Today is Bosses Day, a day for employees to thank their bosses for creating positive workplaces.
At USA Nordic, Billy Demong is our fearless leader and today we want to celebrate him. Billy manages 20 employees, 38 athletes, 4 sports, 2 offices in 2 different countries, and a wonderful family at home.
Billy is famous for a lot of things. Around the office though, he’s less famous for his Olympic Gold Medal and more famous for his ability to think big, like REALLY big, and move at such a fast pace that some of us wonder how we ever keep up.
The passion that Billy Demong has for ski jumping and nordic combined is unrivaled. That passion has been present in Billy since he was a kid and a story from Billy’s mother depicts that best.
A story from Helen Demong:
As a young boy, Bill was a strong cross country skier. He was recruited when he was around 9 years old along with half a dozen of his talented cross country friends in Saranac Lake to try ski jumping as part of a new nordic combined developmental group. They trained with a group of young athletes from Lake Placid alternating between cross country skiing and ski jumping practice. Over the next few years, I noticed that one by one the Saranac Lake boys started to drop out of the ski jumping program. One night when Bill was 15 he came home from ski jump practice and I could tell he was upset. When I asked him why he was upset he said, “I’m the last one…the last boy from Saranac Lake still ski jumping!” Trying to comfort him I said, “You know Bill, you don’t have to keep ski jumping…you can quit if it doesn’t make you happy.” He turned and looked at me with a serious face beyond his years and he said, “Mom, you don’t understand… I HAVE to do this!” That’s when I knew.
That’s when Helen Demong knew that her son was going to dedicate most of his life to the sport and stop at nothing until he found success. Billy’s passion is translated into the workplace and pulses through the veins of our organization. The culture that Billy has created within this organization revolves around putting the athletes first, which is something we all take an incredible amount of pride in.
Today we want to thank Billy for all the time and energy he devotes to USA Nordic. You’ve done a great job Billy and we are proud of what you’ve built and accomplished. Stay Golden Billy D, from all of us at USA Nordic, Happy Bosses Day.
Here are some quotes and stories about Billy from our Staff:
“Bill is the best boss because he understands that good ideas might come out when you wake up at 4am (Mountain time) being jet-lagged and he is always ready to answer your calls and listen.” – Bine Norcic (Men’s Ski Jumping Head Coach)
“Bill is always willing to drop what he is doing, whether he should or not, to answer a question or help his staff accomplish a goal. He brings an energy that is infectious and it’s always a surprise to hear what comes out of his mouth or what he does next. Mostly I think we, coaches, all want him to stop asking us how his inrun looks and when he can jump next.” – Blake Hughes (Women’s Ski Jumping Team Director)
“Sometimes he forgets that he is not an athlete anymore.” (Billy is famous for dropping into an inrun position mid-meeting to show everyone he’s still ready to jump) – Igor Cuznar (Women’s Ski Jumping Coach)
“I like working for Billy because he understands that I am a mom and need lots of flexibility. He’s a good friend and fun to work with even if I have to tell him to focus on me every now and then.” – Ellie Brown (Accountant)
“Bill is a great boss a team leader because of his unrelenting energy and passion for ski jumping and nordic combined. His ability to motivate every staff member, athlete, donor, etc., is unmatched. I was lucky enough to grow up with Bill taking the role of my mentor in nordic combined, and I am now happy to have him as a mentor within USA Nordic. Working with Bill is an incredible experience and I learn from him every day.” – Nick Hendrickson (Head Coach Nordic Combined)
“Bill is a great boss because he has a great vision for the organization and never loses sight of that despite all of the challenges on a daily basis pulling him in a different direction.” – Alan Alborn (Athletic Director)
I have known Bill since I was 8 years old. In fact I met him at my first ever grasshopper camp in Lake Placid where we stayed at the White Sled bunkhouse. Because of this there are so many stories it makes it hard to pick the funniest, but one that comes to mind is our first trip to Norway with our new coach Bard Elden. He entered our whole team in a Norwegian invitational track meet. Billy, fancying himself a good runner was taking it very seriously during warm-ups and was all business. Little did we know that almost the entire field was elite Kenyan, Ethiopian, and Moroccan runners. They announced that the US Nordic Combined team was racing and we got a nice ovation from the crowd. Billy then proceeded to finish the best out of all of us…which was 6th to last place and our team took, 5th to last, 4th to last, 3rd to last, 2nd to last, with me pulling up the rear in DFL and almost getting lapped by the winner. Billy would like to say that it was due to a wardrobe malfunction of new ill-fitting shorts, which was hilarious, but that would not exactly be the truth. Fun to think back to all the stories we share and fun to work for a good friend. Thanks boss. – Jed Hinkley (Development Director)
“Bill is an extraordinary leader who thinks larger than most. I’ve noticed that Bill doesn’t put barriers on what he believes he or others can achieve, it’s pretty inspiring. I’ve learned more from Bill in one year than all my years of school combined.” – Ben Berend (Marketing Director)
“Having Bill as a boss is like winning gold at the Olympics. It’s awesome for people involved, and it sucks for others who are not part of it.” – Jan Druzina (Men’s Ski Jumping Coach)