Vail Valley Foundation honors Jay Precourt as its 2017 Citizen of the Year |

Vail Valley Foundation honors Jay Precourt as its 2017 Citizen of the Year

Daily staff report
Jay and Molly Precourt. Jay Precourt has been named the Vail Valley Foundation's 2017 Citizen of the Year.

Past honorees

The Vail Valley Foundation has honored a Citizen of the Year since 1981. Here are the previous honorees:

1981: Peter Abuisi

1982: E.B. Chester

1983: Jack Crosby

1984: President Gerald R. Ford

1985: Harry Frampton

1986: Helen Fritch

1987: George Gillett

1988: Merv Lapin

1989: Pepi Gramshammer

1990: Paul Johnson

1991: Kent Rose

1992: Rod Slifer

1993: Dr. Richard Steadman

1994: John Garnsey

1995: John Horan-Kates

1996: Vi and Byron Brown

1997: Gil Giordano

1998: Barbara Treat

1999: Judy Alexander

2000: Pete Seibert

2001: Mary Louise Shaw

2002: Gerald Gallegos

2003: Cathy and Howard Stone

2004: Oscar Tang

2005: Diana Donovan

2006: Chupa Nelson

2007: Erik and Kathy Borgen

2008: Jack Eck

2009: Beth Slifer

2010: Martha Head

2013: Ann Smead

2014: Amy and Steve Coyer

2015: Pat and Pete Frechette

2017: Mary Sue and Mike Shannon

2018: Jay Precourt

AVON — The best way to get to know Jay and Molly Precourt is to meet them for a day of fly-fishing or lean on a fence rail to talk horses with Molly. And while they’re well-known for their love of the outdoors, the Precourts are even more well-known for their legacy of philanthropy that has been transformative and impactful across all areas of life in the Vail Valley and beyond.

Jay Precourt’s wide-ranging philanthropic work has reached into the world of arts, health, the environment, education and more. For this, and for all he’s done in support of the community, the Vail Valley Foundation recently announced that Jay Precourt has been honored as the 2018 Vail Valley Foundation Citizen of the Year.

“We are fortunate to live in a place where all of us, of all ages and from all walks of life, benefit enormously from the generosity, volunteerism and philanthropy of the people in our community, and nowhere is that spirit more perfectly embodied than through the philanthropic work of Jay Precourt,” said Mike Imhof, president and CEO of the Vail Valley Foundation. “He has done so much for all of us, and we are extremely grateful.”

Jay and Molly Precourt first came to Vail in the 1970s and have been active in the community ever since.

“Molly and I have been very fortunate, and we have always done our best to share that good fortune with the amazing people and organizations who work hard every day to improve quality of life,” Jay Precourt said. “This community is so special, and we have a deep love and respect for all the joys and benefits associated with being a part of this exceptional mountain environment and to be among so many enjoyable and like-minded people.”

The Citizen of the Year honor is presented at the annual Black Diamond Ball event, next hosted by the Vail Valley Foundation on Saturday Feb. 17, 2018, at the Park Hyatt in Beaver Creek.

A generous past

Since 1994, Jay Precourt has been a supporter of the Vail Valley Foundation’s mission to provide leadership in the arts, athletics and education in the Vail Valley. He was instrumental in the 2001 Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater capital campaign and has been a generous contributor to all of the Foundation’s efforts, particularly to the Vail Valley Foundation’s YouthPower365, which helps serve more than 4,200 youth in early childhood, kindergarten through 12th grade and career-college readiness programs.

He also recently provided a significant donation to Vail Health (formerly Vail Valley Medical Center), which funded a cardiac lab, now known as the Precourt Family Cardiac Catheterization and Electrophysiology Lab. His donation supports the Vail Health cardiac program and extends the hospital’s endocrinology program, research at the Steadman Philippon Research Institute and supports the renovation and expansion of the Vail Health campus.

Jay Precourt has served on the hospital’s board of directors for the past seven years, has been the president of the Eagle Valley Land Trust and has served on the boards of Denver Art Museum Foundation, the Children’s Hospital of Denver, the Historic Denver Foundation and the Alley Theater in Houston. The Precourts’ generosity in the Vail Valley also includes Walking Mountains Science Center and Bravo! Vail Music Festival.

The philosophy of giving and volunteerism is a familywide interest. Amanda Precourt is the driving force behind the Vail Valley Foundation’s Girl PowHER program and is known for her support of multiple charitable organizations in the valley. Anthony Precourt is also active in the philanthropic world and has been the managing partner of Precourt Capital Management since 2008.

Accomplished in business

Jay Precourt’s philanthropic work has been interwoven with an accomplished career in business, in particular the energy industry. Jay Precourt was the chairman and CEO of Hermes Consolidated of Denver. He also held president and/or CEO positions at Hamilton Oil Co., Tejas Gas Corp., ScissorTail Energy and Hermes Consolidated, the last three of which became substantial companies under his leadership, having begun as start-ups in the energy sector.

Jay Precourt’s current endeavor has been co-founding the Vail Global Energy Forum, which debuted in March 2012 in Vail, and this year has moved to Stanford University’s campus, co-sponsoring with Stanford and the Precourt Institute for Energy at Stanford University.

The Global Energy Forum work dovetails with his work with the Precourt Institute for Energy at Stanford, which conducts energy research that can influence national energy policy. This research effort ranges from the science and engineering of converting energy from sunlight or wind to electricity, from plants to fuels or from carbon-based fuels to electricity but with substantially lower carbon emissions, as well as substantially improved electricity storage systems, to enhanced efficiency of energy use.

Jay Precourt received his bachelor and master’s degrees in petroleum engineering from Stanford University and an MBA from Harvard University. The Precourt’s enjoy skiing, fly-fishing and equestrian activities.

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