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People of Opensnow

Joel Gratz

Founder, CEO & Colorado Meteorologist

Joel really (really) likes three things: Weather, snow, and skiing. After a childhood full of ski racing and teaching at Shawnee Mt in Pennsylvania, Penn State was the place to continue ski racing and study meteorology. Following his graduation at the top of his class in 2003, Joel moved to Boulder, CO to continue with college part II. While earning an MS in Environmental Studies and an MBA, it became readily apparent that forecasting snow in the mountains of Colorado is difficult. Because of this, Joel missed a few incredible powder days, and vowed to never let that happen again.

In his spare time, Joel started Colorado Powder Forecast as an email list in 2007, and found that the few years of grad school spent studying mountain weather patterns started to pay off in accuracy (and more importantly, missing fewer powder days). In 2009, Colorado Powder Forecast the website was born, and Joel become known as the go-to source for snow forecasts. In 2010, Joel left his full-time employer to live the dream of forecasting weather and skiing powder. And after a fortuitous meeting with another skiing meteorologist, Joel and Andrew Murray worked hard to bring Opensnow.com to life.

In addition to skiing, Joel hikes, bikes, climbs, storm chases, and does just about anything else outdoors. Because of this, he helped to create Chance of Weather to provide forecasts for non-snow sports.

Boulder, CO is his home base now and forever. The weather is great, the people are supportive, and it’s the best place in the world to start a business.

Andrew Murray

Co-Founder, CTO & Upper Midwest Meteorologist

Hailing from the state of Minnesota, Andrew is the brains behind the code and design of the site. He is a life-long skier, meteorologist and an expert in web design, development, and working with weather data. While studying meteorology and computer science at the University of Utah, he also built the popular site Utah Ski Weather.

After graduation, Andrew spent time working at NOAA’s National Weather Service as the Geospatial and Mobile Program Manager for Western Region Headquarters. There he was part of the team that developed and built Interactive NWS, a mobile alerting system for emergency managers. Due to this work, he was the recipient of the NOAA Administrator’s Award, a prestigious honor within the Department of Commerce.

After leaving NOAA, Andrew continued his work as a web developer in the atmospheric sciences field at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado. After working about a year, he decided to follow his true passions for mountain meteorology and left to work full time with Joel on both Chance of Weather and OpenSnow.

Most recently Andrew made the move from Boulder, Colorado to Minneapolis, Minnesota and became OpenSnow's eyes on the ground for the Upper Midwest.

When not programming or staring at clouds, Andrew skis, bikes, hikes, and likes to travel to far-away lands and sleep on couches (with the owner’s permission, of course).

As CTO, Andrew’s main job is to feed the penguins that run the servers, take awesome photos and videos while skiing the slopes, and occasionally go buy the six-packs.

Bryan Allegretto

Partner, Tahoe Snow Forecaster

Bryan Allegretto has made a name for himself as the go to guy for long-range snowfall predictions for the Lake Tahoe ski region.

Bryan grew up on the Jersey Shore and his obsession with big coastal storms goes back as far as he can remember. At a young age he would assist his father, who was in charge of making sure the major highways stayed clear of snow, in tracking down snow storms.

Bryan honed in on his amateur forecasting skills to plan ski vacations full of powder into his highschool years. As soon as he had a license to drive Bryan was tracking down big Nor-Easters and purposely trying to get himself stuck in the middle of the deepest powder dumps the Northeast had to offer.

Bryan studied meteorology at Kean University and not long after graduating decided he needed to fulfill his snow obsession and move to the where some of the biggest snows fall in the country, Lake Tahoe. Over the past 7 seasons he has used his storm tracking skills to track down the powder dumps for the Lake Tahoe region. His forecasting accuracy has gained him a spot as one of the regions best forecasters.

Evan Thayer

Utah Snow Forecaster

It wasn’t long after learning to walk that Evan was learning to ski. Skiing fresh snow became a passion for him even as a child – and growing up in Tahoe allowed for plenty of powder days. Obsessively checking weather maps and reading meteorological journals eventually led him to making his own snowfall predictions.

In college, Evan honed his snow forecasting skills while studying at Colorado State University and skiing the Rockies. Many holidays, however, were spent travelling to Utah to ski the Wasatch where Evan found the combination of quality and quantity of snow unmatched.

