Vail’s Colorado Snowsports Museum names Jen Mason its new executive director
VAIL — The Colorado Snowsports Museum and Hall of Fame has announced that Jennifer Mason, Director of the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater and Operations for the Vail Valley Foundation, in January will take on the role of Executive Director of the museum. Mason takes over from longtime Museum Director Susie Tjossem, who is retiring.
“I am very excited to begin the next phase of my professional career,” Mason said. “I am extremely grateful to the Snowsports Museum for giving me this tremendous opportunity. The newly transformed museum is a wonderful representation of our community and its snowsports heritage, and I am honored to be able to help guide its future. I want to thank the Vail Valley Foundation for allowing me to grow as a professional over the past 18 years and I thank Susie (Tjossem) for passing on such a great venue to celebrate Colorado skiing and snowboarding.”
Mason has served in numerous key positions for the Foundation over the course of her 18-year tenure, since joining the nonprofit organization in 2001 as the house manager for both the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater and the Vilar Performing Arts Center. She currently serves as one of the organization’s operations directors, in addition to leading the day-to-day operations of the Ford Amphitheater.
New adventures for Tjossem
“I am thrilled to welcome Jen to the Colorado Snowsports Museum and Hall of Fame executive team,” Tjossem said. “Having worked closely with her on a variety of levels and projects, she is a true professional who cares very deeply about our community. It’s hard to conceive of a more suitable person to take the reins of the Museum at this point in its 42-year history. She will be a great asset to the newly renovated the Museum, which is the crown jewel of the community.”
Tjossem has served as the museum’s executive director since 2007, working to enhance the organization’s presence throughout the state. She recently spearheaded the facility’s $2.5 million transformation.
Prior to her tenure with the Museum, Tjossem served as Vice President of Sports and Recreation for Vail Resorts before joining Booth Creek Ski Holdings, designing resort products and services for Northstar, Telluride and other resorts.
In addition to her regular Foundation responsibilities, Mason was the lead staff member for a trio of committees for the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships, while also coordinating opening and closing ceremonies, along with the 22 award ceremonies during the Championships. In this role, she managed three budgets totaling over $5 million. She was elected to a four-year term on the Vail Town Council in 2015, her first run for public office.
“While retirement from the Colorado Snowsports Museum is a bittersweet time for me, I am excited to enter the next chapter of my life, being a grandparent, knowing that the Museum will be in good hands,” Tjossem said.
A refreshed facility
“We congratulate Susie on her incredible leadership of the Snowsports Museum and we are very pleased for Jennifer Mason to have this exciting new professional adventure,” said Mike Imhof, President and CEO of the Vail Valley Foundation. “While we are saddened to see Jennifer move on from the (Foundation), we are grateful for her many years of service and commitment to the (Foundation’s) arts, athletics and education mission and wish Jennifer continued success in her new endeavor.”
Located atop the Vail Village Transportation Center, the Colorado Snowsports Museum recently underwent a $2.5 million transformation. The newly remodeled facility features six primary exhibits, enhanced with interactive screens, showcasing and chronicling the rich history and heritage of the Colorado ski and snowboard industry. These exhibits include the 10th Mountain Division, Skiing Through Time, the History of Colorado Snowsports Competition, the Evolution of Snowboarding in Colorado, Colorado’s Ski Resorts and 100 Years of Ski Fashion and Function, in addition to the Colorado Snowsports Hall of Fame.
Guided tours and presentations are available several days a week, and the Museum Gift Shop offers a wide variety of unique vintage ski, 10th Mountain Division and Colorado souvenirs and gifts. For more information, go to http://www.snowsportsmuseum.org.