry girls on the come up.
We’ve been hearing some complaints lately that women’s snowboarding is too cliquey. What do you think? True, or just people being whiney?
I always sort of stuck with my friends, kept my head down and snowboarded, so I’m not sure about that. I try to keep out of the drama in general, but I’m sure, like anything else in life, there is going to be some level of drama.
When I googled you, I discovered there’s also a supermodel named Colleen Quigley. Have you met her? Or wait, are you leading a secret double life in which you don’t have red hair?
Yeah, she claims TRCQ and that’s fine by me. I’ve never met her, maybe our paths will cross some day and I can ask her about all those awkward videos
she puts on youtube.
Where’s your favorite place to ride?
That’s a tough one- I don’t think I could pick one place. I love riding in New Hampshire, at Loon and Waterville, because it always feels good to be home on the East Coast and those guys always have really fun setups. High Cascade and Big Bear have the most creative parks to ride hands down, and after moving to the PNW this winter I got to ride pow at Meadows and Baker- that was unreal.
Do you get antsy when you’re stuck in an office after all those years of constant shredding?
Not really, more like I got very antsy while I was riding. I always felt like I needed to do something different, something with more structure and to be challenged in different ways than snowboarding could challenge me. Snowboarding is amazing, but things on this side aren’t too bad either!
Where do you see yourself in ten years?
Still snowboarding, surfing, and skateboarding with maybe some ankle biters in tow, but we’ll see…
Are you still doing a lot of backflips? What about topless backflips?
I love backies and always will- they are just a fun and silly thing to do. And no, I’ll leave it at that.
Do you injure yourself less at your new job?
Definitely, but I still body slam all the time when I go riding.
You’ve spent a lot of years coaching at HCSC - what’s your favorite thing about camp?
Camp vibes- it’s just a great atmosphere, with plenty of cool people around and fun things to do all the time. My favorite thing is definitely the riding- summertime snowboarding is the best.
Anything else I missed?
I don’t think so. Thank you for the interview!
Posted by Kelly Vance on 05/23/2012