2018 Vermont Ski & Snowboard Hall of Fame Inductees and Paul Robbins, First Tracks, VTSSM Community Awards


Since 2002, the Vermont Ski & Snowboard Hall of Fame has recognized more than sixty athletes, pioneers and contributors who have made skiing or riding history in Vermont. Five new inductees will be celebrated at an Induction Ceremony presented by Vermont Ski and Snowboard Museum on October 27, 2018 at Killington Grand Resort Hotel. They include Foster Chandler, Dennis Donahue, Hannah Kearney, Paul Johnston, and Janet and Brad Mead, each changed skiing and snowboarding in Vermont and beyond while maintaining Vermont's reputation as a breeding ground for athletes and industry pioneers. Peter Oliver will be presented with the Paul Robbins Journalism Award. The First Tracks Award will be presented to Kelly Brush Davisson. Killington Resort will be honored with a new Vermont Ski and Snowboard Museum Community Award.

"We are proud to celebrate the impact of these individuals on Nordic and alpine skiing, and snowboarding, plus the overall culture of the sports," said Museum Executive Director Deb Taylor. "The Killington Grand is the perfect location for the recognition of these athletes and special contributors from central Vermont."

Asan avid promoter of the values inherent in alpine skiing, Foster Chandler was an integral figure in bringing the sport of skiing to the public at large. From 1964 to 1996 he was Vice President and Director of Marketing of Killington Ski Area where he helped grow Killington into one of the largest ski areas in the country. He spearheaded the mass marketing of the Graduated Length Method that revolutionized the way people learned to ski, resulting in the major growth of the sport in the 70s and 80s. He was founder and President of Ski New England, Director of New England Ski Areas Council for 46 years, and for 8 years was Chairman of the Vermont Travel Council, and member of the Vermont and National Ski Area Associations marketing committees. Foster has skied 196 ski areas.

Biathlete Olympian Dennis Donahue grew up in Essex Junction, went to Middlebury College, and currently resides in Thetford. He raced internationally from 1968 to 1976, representing the Putney Ski Club. He competed in the 1972 and 1976 Olympics. He participated in five World Biathlon Championships. After seven years teaching and coaching at the Holderness School, he has spent 30-plus years dedicated to the development of competitive junior skiing in New England at the Ford Sayre program at both national and regional levels, and was actively involved with Junior Olympics.

Freestyle mogul skier, Olympic and World Championship medals winner, Hannah Kearney grew up in Norwich, attended Hanover High, and graduated from Westminster College in Salt Lake City, Utah. With 117 World Cup starts, she was on the podium seventy-one times, winning forty-six events. During the 2010/11 and 2011/12 seasons, she won a record-setting sixteen World Cups in a row. Over her career, Hannah competed in three Olympic Games (2006, 2010, 2014) winning a gold medal in Vancouver and a bronze in Sochi. She also won eight World Championship medals, three gold; and ten F.I.S. World Cup crystal globes.

Industry pioneer Paul Johnston accumulated many "firsts" in his thirty years of ski resort management to his credit, most notably as Vice President of Stratton Mountain where he opened the slopes to snowboarders and staged the U.S. Open of Snowboarding at Stratton starting in 1985. Keeping in step with the growth of snowboarding he brought in specialized Bombardier grooming equipment, including a pipe grinder, Stratton was able to introduce halfpipe events at the 1998 U.S. Open. As the number of riders at areas quickly grew, he was instrumental in helping other resorts navigate best practices for instructors, equipment, and liability. He also worked at Bromley Mountain, installing snowmaking and the first alpine slide in the 1970's.

Pico Peak founders Janet and Brad Mead opened their ski area in Rutland on Thanksgiving Day 1937 with a rope tow on Little Pico. In 1938, Sunset Schuss opened on a hike-up basis, and Karl Acker came from Switzerland as the Ski School Director. The Meads installed the first T-bar in the US in 1940. Janet ran the ski area until 1954 after Brad's tragic death in 1942 focusing on youth programs as their daughter Andrea Mead Lawrence succeeded internationally in ski racing, winning two Olympic gold medals in 1952.

Three additional special awards will be presented:

Waitsfield's Peter Oliver will receive the Paul Robbins Journalism Award in recognition of his contributions to ski writing. He is theauthor of seven books, including Stowe: Classic New England (Winner of the 2005 Ullr Award from the International Ski History Association) and The Insider's Guide to the Best Skiing in New England and more than 150 feature articles for Skiing, Ski, Outside, Ski Vermont, Powder, Ski Area Management, The Boston Globe, The New York Times, USA Today,and many other publications.

This year, Kelly Brush Davisson will receive the First Tracks Award, which honors exceptional and ongoing contributions made to skiing or snowboarding in Vermont by someone under 35. This award is given in memory of Ian Graddock, a Vermont Ski and Snowboard Museum Board member and lifelong skier who passed away in 2016 at the age of 35. After Kelly suffered a spinal cord injury in 2006 in a ski race, Kelly and her family founded the Kelly Brush Foundation, which started as a commitment to ski racing safety and has expanded to support people with spinal cord injuries to lead an active lifestyle.

