By Karen D. Lorentz
Like so many people born and raised in Rutland, Megan Canty learned to ski at Pico Mountain – in her case when she was 4 years old.
Asked who taught her to ski, she notes having three years of lessons at Pico every Sunday and learning from her father, Pat, and Pico instructors.
“I loved skiing. My dad, sister and I would load into his Eagle car and spend the day at Pico. The great thing about it was I had lessons with my friends, and my dad would free ski with his friends. After three winters of lessons, I made it clear to my parents – as a 7-year-old I knew what was best for me – that I had learned all I needed to know, and I didn’t need lessons anymore.”
Canty recalls those years as “father daughter bonding time. My father took me and my sister Erin to Pico every weekend and I continue to enjoy skiing today.”
After graduating from Rutland High School (1994), Canty earned a degree in elementary education from the College of St. Joseph (1999). However, family and skiing influenced her career path, and she’s now one of the few Rutland natives to have worked at Killington for 20 years.
Q&A with Megan Canty
Mountain Times: What was your route to your Killington job?
Megan Canty: After graduating college I was offered a teaching position in New Hampshire, but the timing wasn’t right, so I decided to apply for a seasonal position at Killington Resort. I only intended to work for a short time but that was 20 years ago!
My first thought was something that related to my degree, but I saw an opening in human resources (HR). I was hired in December 1999 and my first position was the HR receptionist. My next seasonal position was the recruiter position, and in 2000 I was hired as the benefits coordinator, a year round position. More recently I was promoted to the payroll and benefits manager.
MT: What are your job duties and responsibilities?
MC: My concentration in HR is benefits and payroll. Included in my role is staff party planning, new hire orientation presenter, recognition programs, and everyday HR items.
MT: Who were your mentors?
MC: I was hired as the benefits coordinator in 2000 by Diane Davis. She was the vice president of HR at the time and definitely was my mentor.
MT: What do you like about your job? Best part?
MC: The best part is the people I work with.
My favorite job tasks include team support and presenting at new hire orientations. I get a chance to meet our new employees and help make them feel like part of our team.
I also like planning the team parties for Killington/Pico staff members and enjoyed implementing a wellness program for staff through a partnership with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont.
MT: Is the new Fit Trail and Walking Loop part of the wellness program?
MC: Yes. About five years ago Killington/Pico partnered with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont to establish a worksite wellness program for our staff members. Over the years we have offered free flu shots to all staff, free biometric screening to all staff, free chair massages to all staff, monthly wellness challenges with great prizes, and last summer we opened our walking path and outdoor mountain gym.
The Fit Path features 10 exercise stations and the Walking Loop is .7 miles long around Snowshed Pond. Both were built with the idea that employees can go for a walk or workout on their breaks and after work. It offers another another opportunity to exercise and is open to guests also.
MT: How often do you get out on the mountain?
MC: Winter is a busy time so I don’t get out and ski as much as I would like; my goal is to ski 10-15 times. I’m not there yet, but I’m going to try and get 15 days in by the end of the season.
MT: What’s your take on winter in Killington? Vermont?
MC: I love that Killington has become more of a year round resort. There definitely has been an increase in summer with the mountain biking, events, and the activities at Snowshed.
When I first graduated from college I really thought I would move out of Vermont, but all my family lives here. I can ski with my niece and father or go have lunch with my mom, sister and nephew. I can see my family for the holidays. Honestly, I don’t think I could get my husband to move out of Vermont, not that I am suggesting it.
MT: How did you meet your husband?
MC: My husband Brad is also a long time Killington employee. I met him years ago; we kept running into each other outside of work and found out we had similar interests – skiing, hiking, kayaking. I was actually the one who asked him out and the rest is history. We married about five years ago and it has been wedded bliss ever since.
MT: How do you spend your time outside of work?
MC: I try to get out and ski with Brad. I also love to kayak and hike with Brad and our two golden retrievers, Gus and Milo. Sometimes I get out and ride my road bike. Last summer I took a mountain bike lesson with my co-workers at Killington and loved it. I can definitely see myself continuing to mountain bike this summer.
MT: What advice would you give someone who wanted to live/move here?
MC: Enjoy the four seasons of Vermont and remember mud season is not one of them.
MT: Other hobbies, spare time activities?
MC: I enjoy reading and painting – acrylic paint on canvas relaxes me.
MT: Favorite book you’d recommend?
MC: Last book I read “The Hate U Give” by Angie Thomas. When I start reading a good book I have a hard time putting it down, and this was definitely true with this book.
MT: Any advice or words of wisdom?
MC: Work hard, play hard.