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.
As of 2019 Hirsch Awards have a new format! These awards have changed over the years to reflect changes in the ways our members communicate. The streamlined format continues this year. Be sure to check out the story behind the Hirsch awards, written by Honorary Member Vicki Hoefling Andersen.
The judges have completed their work for NASJA’s 2020 Harold S. Hirsch Award winners.
Since 1963, the Harold S. Hirsch Award has recognized excellence in snowsports reporting, emphasizing journalistic creativity and editorial or artistic content. The concept for these awards came after the 1960 Winter Olympics from Hirsch, a ski clothing pioneer and founder of White Stag, to promote professionalism in winter sports coverage.
Award recipients are chosen by a panel of judges with the highest credentials in the fields of journalism, writing, education, snowsports and visual media.
The Hirsch Awards were revamped in 2018 to better reflect the changes in the ways journalists communicate. Several categories were merged so that words could be judged against words, whether in paper or digital form. Video and photography are now judged together in a new Images category. The Book award is given every third year and was included in the 2018 contest.
Staring in 2018 the competition was opened to all journalists, not just NASJA members.
The 2020 Harold S. Hirsch Award Judges:
John W. Lundin
John W. Lundin is a lawyer, historian and award winning author, who after a career practicing law in Washington D.C. and Seattle, turned to researching and writing about Washington and Idaho history. He is a founding member of the Washington State Ski and Snowboard Museum (WSSSM), works with the National Nordic Museum in Seattle, and the Center for Regional History at The Community Library in Ketchum, Idaho. John splits his time between Seattle and Sun Valley.
John is the author of several books including: Early Skiing on Snoqualmie Pass was published in 2017,Sun Valley, Ketchum and the Wood River Valley in June, and Skiing Sun Valley.
Jimmy Petterson is a writer, photographer, author who has spent 69 years of his life skiing, amassing approximately 4700 ski days. For the past 35 years, he has also worked as a ski journalist.
From early on, Jimmy’s goal was to ski in as many countries as possible, and by now, he has glided on his skis in 650 ski resorts, 75 countries on all seven continents. He has probably skied in more countries than anybody in history. In so doing, he has been an ambassador of sorts, sharing his tireless passion for skiing along with his guitar and yodel with local people from almost every place on the planet where skiing is possible.
The winner of NASJA’s 2020 Hirsch S. Hirsch Award in the Images category is six-time Hirsch Award recipient Dino Vournas. Dino is a Hayward, Calif.- based freelance photographer/ski and outdoor writer whose work has appeared in the (SF) Bay Area News Group, East Bay Times/San Jose Mercury, Associated Press, Highonadventure.com, Outside Magazine, NY Daily News, Tampa Tribune, Skinet.com, others. He is a member of SATW and has been an active member of NASJA since 1977.
Mike Rogge winner of the 2020 Mitch Kaplan Award
This award is presented to the individual 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, are allowed to vote for the Mitch Kaplan Award.
Mike Rogge, a self-described award winning and sometimes losing journalist, is on a mission to revive an ideal and the iconic way to communicate this ideal. He is convinced that no one writes about the joys of being outside anymore. His cure is resurrecting the fabled magazine, the Mountain Gazette, once home to the writings of Edward Abbey, Delores LaChapelle and gonzo-journalist Hunter S. Thompson, to again tell the tales of outside joy.
Mike, who calls North Lake Tahoe home with his wife and young son, started writing and film producing at Ski The East and continued at Powder, Vice Sports and The Ski Journal, to name a few of his outlets. He said that an invitation to a ski writer’s conference in Stratton and a pep-talk of sorts from Mitch Kaplan convinced him that this life he was pursuing was possible. Mike said that for “the past two decades I worked relentlessly to tell authentic stories about real people living in real mountain towns” and not so much about the “Top 10 Hot Tubs in Aspen,” “I prefer folks who live in vans, play music, create art, and make their own way in life. I like people who, when given a choice, prefer to do it outdoors.”
After taking over the magazine and its website, Mike reprinted the archive, and offered cover art, clothing and accessories to his followers. His short-term goal is to produce two unforgettable issues per year with original writing and photography. “Mountain Gazette aims to deliver tales straight from the hearts of mountain town people to your inbox, feed, and mailbox.”
