As the first female editor-in-chief of Skiing Magazine in its 68-year history, Kim Beekman had her challenges straight ahead and in clear view. Taking the helm of an iconic brand in a vertical media space dominated by male athletics, male-run gear manufactures and male-dominated resort management isn’t easy. To compound matters, winter vertical media tends to be elitist toward its readership: Are you really good enough? If you’re not, you won’t be allowed into the club.
Beekman didn’t flinch. Named editor-in-chief in the spring of 2015, she quickly repositioned and reenergized the skiing brand with an emphasis on compelling storytelling and social-platform content. She launched a big-tent branding strategy, welcoming a wider range of skiers and riders to enjoy skiing across all platforms. Passion for the sport, not your ability, was your ticket in—a direct and deliberate counterweight to the perceived snobbery elsewhere in the space.
It helped that Beekman had legitimate bona fides. As an award-winning journalist, an accomplished lifelong skier and director of SKI’s rigorous Women’s Ski Test, she already had earned the respect of the ski industry, and brought a keen sense of the mountain life to her new leadership role.
A gifted writer, Beekman has had two feature stories earn national recognition. One of them addressed the hidden side of the ski industry and its increasing use of Mexican migrant workers. “El Otro Lado” explored the labor pipeline that runs from a small town in Mexico to Wyoming’s Jackson Hole ski resort.