By Karen D. Lorentz
KILLINGTON—With parents who were avid skiers, Kristel Fillmore was one of the lucky kids who skied from an early age. Although she was born in Somers Point, N.J., her parents took the family
to Pico Mountain where Fillmore learned to ski at 4 years old.
Taught by instructors in the Pico Snow Sports School, she took to the sport and then learned to snowboard at 13, again through lessons at Pico.
She also was active in water sports, enjoying crew, swimming, waterskiing and paddleboarding.
But more enamored of snow, she decided to attend Castleton University after graduating from Egg Harbor Township HS in 2003.
“I wanted to be as close as possible to Killington-Pico. My parents, sister and brother-in-law also attended Castleton,” she said. She “snowboarded as much as possible” during that time.
Fillmore majored in business administration with a concentration in marketing. After graduating in three years from Castleton in 2006, a feat she managed through summer internships and studies, she returned to New Jersey for a job at Morey’s Piers in Wildwood. She worked for the seaside amusement park for 11 years doing public relations, marketing, and event planning.
During that time she was a weekend warrior to Pico and Killington. But she never gave up on her dream of moving to Vermont.
Q&A with Kristel Fillmore
Mountain Times: So how did you get to your current job?
Kristel Fillmore: I had a goal to end up back in Vermont and kept a close eye on available marketing jobs at Killington. Finally, this past summer  my job opened up and in my interview I told them, “This is my dream job!” That worked, because here I am as the Communications/PR & Social Media Manager at Killington-Pico.
MT: What are your duties or responsibilities?
KF: I am responsible for all the social channels for Killington Resort, which entails Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat. I also am the spokesperson and handle all public relations for both Killington and Pico. I do press releases, interviews with journalists, handle press trips, and give tours.
MT: What’s the best part of your job?
KF: The skiing and snowboarding on almost a daily basis. I love getting to share my passion of skiing and snowboarding at Killington/Pico with our guests and members of the press.
MT: Do you have influences or mentors?
KF: My dad. His passion for the sport is contagious. Whether it’s inspiring us (his family), friends, or even guests to Killington, you get excited because he’s excited. He skis no matter the conditions and tells us how great a day he had.
MT: How’s it been living in Vermont?
KF: I keep saying how “I am learning to Vermont.” And for me, it’s been a blast. So far, I’ve learned how to drive a tractor and learned more winter activities like ski biking, snowshoeing and winter running.
MT: How often do you get out on the mountain?
KF: I’m typically on the mountain four or five times a week, whether it’s for work, touring media around, or on my days off with friends and family.
MT: How would you define the mountain or ski town lifestyle?
KF: The lifestyle is laidback, fun and passionate. We all have the same passion and that makes everyone easy friends.
MT: Any advice for people who might be thinking about moving to Vermont?
KF: Don’t give up and keep looking; do lots of job searches. Consider working part-time; it might lead to a full-time position. I worked part-time at Pico last year.
MT: Are you balancing family and work lives?
KF: When your family also is at the mountain, it’s easy to balance your family and work lives. Both my parents work for Killington-Pico as “retirement jobs.”
MT: Other sports, hobbies, spare time activities?
KF: I like hiking, running, snowshoeing, paddleboarding and yoga. I’d always rather be outside, no matter what I am doing. I’ve also been subbing at the Pico Sports Center as a yoga instructor.
MT: Any advice or words of wisdom?
KF: I love the quote, “Work requires effort. Things we love to do feel effortless. Only do the things you love and you’ll never have to work again.”
It took some time, but I never gave up on the goal of working in the ski/snowboard industry and I love every moment of it.