We’ve come a long way.
A year ago, I watched Lindsay DesLauriers, then 39 and the new president of Bolton Valley Resort, pull up a chair at a late-night poker game during the Vermont Ski Area Association’s annual meeting. The table was all men, many of them managers at Vermont’s ski resorts. By the wee hours of the morning, DesLauriers was one of the last two winners in the game.
When I started out in the ski industry as an editor at SKI Magazine, the only woman who might have been at that table would have been Betsy Pratt, the iconic, irascible owner of Mad River Glen at the time. She, like DesLauriers (pictured below), had come into the business
through her family. And like DesLauriers, she needed to do things differently if she wanted her small ski area to survive. And she did.
Now, more and more women are running ski areas–women like Lisa Howe, president of Smuggler’s Notch Resort and, until recently, Kelly Pawlak, who left her position as general manager of Mount Snow to run the National Ski Areas Association. “We have more than 50 women members who are leading ski areas around the country,” Pawlak said recently.
Vermont is also home to some of the most influential women in snowsports. Stowe’s Donna Carpenter (with her late husband Jake) built Burton into one of the largest action sports brands in the world. And at Blizzard-Tecnica, Norwich’s Leslie Baker-Brown has been revolutionizing women’s ski gear.
While the Mikaela Shiffrins, Kelly Clarks and Jessie Digginses are the most visible stars in the rising women’s supernova, there are plenty of others right behind them.
To keep the momentum these and other women are building, for every ad in this issue that features a woman, we’re contributing 15 percent of the value to organizations that support girls in snowsports: the Chill Foundation, Little Bellas or SheJumps.
It’s time to celebrate women in skiing and riding. We’ve come a long way.
—Lisa Lynn & Abagael Giles, Editors
Featured Photo: Kristi Brown Lovell charges off Mt. Mansfield. Photo by Nils Schlebusch