‘Women of Winter’: A Revolution on the Slopes – Empowering Diversity, Education, and Leadership in Snow Sports

Breaking Barriers: A Conversation on Women’s Leadership in Snow Sports

In the bustling world of technology and innovation, there’s a unique intersection where creativity, business acumen, and a passion for learning come together. It’s here that we find Chris Walch, COO and Co-Founder of LifeScore Music, a beacon of insight and leadership. Joining us from Bozeman, Montana, Chris shared her journey and vision in a recent interview on “Bright Founders Talk” at Temy, an international software development company. With degrees from New York University and the University of Texas at Austin, along with an intriguing mix of law, technology, and teaching experience, Chris’s approach to life is as diverse as it is engaging. In this candid conversation, Chris unravels her insights on education, the art of discovering your “zone of genius,” and the importance of taking that first step in a venture, be it a business, a personal project, or simply a new direction in life. Dive in as we explore the mind of a multifaceted individual who effortlessly blends entrepreneurial spirit with a deep sense of purpose.

Breaking Barriers: A Conversation on Women's Leadership in Snow Sports
Unlocking Genius with Chris Walch: From the Zone of Greatness to Finding Flow State

We delved into the life and mission of Chris Walch, the CEO and Co-founder of LifeScore Music, as she unwrapped her journey from a multi-talented scholar to a purpose-driven entrepreneur. Raised by a family of first-generation immigrants, Chris’s pursuit of greatness never seemed enough. Not satisfied with merely thriving in her zone of greatness, Chris opened up about her drive to find a place where she felt truly exceptional, where she could flourish in her zone of genius.

“One thing that I talk a lot to students about, it’s like, just because you’re good at something doesn’t necessarily mean you should do something,” Chris remarked, underlining the critical distinction between being good at something and being truly passionate about it. Reflecting on her extensive education and the series of wins in her life, she explained his realization that achieving success was more than just ticking boxes. Instead, she described her pursuit of something greater, something that transcended the feedback loop of competence and greatness.

One thing that I talk a lot to students about, it’s like, just because you’re good at something doesn’t necessarily mean you should do something

Today, Chris takes his philosophy into the classroom, teaching at the Computer Science School of Montana State, where she challenges her students to break out of their shells. The course she teaches, named “Start Something,” aims to foster a willingness to try, to create, and to share ideas with others. Whether it’s initiating a tutoring program or launching a company, Chris encourages her students to practice, to flex their muscles, and to take that first step, no matter what they’re starting. “You have to practice and flex those muscles. So just starting little things, no matter what they are, I think it’s really important,” she urged, echoing the essence of her own journey from competence to genius.

Chris’s Journey from Law to Life’s Score: Designing a Life in Harmony with Passion and Work

Chris’s transition from a law firm’s tightly-packed schedule to the free-flowing melody of life isn’t just a career shift; it’s a masterpiece in making life choices. Leaving the legal field behind, she chased her love for skiing, exploring culinary ventures, and eventually found herself immersed in the mesmerizing world of music. Her collaboration with film composer Phillip Sheppard wasn’t just a lucky break; it was an outcome of a series of intentional choices, driven by her hunger for finding her flow state. “It’s kind of like a life by design, you have to pick and choose what’s important to you,” Chris tells us, emphasizing the conscious decisions that led her to where she is now.

It’s kind of like a life by design, you have to pick and choose what’s important to you

From tinkering with musical scores for Netflix and HBO to orchestrating Bentley’s real-time soundtracks, Chris’s journey into music has been a crescendo of innovation and enterprise. Together with her team, including Philip and the co-inventor of Siri, they started a business that turned a wild idea into a thriving enterprise. Providing adaptive music, reading feedback, and even transitioning the musical mood based on audience sentiment, the team’s ingenuity is as much a work of art as the music itself.

The transformation of Chris’s life isn’t just a change of tempo. It’s an entire symphony of her core values, where every note resonates with her purpose and passion. Her commitment to flexibility, time with family, and the value of freedom echoes through her daily routine, creating a life that others may find ‘insane,’ but is perfect for her. Reflecting on her metamorphosis, Chris shares, “I probably work more than I’ve ever worked at the firm, but I get to choose that. And that’s a difference.” It’s not a juggle of work and life; it’s a harmonious composition of both, where Chris is the conductor of her own destiny.

Striking a Chord with AI: Chris’s Vision of a Harmonious Future in Music and Beyond

With an unwavering passion for music and an eye on the future, Chris is pioneering a path that’s as unique as it is exciting. The fusion of music, AI, and human creativity is more than a concept; it’s a sensation that sends ripples through the industry. “It’s a strange sensation,” Chris admits, but one that is paving the way for new experiences in musical composition. By collaborating with artists to create eight-hour sleep albums or extending tracks through AI, Chris’s initiatives are opening up new ways to engage both artists and audiences.

But it’s not just about technology for technology’s sake. Chris’s approach emphasizes the harmony between people and AI, not as a replacement but as a complement to human capabilities. In a world that’s constantly moving and evolving, Chris emphasizes the importance of adapting and being open to change. This sense of balance echoes in Chris’s most powerful observation: “You have to have a vision, you have to have a Northstar. But you have to be willing to kill your darlings, and listen to people and understand that everything you create is for somebody else. It’s not for you.”

It’s this human-centric approach that sets Chris’s dream apart. From the transition of vinyl to streaming and the advent of AI, there’s always resistance, but Chris sees it as an opportunity to align with the artists, to advocate for their rights and work. With a vision that stretches beyond the current landscape of music, Chris aims to be a white hat in AI for music, supporting and uplifting artists in a way that’s innovative, ethical, and entirely captivating. Whether it’s navigating the complex landscapes of AI or equipping people with the skills to succeed in new life areas, Chris’s work resonates with a profound understanding of innovation and human connection.

Shifting the Landscape: Women of Winter and Chris’s Unstoppable Drive for Inclusion in Snow Sports

When Chris first decided to raise money for a wine and cheese night to coach young people in her community, it was nothing more than a fun little hobby inspired by her TEDx experiences. She never expected the whole thing to be packed, nor did she anticipate the strong demand that led to its continuation the following year. With a charismatic laugh, she recalls, “I had no intention of rolling this thing over. That was just like a fun little hobby to do last winter.” Yet, driven by the community’s hunger for more, it soon evolved into something much more significant.

Chris’s passion didn’t stop at organizing social events. Recognizing the lack of women in leadership roles in the ski industry and the particular absence of women of color, she took action. What started with a simple intention to fund a female patroller’s education at National Avalanche School soon became a movement. Chris explains the pivotal moment: “But you’re telling me there’s no one else in all of the ski schools in this area around Montana who can come in and help me? Alright, well, we’re just gonna change that, aren’t we?” This was the birth of the first BIPOC scholarships for women in Snowsports education. Now in its fourth year, over 100 scholarships have been awarded, thanks to Chris’s relentless efforts and the support of generous sponsors.

The Women of Winter initiative has transcended just offering scholarships. Its impact reaches into creating a community and fostering an environment where women feel safe to learn, make mistakes, and grow. It’s more than just an organization; it’s a nurturing ground for leadership and empowerment. One of the most telling signs of its success is the return of past participants who volunteer back. Chris’s voice fills with pride as she shares, “So they did our first scholarship year, and then the second year, that whole group said, ‘Hey, we want to come back and throw a graduation party for the new class.'” This connection, this desire to give back, speaks volumes about the community Chris has built. Her story is a testament to what one person’s passion, combined with community support, can achieve. It’s not just about snow sports; it’s about making real, lasting change, one slope at a time.

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