NASJA 2012 Annual Meeting Award Recap

The North American Snowsports Journalists Association (NASJA) gathered in Stateline, Nev. on Lake Tahoe's South Shore to honor three individuals for their significant contributions to the advancement of winter sports. The association also singled out five journalists for their outstanding work in five separate categories: blogs, columns, features, photography and videos. NASJA members also voted for their choice of North American snowsports competitor of the year. The awards were presented March 8, 2012 at a banquet that capped the organization's annual meeting.

Named after the group's first president, The Carson White-Golden Quill Award honors an individual who has made a significant contribution to the advancement of snowsports in North America. For 2012, the honor went to Greg Stump. The iconoclastic filmmaker is recognized for having revolutionized the way ski movies are shot, seen and heard. In his seminal film, The Blizzard of Aahs, Greg Stump transformed a ragtag group of relatively unknown skiers into superstars and thus helped launch the entire extreme skiing movement.
NASJA's 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award, honoring a lifetime of snowsports-related innovation, competition, design and other endeavors, was presented to Bob Beattie. As a brash, young coach, Bob led the US Ski Team, including Billy Kidd and the late Jimmie Heuga, to the Olympic podium at Innsbruck in 1964. He then left coaching to work with French journalist Serge Lang and French ski team director, Honoré Bonnet. Together they created the FIS World Cup of ski racing. Yet Beattie is perhaps best known for his work as a passionate, exciting and often-unpredictable sports announcer on ABC's Wide World of Sports.

Curtis Fong from Stateline, Nev. was awarded the Mitch Kaplan Award For Excellence in Snowsports Coverage. This award, named for the late NASJA Secretary- Treasurer and multiple Harold Hirsch and Lowell Thomas Awards winner, was created to annually honor a journalist who embodies Mitch's spirit and dedication to snowsports journalism. Curtis, known as The Guy from Tahoe, is a radio reporter and newspaper columnist. After learning he would receive the award, Curtis wrote. "Mitch Kaplan was a great friend and I am Honored and Humbled to receive such a prestigious award and recognition for doing something I LOVE."

Eric Friedman, Marketing Director at Mad River Glen (MRG) in Waitsfield, Vt. took home the 2012 Bob Gillen Memorial Award. Named in honor of the former Ski Magazine editor and marketing wizard at Crested Butte and Sugarbush ski resorts, this award honors an individual who exemplifies the highest standards of professionalism in public relations and media communications. One of the founding members of the Mad River Glen Co-op, Eric has overseen one of the ski industry's most unique and recognizable brands. When not helping journalists understand Vermont's premier skier-owned resort, Eric can be seen leading them through his beloved trees, bumps and frozen waterfalls. Ski with him if you can.

Named after the founder of White Stag skiwear, and sponsored by K2 Skis and Obermeyer Sports, The Harold S. Hirsch Awards honor some of the best snowsports blogs, columns, features, photography and videos being produced in North America today.

Dina Mishev of Jackson, Wyo. took home the Hirsch trophy and a pair of K2 skis in the hotly contested Blogs category. Dina blogs for Wyoming Roundup, writes for the Jackson Hole News and hosts the weekly Wyoming Chronicle on Wyoming PBS. Shannon Luthy Lukens of Steamboat Springs, Colo. and Marty Basch of Center Conway, N.H., received Honorable Mentions and state-of-the-art Sport Obermeyer skiwear.

Tony Chamberlain of Duxbury, Mass. won the Columns award. When not writing about yachts and yachting for the Boston Globe, Tony can be seen in the New England Ski Journal. Chatham, New Jersey's Iseult Devlin, and Jackson, Wyoming's Dina Mishev shared Honorable Mentions.

The Harold S. Hirsch Award for Features writing went to Jay Cowan of Snowmass, Colo. A regular contributor to SKI Magazine, the Mountain Gazette and Cross-Country Skier, Jay is also Editor-in-Chief of the Aspen Sojourner Magazine. Freelancer, Dino Vournas of Hayward, Calif. was singled out for an Honorable Mention.

For the third year in a row, Vail, Colorado-based photographer, Tom Winter took home top honors for his snowsports Photography. Award judges praised Tom's masterful portraits of skiers in action. Hayward, California's Dino Vournas and Ketchum, Idaho's Karl Weatherly were given Honorable Mentions.

In yet another repeat performance, the Hirsch Award for best Video went to RadX creator, Gerry Pallor of New Paltz, N.Y.. Jules Older, San Francisco, Calif. received an Obermeyer ski jacket along with his Honorable Mention.

During the weeklong meeting held in Lake Tahoe, California, NASJA's press and corporate members also voted for the winner of the 2012 Paul Robbins Outstanding Competitor Award. This year, the honor went to alpine skier Lindsey Vonn.

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