Jessie Diggins is the winner of the Paul Robbins Outstanding Competitor Award. 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—had the best-ever Olympics showing for an American female cross-country skier, winning the team sprint relay gold and recording five other top-10 finishes at Pyeongchang.
Diggins, of Afton, Minnesota and the Stratton Mountain School Elite Team, was also second in the season-long overall World Cup standings.
Klaus Obermeyer is the 2018 Carson White Snowsports Achievement Award. Mr. Obermeyer, of Aspen, Colorado, 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.
Klaus Obermeyer is the epitome of what the award, named after our organization’s first president, is all about. Born in Oberstaufen, Bavaria, Germany in 1919, he soon fabricated his own skis from an orange crate at the age of 3, beginning his lifetime love of the sport. In 1947, he emigrated to Aspen becoming a ski instructor at Aspen Mountain.
The Bob Gillen Memorial 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. This year’s honoree is Jeff Wise, Stowe Mountain Resort marketing/communications director.
Jeff began his career at the resort in 1993 as a snowboarding instructor and then as snowboard school director. In May of 2001, he became Stowe’s marketing manager and later communications director, a position, which he enjoys to this day.
The Mitch Kaplan Award has a special meaning to members of NASJA. The award honors a journalist who best embodies NASJA’s late colleague and friend, emulating Mitch’s unwavering commitment to bring the joy of skiing to all and to give back to the sport that he loved so much. This year’s winner is ski journalist Heather Burke of 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.