William Winston “Billy” Kidd, a descendant of the famous English pirate, terrorized the slopes of his native Stowe, Vermont, honing his skiing skills on Mt. Mansfield before becoming an American hero at the age of 20. Clad in a Peter Fonda-Easy Rider motif and on his wooden Kastle 207’s, he became the first American male to win an Olympics skiing medal, capturing a Silver in the Slalom at Innsbruck, Austria in 1964, sharing the podium with his friend and teammate Jimmy Heuga, who got the Bronze. He continued with his ski racing career, winning two firsts in the newly-formed Alpine World Cup, skiing in between numerous injuries and fitting in an economics degree at the University of Colorado -Boulder in the downtimes. Billy put it all together in 1970, promising his mother and winning a gold medal in the Combined at the World Championships, quitting the World Cup circuit and in the same year winning the ISRA pro-circuit GS and Combined, the first person to win both the amateur and pro championships in the same year.
After his racing career, Billy took his trademark Stetson and headed for Steamboat Springs, Colorado and for the last 50 years, his focus has been to promote skiing, fitness, charitable work and as director of Steamboat Resort’s ski school to spread goodwill, joy and his knowledge of the sport to countless admirers and fans. His accomplishments include contributing to and being a board member of Special Olympics and helping to bring the competition to Steamboat in 1977, co-authoring 2 books on skiing, contributing editor of Ski Magazine, helping to combat Multiple Sclerosis, which felled his late friend Jimmy Heuga, and hosts and teaches Native American kids to ski (he’s part Abenaki). He was also inducted into the US Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame, named one of the top 10 skiers of the century by SKI and named the Skier of the Century by the Denver Post.
But Billy is in his element at 1pm at the top of the gondola at Steamboat, hosting a free “ski with Billy Kidd” clinic, complete with ski tips, stories, helmet autographs and his unbridled enthusiasm for his lifelong sport.
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.
By a vote of active-journalist members, the Bob Gillen Memorial Award for 2020 honors Yves Juneau.
A native of Quebec City, discovered his passion for snowsports on a ski trip while in the 5th grade. This passion and skiing experience, coupled with an interest in media relations lead him to Station Mont Tremblant in 1994. In his 5 years at Tremblant, he played a key role in establishing the Mont Tremblant Village Association and assisted in the promotion and success of Intrawest’s newly acquired resorts across Canada, Europe and the U.S.
Yves spent the next decade, from 1999 to 2009, as regional sales and marketing director for Mont-Sainte-Anne and the Stoneham ski resorts. He proved highly effective and was honored in 2005 with the Quebec Ski Areas Association’s Young Manager Award. In 2006 SAM Magazine awarded him the SAMMY Future Leadership Award for his sense of innovative leadership.
Yves remains a passionate skier, something he and his wife have passed along to their now-adult children, Luka and Simone. In the fall of 2013, he became CEO of the Quebec Ski Areas Association where he promotes winter sports as a way of living. He oversees numerous development programs for new skiers and snowboarders to ensure a healthy industry for the future. He sits on the board of the Canadian Ski Council and the Quebec Human Resources in Tourism Council. The mark of a fine leader is adapting and yes, thriving in difficult times.
The Covid-19 crisis presented some serious challenges for the Winter sports industry and once again Yves was up to the task. He acted as liaison between the industry and senior government authorities to ensure that we could have a fun and safe ski season across the 75+ Quebec ski areas. Yves has been an active member and supporter of NASJA since his early days at Tremblant.
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.
Jessie Diggins is the first U.S. woman to win the FIS Cross-Country World Cup title. Diggins enjoyed an outstanding 2020-21 season, winning four events, including becoming the first American to win the prestigious Tour de Ski. Diggins and teammate Kikkan Randall won the first U.S. Olympic gold medal in cross-country skiing with their team sprint victory. The 29-year-old from Afton, Minnesota, is also a four-time world medalist, including a gold medal in 2013 in team sprint. For more information see: https://www.teamusa.org/News/2021/March/09/Jessie-Diggins-Becomes-First-US-Woman-To-Win-Cross-Country-World-Cup-Title