Matt Sterbenz, the founder of 4FRNT Skis and one of the most influential players of the indie-ski movement, is moving on, having submitted his resignation to business partner Jason Levinthal this week, reports Powder.com.
In 2002, he started 4FRNT in Truckee, California, (along with Joe Stumpf, a former VP of Mergers and Acquisitions for AT&T, who left the ski company in 2009) after being frustrated with the lack of freeride- and powder-skiing options from big European-based brands at the time. Sterbenz moved the company to Salt Lake City in 2005.
“I’ve been loving this past year working alongside Jason. The biggest factor in selling 4FRNT to him last year was ensuring the company stayed independent and led by skiers with an equal passion for skiing as I have,” he wrote.
After 16 years at the helm, Sterbenz is stepping down from his position Monday to begin serving as General Manager of Wintersports at a Berkley, California-based advanced materials company called Checkerspot. Sterbenz plans to stay living in Salt Lake City with his wife and son.
Clearly a man who likes to keep busy, Sterbenz also just released a children’s book. In this poignant true story, Sterbenz opens up about forming a friendship with a skier named David, based on two-time Olympic gold medalist skier David Wise, and both skiers would dream big. Sterbenz makes skis for Wise, and they both believe in each other. They go through some trials and tribulations (such as the skis breaking in half), but they didn’t give up and they work even harder in their crafts to succeed. Sterbenz was able to improve the materials for the skis, and Wise kept practicing.
The result, as we all know, was worth it. Wise took home his first gold medal at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia. This was the first-ever Olympic medal in the men’s halfpipe, and the celebrations began. Most importantly, the book illustrates how a strong bond of friendship can help people reach their dreams, and this is a valuable lesson to teach to children.