Credit: The Mitch Kaplan Award

The Mitch Kaplan Award

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 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.

Greg Sweetser winner of the 2020 Mitch Kaplan Award

Greg Sweetser winner of the 2020 Mitch Kaplan Award

In a unanimous decision, the NASJA board awarded the Mitch Kaplan Award to Greg Sweetser, former director of the Ski Maine Association where he served for 24 years. Mitch Kaplan and Greg Sweetser shared a mutual love and commitment as board members to the WinterKids program (winterkids.org). Greg was nominated by former NASJA president Phil Johnson.

Based in Maine, WinterKids promotes children’s on-skis activities and winter outdoor fun programs throughout the state and elsewhere. This is one of many ski-related endeavors that Greg has shepherded through and not much, if anything, related to skiing in Maine over the past 40 years has taken place without Greg’s involvement at some level.

A native of the state and a graduate of the University of Maine, he first worked the ski hills, elevated to the position of marketing director at Saddleback Ski Resort and since 1996, had been the director of the Ski Maine Association, retiring recently. He is also a founding member of the Ski Museum of Maine and was a 2016 inductee into the Maine Ski Hall of Fame.

This award is presented to the journalist whose work and spirit best captures the enthusiasm and dedication of the late Mitch Kaplan, former NASJA Secretary-Treasurer and multiple Harold S. Hirsch Award-winner, and his contributions to NASJA and to the coverage of snowsports.

Past Recipients:

2019 . . . . . . . . Halley O’Brien, The Snow Report
2018 . . . . . . . . Heather Burke, theluxuryvacationguide.com, familyskitrips.com, snowpack.com
2017 . . . . . . . . Moira McCarthy, winter sports and travel editor of the Boston Herald
2016 . . . . . . . . Dan Egan, NASJA East, Degan Media, Extreme Skiing Pioneer
2015 . . . . . . . . Frida Waara, NASJA Midwest, Emmy Award Winner,and board member of the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame
2014 . . . . . . . . Ted Heck, Editor and Publisher of the Blue Book of European Ski Resorts
2013 . . . . . . . . Jules Older, NASJA West, 5 Time Harold S. Hirsch Award Winner
2012 . . . . . . . . Curtis Fong, “The Guy From Tahoe”
2011 . . . . . . . . Jim Cantore, Meteorologist, The Weather Channel