Saddleback: A Message from Andy Shepard
It has been the greatest honor of my long career to have been the General Manager and CEO at Saddleback during this time of rebirth and to have been embraced with so much support from the Saddleback family. I have tried to lead with transparency, humility, integrity, and kindness, and with a constant focus on maintaining the unique Saddleback family culture. It has become clear to me that although I have loved this job, and while my mind still has the passion, my body is no longer able to support me remaining in this position and I will be stepping down to focus on those things I can still do to be helpful at Saddleback.
I am very proud of the work we’ve done together over the past 2 ½ years and believe we have laid a solid foundation for success for generations to come. We have caring and skilled leaders who trust and respect one another, we have a cadre of young and emerging leaders who are driven by intellectual curiosity and passion for the mountain, and we have a highly-skilled collection of external partners who are crafting world-class marketing messaging and are outstanding at finding the right places to put those messages to get people here, we have research that gives us deep insights into the marketplace and in Arctaris we have an ownership model that is providing extraordinary leadership in finding the funding we need to build the mountain into a sustainable economic engine for the region.
Together, we have re-established Saddleback as a magical place where people really do care about one another, where crying kids will get attention and a cup of cocoa, where we accept our responsibility to protect our remarkable natural environment, where we are known for transparency and doing what we say we’re going to do and where every guest is made to feel our appreciation for being here. I hope you all realize how unique that is, and while I am confident that culture will continue, it can never be taken for granted. What we have is really hard to create and really easy to lose.
As the person out in front, I have always received too much credit for the extraordinary work of our remarkable team. What I would like people to know is that the team currently in place will continue to operate at a very high level and I can say with confidence that the Saddleback family is in very good hands.
While I’m stepping away from my current role, effective immediately, I am looking forward to continuing to help by focusing my time on fundraising, public relations, bringing our community development initiatives to completion, and working with our governmental partners. I won’t say goodbye because I’m not going anywhere, but I am looking forward to seeing the continued growth of the Mountain and the Saddleback family. I also want to thank you all for the warmth and support you’ve shown me and my family.
For that, I offer a most humble and sincere thank you.