Colorado Snowsports Hall of Fame announces Class of 2017
VAIL — The votes have been cast and counted, and now the Colorado Snowsports Hall of Fame will begin preparations to welcome its Class of 2017 as the five new members will be formally inducted later this year.
Heading the list of new Hall of Fame members is Aspen backcountry and ski mountaineering legend Chris Davenport. He will be joined by SKEA Ltd. owner, president and designer Diane Boyer, of Vail; recently retired Steamboat Ski Resort president and author Chris Diamond and former U.S. Ski & Snowboard Association national competition director Walt Evans.
In addition, Aspen ski racing administrator and official Dave Stapleton will be inducted into the Hall of Fame as the 2017 Pioneer selection.
“We are extremely excited about our incoming Hall of Fame class,” said Susie Tjossem, executive director of the Colorado Ski & Snowboard Museum and Hall of Fame. “We have all aspects of snowsports represented, with athletes, sport builders and a true pioneer.”
The Colorado Ski & Snowboard Hall of Fame Class of 2017 will be officially enshrined in mid-October during the organization’s annual Induction Gala.
The five Hall of Fame inductees were elected from a field of 15 nominees that also included Johnny Buxman (Vail), Bruce Cranmer (Winter Park), Bob Dart (Winter Park), Jeff Gorsuch (Aspen), Jake Hoeschler (Winter Park), Bob Kunkel (Durango), John Lovett (Vail), Johno McBride (Aspen), Moe Mosley (Golden) and Lonny Vanatta (Steamboat Springs).
Hall of Fame candidates are nominated under the established criteria of Athlete, Sport Builder, Inspirational or Pioneer categories, with the Hall of Fame nomination committee evaluating and confirming the nominees to move on to the final ballot. The 140-member Hall of Fame voting panel is comprised of current Hall of Fame members, key ski industry representatives and the Hall’s board of directors.
Diane Boyer is a passionate Colorado skier and outdoor enthusiast, actively promoting skiing for women and families through her company SKEA Ltd., and her involvement in SnowSports Industries America and the Colorado Snowsports Museum. From her home base in Vail, Boyer’s Colorado and national industry influence are borne of her tenure on the SIA board of directors (1998 to 2009), including serving as the first female chair of SIA from 2005-07.
From 2005 to 2009, as board member and chair of the organization, Boyer’s efforts to convince the SIA board of directors and Denver and Colorado constituencies to move the annual January trade show from Las Vegas to Denver were fundamentally important to the decision to make this significant move in 2009.
SKEA was founded by the Boyer family in 1972, with Diane at the helm as president of the company since 1992, along with also serving as designer and owner for more than 25 years.
For the better part of the last decade, Chris Davenport’s primary focus has been on backcountry skiing and ski mountaineering, dramatically contributing to the rise and popularity of the current AT backcountry movement. In 2007, he became the first person to ski all 54 of Colorado’s 14,000-foot peaks in one year, adding another 46 13,000-foot peaks to the record in 2015.
As a result, Davenport was named National Geographic’s Adventurer of the Year for his vision and success on the Colorado-based project. He has authored two coffee table books that celebrate Colorado’s mountains, “Ski the 14ers” and “Fifty Classic Ski Descents of North America”. Most recently, he was named one of ESPN’s 10 Greatest American Freeskiers of all time and was inducted into the 2015 class of the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame.
His accomplishments have brought tremendous visibility to the sport that makes Colorado the desired destination for skiers from all across the world.
Since retiring from his role as president and COO of the Steamboat Ski Resort in 2015, Chris Diamond transitioned from running a major Colorado ski area to writing about it. His new book, “Ski Inc.” provides a candid and colorful behind-the-scenes view of what it takes to manage a successful resort in a constantly changing industry. Diamond began his ski industry career in 1972 at Killington, Vermont, serving as the assistant to the president. He rose through the ranks and moved to Steamboat in 1999 to lead the resort as president and COO. Since his first day on the job, Diamond has led the resort through challenges and successes, parlaying one of the strongest brands in the destination industry into a new generation of year-round resorts.
He is a past chairman of the National Ski Areas Association, along with a similar role with Colorado Ski Country USA for six years. Diamond was recognized by NSAA for his accomplishments when he was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013.
Walt Evans has been involved in Colorado and U.S. ski racing for 46 years until his retirement from the Aspen Valley Ski Club in 2016. From 1978 to 1983, he served as the first executive director for the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club, a position he held until he went to work with the United States Ski Association as Alpine Program Director for the Rocky Mountain Division.
In 1997, he became the USSA National Competition Director, overseeing and rebuilding the organization’s domestic competition program in all U.S. ski and snowboard sports. During his time with USSA, Evans helped engineer the National Development System, a program which worked with top clubs nationwide to provide elite training opportunities for rising alpine racers.
In 2013, The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association honored Evans during its annual Congress in Park City, Utah, with the John J. Clair Jr. Award, recognizing service to the organization where he spent nearly 30 years.
A fifth generation Coloradan who grew up in Aspen, Stapleton had a passion for ski sport that evolved from his time as an athlete, coach and official, punctuating these efforts by focusing on producing premier international competitions at Colorado ski resorts.
One of the numerous legacy markers that Stapleton established dealt with skier safety and standardization of alpine competition courses. Along with three other leaders, Stapleton developed and launched a landmark initiative with the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Association to the International Ski Federation that mandated specific standards for alpine course design.
His work in the area of racer safety helped to form many of the practices that are in place today in the ski industry regarding risk management. Both on and off the hill, Stapleton could drive his high standards with coaches, officials and athletes because of the level of respect he commanded.
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