Killington Resort will receive the first VTSSM Community Award. The award recognizes a group or organization within the skiing and riding community that is making a significant and unique contribution to further Vermont's place in skiing and snowboarding history. The Museum celebrates Killington for bringing world class skiing competition to Vermont by hosting the F.I.S. Alpine Women's World Cup in 2016, 2017, and 2018.

The Vermont Ski & Snowboard Hall of Fame Induction honors the Class of 2018 and is open to all. The dinner event includes a reception and awards ceremony highlighting each inductee's achievements with a short biographical film and award presentations and silent auction. Tickets are available on-line via https://vtssm2018hof.brownpapertickets.com/ or visit www.vtssm.com .

 
56th Vermont Milk Bowl Schedule Announced

The action will be hot and heavy at the 56th Vermont Milk Bowl Weekend with eight divisions in action across three days of racing. (Alan Ward photo)>>

Barre, VT – Thunder Road officials have announced the full schedule of events for the 56th Vermont Milk Bowl Weekend presented by Northfield Savings Bank. The 3-day event from Friday, September 28 through Sunday, September 30 is expected to be one of the biggest in Milk Bowl history, with eight divisions featuring the best local and touring racers in the Northeast.

The Thunder Road season finale begins on September 28 at 6:00pm with the inaugural Northfield Savings Bank Milk Bowl Friday. The evening will feature a 150-lap event for the Pro All Stars Series (PASS) Super Late Models along with 50-lap events for the North East Mini Stock Tour and V8 Street Stock Showdown Series. A special 30-lap event for Thunder Road’s Burnett Scrap Metals Road Warriors will round out the racing program.

Milk Bowl Friday will conclude with a fireworks display provided by Northstar Fireworks. The day will also include an optional Maplewood/Irving Oil Late Model practice session from 12:00pm to 2:30pm.

Booth Bros./H.P. Hood Milk Bowl Qualifying Day will be Saturday, September 29 with a 1:00pm post time. The top Maplewood/Irving and American-Canadian Tour (ACT) Late Model competitors will run time trials and 50-lap qualifying races to help set the Milk Bowl starting field. The day will also feature group time trials and Segment 1 of “Mini Milk Bowls” for the Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel Flying Tigers, Allen Lumber Street Stocks, and New England Dwarf Cars.

Following the conclusion of racing on the Barre high banks, the Junior Champ Karts will hold their season finale. The evening will also feature a performance from local rock band Rumblecaddy in the Turn 3 pavilion from 7:00pm to 11:00pm.

The weekend reaches its apex on Sunday, September 30 with the 56th Vermont Milk Bowl. The Last Chance “B” Feature to determine the final Milk Bowl qualifiers will roll onto the track at 12:15pm. Opening ceremonies are set to follow at 1:00pm. In between the three Milk Bowl segments, the Flying Tigers, Street Stocks, and Dwarf Cars will run the final segments of their Mini Milk Bowls.

Adult general admission for Vermont Milk Bowl Weekend is $30 for a Saturday/Sunday 2-day ticket, $20 for a Friday-only ticket, and $10 for a Saturday-only ticket. Kids 12 and under will be admitted free all three days. Pit pricing is available on the Thunder Road website.

For more information, visit www.thunderroadvt.com.

 
Jamey Ventura becomes Associate Dean of NVU Athletics

Jamey Ventura has been appointed as the Associate Dean of Athletics for Northern Vermont University. In this role he has responsibility for oversight of the athletic programs on NVU's Lyndon and Johnson campuses.

Ventura had been the Director of Athletics and Recreation at NVU-Johnson (previously Johnson State College) since June of 2011. At Johnson, he supervised the Badgers' 16 varsity sports, along with campus intramurals and recreation. He also developed a five-year plan for competitive growth consistent with the mission of the college.

In announcing Ventura's appointment, NVU President Dr. Elaine Collins remarked "Jamey brings to the position thirteen years of experience as Director of Athletics. I am very pleased that Jamey will be able to bring his wide-ranging experience, knowledge of the VSCS, NAC, and NCAA, and his commitment to the mission, vision, and values of NVU together to cultivate solidarity between our two campuses, build competitive athletic programs, and ensure that our student athletes continue to be successful as they transition into the next phase of their lives following graduation."

Prior to coming to Johnson, Ventura accumulated seven years of combined experience as Athletics Director and Women's Soccer Coach at Wells College in Aurora, NY, and Green Mountain College in Poultney, VT. He facilitated impressive growth and development of the athletic departments at both NCAA Division III institutions.

Under Ventura's leadership from 2007 to 2011, Wells produced 50 conference scholar-athletes who achieved a grade point average of 3.4 or higher. 12 of 13 varsity programs at Wells qualified for conference playoffs during his tenure. He also doubled the number of student-athletes at the college and led several successful community outreach programs.

At Wells and Green Mountain College, Ventura increased student-athlete retention to more than 80 percent for six straight years. As Women's Soccer Coach at Green Mountain, he led the team to an 18-1 record and claimed the Division III independent championship.

Ventura began his career as an assistant coach of women's soccer and women's lacrosse at Kenyon College in Gambier, OH.

Ventura holds a Master of Business Administration degree with a specialty in corporate finance from Walden University and a bachelor's degree in psychology with a concentration in education from the State University of New York College at Brockport.

 

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