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Former MSU staff to head USST Foundation fund raising

Wed, Sep  17, 2008 - By US Ski Team

PARK CITY, UT (Sept. 16) - U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) President and CEO Bill Marolt has named Chris Ritrievi, a highly-experienced collegiate sports management and fundraising executive, to head the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Team Foundation. Ritrievi, a past collegiate athlete and avid skier, brings 26 years of fundraising leadership at some of the most noted collegiate athletic programs in America to the USSA.

 Chris Ritrievi, USSA Vice President of Foundation
(Photo/Steve C. Wilson / University of Utah)

"The leadership of the Foundation is a critical component of achieving our vision of becoming the best in the world," said Marolt. "Chris brings both a personal interest in our sports as well as a long track record of success at some truly outstanding athletic organizations."

The USSA is an Olympic sports organization providing grassroots programs in competitive skiing and snowboarding from the entry and junior levels up through the U.S. Ski Team and U.S. Snowboarding national teams. The Foundation is a major source of revenue for athletic programs at all levels.

Ritrievi was a varsity wrestler at Princeton in the late '70s where he earned a degree in economics, going on to earn an MBA from Lehigh University. He began a productive career in college athletics with a focus on fundraising while in positions at Bowling Green, Princeton, Penn and Stanford. In seven years as athletic director at Northern Iowa he had a dramatic impact on athletic performance and business management. In the last ten years he has led development staffs at Michigan State and, most recently, the University of Utah to record levels of revenue for athletic programs.

In addition to his sport management experience, Ritrievi holds a Level 1 certification from the Professional Ski Instructors of America (PSIA) and teaches at Park City Mountain Resort.

"This opportunity will allow me to combine my fundraising vocation with a personal passion of skiing. The vision and mission of the USSA is simple and clear. I look forward to working with our Board of Trustees, donors and staff to support the phenomenal athletes on all of our teams," Ritrievi said.

In his position with the USSA, Ritrievi will oversee fundraising programs including both endowments and annual giving. The Foundation presently contributes a net $6.4 million annually to athletic programs through major giving, the Summit Club, special events including a nationwide series of major market fundraisers and other programs. He will also manage endowment programs including the $60 million Legacy Campaign that provides support for construction of the USSA's new Center of Excellence, a national training and education center, that will open in the spring of 2009 in Park City.

Ritrievi will join the USSA the weekend of October 4-5, attending fundraising events in San Francisco and Silicon Valley. Ritrievi and his wife Stephanie are planning to move from Salt Lake City to Park City in the near future.