September 21, 2018

Vt. Ski Hall of Fame class announced

The Vermont Ski & Snowboard Hall of Fame announced its class of inductees for 2018 this week. An induction ceremony is planned for Oct. 27 at Killington’s Grand Resort Hotel.

The inductees are 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,” a press release announcing the class states.

Also during the ceremony, Peter Oliver will be presented with the Paul Robbins Journalism Award, and The First Tracks Award will be presented to Kelly Brush Davisson.

“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 Vermont Ski and Snowborad Museum Executive Director Deb Taylor.

Foster Chandler is a former vice president and director of marketing of Killington Ski Area. He was also director the of New England Ski Areas Council for 46 years.

Dennis Donahue grew up in Essex Junction, went to Middlebury College, and currently resides in Thetford. He was an Olympic level biathlete and participated in five world biathlon championships. He has spent 30-plus years dedicated to the development of competitive junior skiing in New England.

Hanah Kearney grew up in Norwich and is an Olympic and World Championship medalist in mogul skiing.

Paul Johnston was vice president of Stratton Mountain, where he opened the slopes to snowboarders and staged the original U.S. Open of Snowboarding in 1985. He was instrumental in helping other resorts navigate best practices for snowboarding instructors, equipment and liability. He also worked at Bromley Mountain, installing snowmaking and the first alpine slide in the 1970’s.

Janet and Brad Mead opened Pico Ski Area in Rutland on Thanksgiving Day 1937. The Meads later installed the first T-bar in the U.S. Their daughter Andrea Mead Lawrence succeeded internationally in ski racing, winning two Olympic gold medals in 1952.

 Waitsfield’s Peter Oliver will receive the Paul Robbins Journalism Award in recognition of his contributions to ski writing. He is the author of seven books, including “Stowe: Classic New England” and “The Insider’s Guide to the Best Skiing in New England”.

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.

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