NASJA presents three annual awards which require nominations from our membership: the Carson White Snowsports Achievement Award, the Paul Robbins Outstanding Competitor Award, and the Mitch Kaplan Award.
Carson White Snowsports Achievement Award
Awarded to an individual or individuals who have made a significant contribution to the advancement of snowsports in North America, either achieved with a single defining accomplishment or through a lifetime of snowsports endeavors. The winner will be selected by online vote of Active Press, Retired Press and Corporate members.
The 2018 recipient is Klaus Obermeyer of Aspen, Colorado. Mr. Obermeyer enhances a group of winners that includes Lowell Thomas, Averell Harriman, Warren Miller, Stein Eriksen, Pete Siebert, Nancy Greene, Dick Durrance and many other winter sports luminaries.
Bob Gillen Memorial Award
This award honors an individual corporate member for contributions to the advancement of snowsports, and exemplifies the highest standards of professionalism in public relations and communications. The individual also understands the working relationship between the information specialist and the journalist. The individual may be chosen for a particularly significant action or campaign, or for a career of such deeds. The winner will be selected by online vote of Active and Retired Press members.
This year’s recipient of the 2018 Bob Gillen Memorial Award is Jeff Wise, Stowe Mountain Resort marketing/communications director. This award, named after the late and well respected Crested Butte and Sugarbush ski areas marketing director, singles out a media representative who exemplifies professionalism and dedication to public relations and communication in the ski industry.
Mitch Kaplan Award
This award is presented to the journalist whose work and spirit best captures the enthusiasm and dedication the late Mitch Kaplan, former NASJA Secretary-Treasurer and multiple Harold S. Hirsch Award-winner, brought to NASJA and to the coverage of snowsports. A gentleman and a gentle man, a fine journalist and a friend to all, he was especially interested in programs and activities for children. Nominees may be, but do not have to be, a member of NASJA, and the 250-500 word nomination can focus on a specific assignment or overall contributions to the public understanding and enjoyment of snowsports. Any NASJA member may nominate a candidate for this award, which will be decided by a simple majority vote in November at the Interim Board Meeting. In addition to Board members in attendance, the Executive Secretary, and Counselor/Parliamentarian, if in attendance, are allowed to vote for the Mitch Kaplan Award.
This year’s winner is ski journalist Heather Burkeof Kennebunkport, Maine. Heather, who learned to ski at the age of three, worked at her parents’ Smugglers Notch ski lodge, and as a ski instructor before embarking on her writing career. She has been a ski journalist for over two decades, sampling some 170 ski areas and gathering many awards along the way including three NASJA Harold Hirsch Excellence in Journalism Awards. Freeskier Magazine bestowed a “Top 100 ski industry people to follow” honor and she has been named a Skea clothing ambassador.
Paul Robbins Outstanding Competitor Award
Awarded to North American snowsports participants who have distinguished themselves in amateur or professional competition during the current season. The winner will be selected by online vote of Active Press, Retired Press and Corporate members.
The 26-year-old spirit leader of the U.S. cross-country ski team — she encourages teammates to emulate her and wear face paint and glitter during competition, and she choreographed a popular team dance video a couple of years ago — Diggins had the best-ever Olympics showing for an American female cross-country skier
Harold S. Hirsch Award
Created by the founder of the White Stag clothing to promote professionalism in winter sports coverage, the Harold S. Hirsch Awards recognize creativity and excellence in editorial and artistic content in both print and broadcast journalism. Open to NASJA press members only, Hirsch award categories include: columns, feature writing, blogs, photography, video and (every three years) books.
Read more about the 2017 winners and past recipients of the Harold S. Hirsch Award
Lifetime Achievement Award
Established in 1993, this award honored an individual or individuals for a lifetime achievement in snowsports endeavors, competition, innovation, equipment design or other snowsports related accomplishments. On November 20, 2015 the NASJA Board voted to consolidate the Carson White Golden Quill Award and the NASJA Lifetime Achievement Award, with the two awards becoming the Carson White Snowsports Achievement Award.