Mark Bee will cap a 30 year career in the lift business when he retires as president of Doppelmayr USA on March 31st. Austrian-born Katharina Schmitz will be promoted to fill the role. Bee will remain on the board of directors for the company’s North American entities.
Mark joined VonRoll Tramways in 1989, seven years before that firm was acquired by Doppelmayr. He was instrumental in merging Doppelmayr USA with Garaventa CTEC in 2002 and oversaw more than 400 lift installations over his tenure. “It has been an honor and a privilege to be part of the Doppelmayr organization, and to work in the ski industry,” said Bee. “I could not have imagined a better career or a better company to work for,” he continued.
Katharina Schmitz joined Doppelmayr in 2018 as Vice President, Project Management. She had moved to the United States back in 2005 and previously worked in the automotive and aerospace sectors. Earlier this year, she was promoted to Vice President, Operations where she is responsible for production, logistics and construction. “When we hired Katharina last year, I thought she might be overqualified for the position we were trying to fill, and as it turns out, she was,” said Bee. “She immediately earned the respect of her co-workers with her team-oriented approach to problem solving, and her ability to quickly learn our business.”
“As a native Austrian and avid skier, I was well aware of the Doppelmayr name and I was ready for a career change,” Katharina said about joining the 126 year old ropeway company. “When I was offered a position, I jumped. Since joining Doppelmayr I have been impressed with the dedication and talent of the employees, and the continuous focus on solving problems for our customers. I will work very hard to continue to advance the capabilities of our team to make sure we are prepared to provide the best products and services to our many loyal customers who have placed a great deal of trust in our organization,” she continued.
Change at the top comes as Doppelmayr continues to serve the ski industry while also growing the tourism and urban transportation segments of the lift market. Doppelmayr USA has increasingly become a maintenance and operations provider for installations such as the Portland Aerial Tram and Bay Area Rapid Transit Oakland Airport Connector. The company also recently introduced new products such as D-Line detachable lifts, Alpen Star fixed grip terminals and Omega V gondola cabins.
It should be no secret Doppelmayr is a company I admire and I would like to wish Katharina success in her upcoming role as well as Mark a happy retirement.