Evan and his wife moved to Utah soon after completing school and they have lived there ever since. He has continued his dream of forecasting snow and skiing big mountains. To Evan, “The Greatest Snow on Earth,” is more than just a motto -- it’s a way of life. In 2010, he started Wasatch Snow Forecast as a way to share the best powder days with his fellow snow-lovers. Evan brings the same quality forecasts and weather discussions to OpenSnow.com and hopes you enjoy skiing/riding Utah as much as he does.

Brian Clark

Northeast Meteorlogist

Brian grew up in a small town just north of State College, PA. Not exactly a skiing mecca, but he made the best of what he had around him nonetheless. He learned how to ski just after his 4th birthday and then spent the next 19 years tearing up every inch of the 500 vertical feet at Tussey Mountain, PA before moving northward. Brian started teaching skiing in the winter of 1998-1999 at 15 years old, and is now level 3 certified with Professional Ski Instructors of America (PSIA). Between all the years spent skiing and teaching, the sport has become nothing short of a lifelong passion.

Meteorology is another passion of Brian’s. He grew up constantly exposed to the science through his father, who has been a meteorologist and forecaster for AccuWeather, Inc. since the 70’s. Being a skier only heightened this interest in the weather, and when enrolling at Penn State in the fall of 2002, the choice of major was an easy one.

Upon graduating from Penn State in the spring of 2007, Brian immediately began a tenure working on Mount Washington, NH for the Mount Washington Observatory, a once in a lifetime experience that would last more than 5 years. Living and working on the tallest mountain in the Northeast also allowed Brian to explore the best, most gnarly, and only (truly) above treeline backcountry skiing in the East. Another benefit of working for the Observatory was getting to live in the Mount Washington Valley of New Hampshire, an area as rich in great ski resorts and terrain as it is in ski history.

After leaving the Observatory in October of 2012 to pursue other ventures, Brian is now living the ski bum life in the Mount Washington Valley. He works at one of the best ski shops in New England, Stan and Dan Sports in North Conway and teaches at Attitash Mountain Resort. When he’s not at either of those jobs, he can be found skiing at one of the other great local mountains, or ripping up the backcountry terrain in the White Mountains. To pass time between ski seasons Brian enjoys hiking, kayaking, soccer, golf, and ice hockey.

Justin Berk

Mid-Atlantic Meteorologist

Justin is obsessed with snow. He never hid his passion in nearly 20 years on TV, and doesn’t today: “Faith-in-the-Flakes”

Justin got his degree in meteorology from Cornell University and worked his first two TV jobs in Syracuse and Binghamton NY. That’s a lot of years in the snow-belt, but still not enough. In that time, he transitioned from skiing to snowboarding. The early years he spent as much time as possible between Greek Peak, Hunter, and Windham Mountains in NY. Stowe, Stratton, and Killington in VT.

In 1997, Justin moved to Maryland to work on TV in Baltimore. Over the next 14 years he became the first meteorologist in the region to achieve the CBM seal from the American Meteorological Society, was named Best in Baltimore by Baltimore Magazine 3 times, co-founded a radio show called Weather Talk, and taught weather classes at Stevenson University. He also has written for Examiner.com and grew his Facebook following to over 50,000. He won The Mobbies Award for best Facebook Page in Maryland for the past 2 years, including a Readers Choice Award in 2013.

Covering the Mid Atlantic Region includes his backyard in southern Pennsylvania. During the winter of 2013, Justin started a video series with Snowtime, Inc. filming weekly updates from Liberty, Roundtop, and Whitetail. His other favorite spots include Seven Springs, Wisp, and of course Snowshoe, WV.

If there is a flake within 100 miles, he’ll gladly find it!

The crosshairs between technology and meteorology are where Justin lives. He is an app developer, and started with Kid Weather App he made with one of his sons. In the first year it reached 29 countries. Education outreach is paramount to his charity program Wind For Change that raises money for The Cool Kids Campaign. He sits on the board of that charity that provides support and resources to pediatric cancer patients and their families.

Justin is thrilled to be part of the OpenSnow team.

Larry Schick

Northwest Meteorologist

Like a deep powder skier exploring new territory, Larry is on a planned, yet unpredictable journey of fun.

He grew up under the warm, sunny skies of Laguna Beach, California. Surrounded by breathtaking seascapes, he played in the ocean - enjoying an idyllic childhood. Think Norman Rockwell meets the Beach Boys.

He discovered surfing (board & body board) while surrounding himself with the joys of beach living. He soon realized the ocean offered infinite entertainment value. Observing ocean swells, waves, tides and beach topography, he deluded himself into thinking he had a knack for predicting quality surf.

