By Roger Lohr
“Welcome to the last NASJA East meeting,” stated the organization’s chair Peter Hines at the farewell get-together among 17 NASJA East members at Burke Mountain in Vermont, on March 12, 2018. The resolution presented to the membership was: That the Board of Directors ask the membership to vote on the dissolving of NASJA East as of the end of the current fiscal year and that all residual funds be donated to the New England Ski Museum.
At the NASJA East general meeting, Hines cited the result of the membership vote to dissolve NASJA East where 83% favored and only 2 members opposed the motion put before them that moves forward with the final act including the transition of the remaining organization funds to the New England Ski Museum. “The world of media has continued to change and we had to change.”
Last summer, NASJA restructured its organization to better adapt to the continually changing media world. The new NASJA no longer has regions and members join NASJA directly. Recent years have not been monetarily kind to journalism and groups like ours. Unfortunately we have had to scale back on our events, activities and more. Lack of volunteerism due to a smaller group pointed to a more streamlined organization. NASJA is focusing on rebuilding its organization back up as a promotional force in the snowsports community.
NASJA East needed to finish out its fiscal year due to its non-profit status and by-laws. The NASJA East Board will be kept in place through the end of June in case any issues arise. An attorney helped with the NASJA East dissolution that will be finalized on June 30, 2018.
NASJA President Iseult Devlin spoke about the revamped website with new clipbook push. She also cited the value and plans for the NASJA Clipbook, and a plan for coordinating some NASJA meetings in the East next year.
Devlin also explained the Northeast Winter Weather Summit that NASJA is coordinating. It will result in a Weather Summit/NASJA meeting at Stratton Mountain on December 2-4. An outline of the Summit goals was discussed.
During the visit to Burke, some Eastern Ski Writers Association (ESWA, the older name of the organization) reminiscing could be heard in the halls of the Burke Hotel and on the chairlift. The meeting at Burke was endowed with plenty of new snow, sunshine, and soft corduroy conditions.
The informational aspect of the last NASJA East meeting included an introduction to Burke Mountain Academy, the program that 138 national ski team alumni and produced multi alpine ski world cup and Olympic champion Mikaela Shiffrin and US Women’s Cross Country Ski Team coach Matt Whitcomb, who helped commandeer the recent multiple podiums by his team and established the team camaraderie now shared by many other teams in the world. The group also spoke with Kevin Mack, who answered questions sincerely about the town’s relationship with the Burke Mountain Resort that has changed ownership a number of times and the recent legal issues with the EB5 program. Some NASJA East members also visited the nearby Kingdom Trails operation and received an introduction to fat biking.
NASJA was founded in 1963 as the United States Writers Association and NASJA East has been conducting multiple in season one-day ski area visits for the last few years that have attracted smaller groups of media and been seen as more effective and successful for all involved.