The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame officially inducted the Class of 2015 in Aspen, Colorado on Saturday, April 9. Seven athletes and snow sport pioneers were inducted; Genia Fuller (Simi Valley, CA), David Ingemie (McLean, VA), Henry Kaiser (Captiva Island, FL), Jim Martinson (Puyallup, WA), Bob Salerno (Ogden, UT), Edger Stern, deceased (Park City, UT) and local Chris Klug (Aspen, CO).
The St. Regis Aspen Resort’s Grand Astor Ballroom was packed with inductee family and friends, along with local Alumni Hall of Famers; Bob Beattie, John Clendenin, Chris Davenport and Klaus Obermeyer. Other noted alumni included Suzy Chaffee, Chuck Ferries, John Fry, Billy Kidd, Barbara Alley Simon, Jeannie Thoren, Chris Waddell, Sven Wiik and Sarah Will.
The Class of 2015 will be honored again and ultimately enshrined this September 16th at the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame and Museum in Ishpeming, Michigan. They will be joining over 400 other legends and pioneers by hanging their plaques in the museum’s Honored Member Court. This year marks the 60th anniversary for the Hall of Fame.
The Ski Hall announced the class of 2016’s Induction Ceremony venue will be Stowe, Vermont on April 1st, 2017.
HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 2015
Genia Fuller (originally from Framingham, MA, now Simi Valley, CA) Was an ambassador to the early years of hot dog skiing or freestyle and was an innovator in pole-free ballet. During eight years of competition, her smile, laugh and genuine love for freestyle made her one of the sport’s sweethearts. Her multi discipline abilities in freestyle, aerials and ballet led her to World Championship titles in 1975 and 1978.
David Ingemie (originally from Fitchburg, MA, now McLean, VA) has been involved with the marketing of skiing and snowboarding for over 45 years, serving as the President and CEO of SnowSports Industries America (SIA) since 1981, and retired from his position in January 2016. His boundless energy, enthusiasm and intelligence was monumental for building a healthy national snowsports trade association, garnering high regard for his work throughout the industry.
Henry Kaiser (originally New York City, now Captiva Island, FL) was a forerunner in the ski industry during the 35 years when he served as the publisher of Skiing magazine. He helped advance the freestyle skiing movement by finding sponsors and providing a platform for the sport on the pages of Skiing. Often referred to as the “First Family of Skiing” he and his wife, Carolyn, helped raise over a million dollars for the U.S. Ski Team, most notably through engagement with the New York Ski Ball. They were also closely involved with the SIA.
Chris Klug (originally from Vail, CO, now Aspen, CO) started to compete in snowboarding in 1983 on his Burton Backhill and continued for the next two decades. During that time, he competed in three Olympic Games winning a bronze medal in snowboarding giant slalom at Salt Lake City in 2002 – an achievement coming just 18 months after he had undergone a liver transplant due to a birth defect that challenged him throughout his career. He authored To The Edge and Back and founded the Chris Klug Foundation to help promote organ donation.
Jim Martinson (originally from Sumner, WA, now Puyallup, WA) grew up ski racing in Washington state but lost both legs in 1967 during the Vietnam War. His frustration in trying to return to skiing led to his development in 1985 of a sit-ski he called “The Shadow” which revolutionized adaptive skiing. Using his innovation, he went on to win a Winter Paralympic gold medal in 1992 and in 2009 he became the oldest person to compete in the Winter X Games.
Bob Salerno (originally from Ogden, UT, now Santa Monica, CA) is another true legend of freestyle who competed at the top levels successfully for over 25 years. In 1974 he took gold in aerials at the World Championships in Heavenly, CA. In 1998 he claimed first place at the Wayne Wong World Championships in Hot Dog Skiing. He is one of the sport’s leading celebrities being featured in Warren Miller and Willy Bogner films while also devoting his time to enhancing the sport through his writing, filming and creation of ‘Virtual Snow’ ski training simulators.
Edgar Stern (originally from New Orleans, LA, later Aspen, CO and Park City, UT) brought his extraordinary vision and focus on customer service to the ski industry, revolutionizing hospitality at ski resorts. His benchmarks established in the development of Deer Valley Resort became the norms for many of today’s leading resorts. After investing in the Park City Ski Area and luring the U.S. Ski Team to Park City, he turned his attention to what became Deer Valley, which opened in 1981. Through his efforts it has remained one of the top resorts in the country, including playing a pivotal role in the 2002 Olympic Winter Games. Stern passed away in 2008.
- The induction of the Class of 2015 took place on April 9, 2016 in the Grand Astor Ballroom of St. Regis Aspen Resort, 475 in attendance.
- The induction was the culmination of nearly a week of activities in Aspen during the April 6-10 Skiing History Week, which attracts hundreds of skiing history enthusiasts and recreational skiers.
- The class will also be formally enshrined into the Hall of Fame on September 16, 2016 in Ishpeming, MI, the home of the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame.
- Ishpeming is the birthplace of organized skiing in America, where in 1905 the National Ski Association of America was founded, now known as the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association
- With the addition of the Class of 2015, there are now 411 honored members of the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame.
- The Ski Hall announced the class of 2016’s Induction Ceremony venue will be Stowe, Vermont on April 1st, 2017.
- 2016 is the 60th Anniversary of the Hall of Fame, which was founded in Ishpeming in 1956.
Mike Kaplan, President and CEO, Aspen Skiing Company
“It was a great week, we thank all of you for making us come alive to celebrate our collective heritage and renew our spirits. Congratulations to the Hall of Fame Class of 2015, you all inspired me and this entire community to honor our past and embrace our future. The induction event and the stories of the inductees reminded us of why we got into this sport and recommitted us to building upon the legacy with which we are all entrusted.”
Tom Kelly, Chairman, U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame
“The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame Class of 2015 represents a great cross section of pioneering sport builders and highly accomplished athletes,” said Hall of Fame Chairman Tom Kelly. “A big thank you to the Aspen Skiing Company and entire Aspen community for being such great hosts.”
Lessing Stern, Son of Honored Member, Edgar Stern
“What an event! It was truly an honor to have my father inducted into the Hall of Fame along with so many other giants in the industry!”
Chris Klug, Honored Member
“I absolutely loved it, what a powerful night. The history and stories in the room on Saturday were incredible, so honored to be a part of it. The evening was extra special for me to be able to share the night with my family and friends in my home town of Aspen, who made it all possible. It has been an awesome ride!”
PAST INDUCTION/SKIING HISTORY WEEK SITES
2017 – Stowe, VT
2016 – Aspen, CO
2015 – Steamboat Springs, CO
2014 – Park City, UT
2013 – Vail, CO
2012 – Seattle, WA
2011 – Sun Valley, ID
2010 – Beaver Creek, CO
2009 – Deer Valley, UT