He claims he really never saw snow until he attended Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona at 7000ft. From his home base in the dorm, he skied the high southwest including Arizona and Colorado to Utah

Much to his astonishment and his parent’s relief, he obtained a degree. He was heard to boast of a 4.0, but that was probably his senior year BAC. His diploma was in Earth Science and Weather Forecasting. But he wondered, what was one to do with this newfound knowledge?

He had a driving ambition to tell people about the weather. He went on a crusade to get his dream job as a TV meteorologist. After an intensely focused six-month search and more than a hundred resumes, infinite conversations, aided by detailed research into the television industry, then pursuing dozens of dead end leads - there were no interviews and certainly no offers.

But alas, there was a sudden change in the wind. Somehow he talked his way into an on air TV weathercasting job in beautiful Monterey, California. This was a charming piece of salesmanship and confidence, as he had no on air television experience.

Unlike most TV weather people of the time, he had a weather degree and sometimes actually knew what he was talking about. It seems people noticed that distinction, garnering him a growing and very loyal audience. He peppered his nightly weathercasts with humor, science education and always an accurate forecast. In this case, the college education did pay off.

Living in the stunning coastal city of Monterey, he skied the nearby Sierra Nevada in on his days off. He was hooked on deep powder skiing at Kirkwood and all the Lake Tahoe resorts.

To his surprise, a phone call came from another extraordinary place – Seattle. It was the prestigious KING – TV and they wanted him to be their on air morning broadcast meteorologist. He accepted immediately. The TV station manager was disappointed when Larry said he couldn’t start for six weeks. Larry was shading the truth. Who could blame him? A monster El Nino was in progress, hammering California. He had a season pass to ski Kirkwood. The “Wood” was getting pounded with daily, epic powder, weeks of dumpage, with no end. Also, during that month, he went on a seven day trip skiing in Canada. You can see how playing in the snow often directed his life and took priority.

He finally got settled in Seattle and did the weather on TV for the next two decades, skiing the Cascades, B.C., Oregon , Idaho and Montana. He won awards for his TV science journalism reporting and also a national award for snowsports reporting. His ski trips for the station were often cleverly disguised as a news report, blurring the lines between work and play to his advantage.

He finally left TV after 25 years of daily TV broadcasts. He now works in water management, as a meteorologist for the US Army Corps of Engineers in Seattle. He forecasts large floods, while working with massive dams, big water and flood control. It’s a fascinating and exciting job.

Larry cherry picks the best powder days to ski. He has skied more than 60 ski areas in the Western U.S. and British Columbia – including cat and heli skiing.

Larry can also be seen in Hawaii, reliving his early beach days and getting some waves.

His ride continues. The path is lined with fresh snow and perfect waves.

Tim Frost

Vermont & Northern New York Meteorologist

Tim is the definition of the skiing meteorologist! He grew up ripping it up at places like Burke, Loon, and Wildcat. He wanted to combine his love for skiing with his passion for weather. Low and behold – he found himself studying meteorology in Northern New England. Now, he’s a professional meteorologist in the Northern Champlain Valley. When he’s not creating forecasts – you will find Tim tearing up the bumps and trees at the various resorts around the Adirondack and Green Mountains.

If you are looking for Tim in the off-season; you can find him strength training while watching classic ski movies like Maltese Flamingo and Blizzard of Ahhhhh’s.

Sam Collentine

Forecaster & Doer of Many Things

Sam grew up in Colorado and was lucky enough to learn how to ski and snowboard Vail Mountain. After graduating from Windsor High School in 2009, Sam moved onto the University of Colorado at Boulder were he received his BA in Environmental Studies with a concentration in Atmospheric Science. While attending CU he was a Weather Intern at Channel 7 News in Denver, a Learning Assistant to undergraduate level Atmospheric Science courses, and a Meteorologist Intern for Joel here at OpenSnow during the spring semester of his senior year. In the summer following graduation, Sam interned at the National Weather Service in Boulder until joining OpenSnow this past September. When skiing or snowboarding isn’t possible in the summer, you will most likely find Sam mountain biking, backpacking, or climbing one of Colorado’s 14ers.

Bruce the Snowman

Official Snowman, Powder Lover & Ladies Man

Who is Bruce? Nobody knows for sure. One day he might be a snowman. Another day he’s a skier dressed in 80s gear. The only thing we know is that Bruce is unreasonably excited about snow, though sometimes he acts a bit odd.

When Bruce is not hittin the slopes or chasing powder across the country, you can find him enjoy the après-ski life, and flirting with the ladies.

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