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President's Message

August 2017

As I sit here rifling through my bag on a plane headed to Dallas, I come across the quintessential reminder of why we do what we do every weekend from November to April. It’s a note from one of our athletes that simply reads:

 Pete the Cat!

Jasper, as many of you may know, is one of our U8 rock stars who at the age of 6 came out EVERY weekend last season. Regardless of the ever-changing weather, there was Jasper ready to make new friends and have a blast doing what we all LOVE to do …. SKI !!!

I can only reflect on the fact that while we are parents, coaches or both, our job and the reason the Pico Ski Club exists is to instill the raw love of skiing that old Jasper so eloquently penned in his thank you note to me at the end of last season.

Whether you or your kids race or just ski for fun, being out on the hill with your friends and family and getting that feeling of flying down 49er or ripping up Busted is only attainable if someone in your life simply showed you how.

My message for this year …. Be there for the Japsers of the world. Whether it’s volunteering at races, helping out at a social event, or skiing with a U8 like Jasper, the very existence of the sport and the Pico Ski Club depends on your love of the sport and commitment to helping out.

On behalf of the entire board, committee chairs and coaching staff our heartfelt thanks for taking this message to heart and offering up your time and energy towards making sure that we continue to support the sport and the ski club we love……all in the hope that one day we see Jaspers kids bombing down 49er with his group of SKI FRIENDS from the Pico Ski Club.

Enjoy the rest of the summer season because winter is coming!

I look forward to seeing you out on the hill.

Pete Lebish

Pico Ski Club President

 

September 2016

Greetings Membership!

I hope you enjoyed an exceptional summer and are starting to think and wish hard for a snowy winter – and Thanksgiving in advance of the World Cup!. 

Your Board held its first meeting to move forward with the upcoming season.  Committee chairs are also busy.  I encourage you to review our website on a regular basis for board minutes, updates on events and other developments with your club.  Do not expect emails for everything that occurs or is scheduled; keep an eye on the website.

Ski Swap - Please, please volunteer your time for the ski swap.  This is really the one and only fund raising event for our non-profit club/organization.  Think about this, we are a not for profit organization that, other than dues, has only one fund raising event to financially sustain itself.  Volunteerism is the foundation of our club and a commitment we each made when we became members.  Please sign up on line for a time to help.

Club Opening – Club opening will be on November 19 followed by our first General Membership Meeting.  That night Kimberly will be hosting our annual adults only Welcome Back social event.  Please monitor the website for more details to follow.

Please read this item and, if you wish, respond.  As you know membership approved installation of new carpeting on the main floor of the club.  We have learned the budgeted amount is insufficient for the needs of this project.  The project [with heavier carpet at high traffic areas around the cubbies, microwave, sink and entrances] has come in at $13,500.  We budgeted about 1/3 of that amount and may save additional funds through other maintenance projects scheduled for this year however, the amount still exceeds by more than $500 what was budgeted.  Our By-laws require membership approval for any purchase that exceeds by $500 the amount budgeted so I come to you for approval of this vital project, frankly needed for safety purposes as well.  The funds will come from cash on hand.  If you OPPOSE this request or have any questions or comments please email me at ahm@rsclaw.comahm@rsclaw.com and include in the subject line “PSC carpet, NOT SPAM”.  We need to move forward with this project soon so we will leave it open for comment until September 27. 

Thank you all,

Andy Maass

Pico Ski Club President

 

 

January 2016

Winter has finally arrived and I’m happy to report we are beginning to see the trail count numbers grow at Pico. We are particularly grateful for snow on B-Slope for our Alpine Racing Program.

 

I’d like to provide a short report of recent highlights; past, present and upcoming in an effort to help keep all informed.

 

This past weekend, the club social committee organized and held a successful Pot Luck Supper event.  The food was plentiful with a wide array of dishes and flavors from start to finish, and great company & conversation.  The social committee will be having a regularly scheduled Pub n’ Grub on February 20th and they will be looking to add an event on February 27th (an Italian Night).  Please be on the lookout for more details as plans come together for the Italian night.

 

On Saturday, February 13th the Pico Ski Education Foundation (PSEF) will hold their annual fundraising event, a Casino Night & Silent Auction. It is through the efforts of PSEF that the Pico Ski Club is able to maintain and keep a safe, modern and affordable Alpine Ski programs. The Club owes much thanks and gratitude to the hard work and efforts of the PSEF Board of Directors. I encourage all members to attend and provide their support to this (501)(c)(3) non-profit fundraising organization. There are informational posters and flyers posted throughout the club. Please see the home page of the Pico Ski Club website or visit http://picoskifoundation.org/ for more detailed information and links to make your reservations.

 

The club will hold the next general Membership Meeting on February 20th, to be followed by a Pub n’ Grub and a Board of Directors (BOD) meeting.  We will be informing all of current club affairs and put a call out for those interested in club elections.  As always, anyone who interested in sitting through the BOD meeting is welcome to attend.  We will meet in the Karl Acker room of the AML Lodge upon adjourning the general membership meeting.  

 

On the topic of club elections, we have some work to do in advance of the annual club meeting.  I’ve nominated a committee consisting of Tom Horrocks, Pete Lebish and Bret Williamson to solicit candidates for upcoming elections.  Please see one of these individuals should you have an interest in becoming more involved.  

 

Club members in good standing have the ability to request the use of the clubhouse building.  There is an online form found on the club website to complete and submit in order to schedule use of the club.  The form itself lists the requirements and expectations of use.  Questions and / or you need some additional clarification?  Please contact myself, or Alden Franzoni – our House Chair Committee person. Also, it is possible to book the Great Room of the AML Lodge for a rental fee.  A great way to have top-notch mountain side venue for your special event and support the Pico Ski Education Foundation (PSEF) in return. 

 

As always, I’d politely ask everyone to keep the club neat and clean during their daily use of the facilities.  I expect a busy period during the February vacation break and little will go a long way in maintaining an inviting environment for all.  

 

I hope you are enjoying the ski season and I look forward to seeing you on the slopes.

 

Sincerely,

 

Michael Roussel

Pico Ski Club President

Mroussel01@comcast.net

802-236-2543 (mobile)


December 2015

I’d like to welcome back fellow Pico Ski Club members as we get another season underway.  It is hard to believe its December already, time has passed so quickly and the weather has been really warm.  My mind and body are telling me October, yet Christmas will be here in just days.  After such a cold and snowy start to the season last year, I’m beginning to think that we were spoiled.  On the other hand, if we are to listen to those stories from an earlier generation and look at some of the old photos of Pico on opening day (taken somewhere around the time of Thanksgiving), we will hear and see that 2-3 ft. or more of snow was not uncommon to have already accumulated.  Say or believe what you will about global warming and climate change but one thing is certain, the empirical evidence stinks for those of us who love outdoor winter snow sports.  Enough dwelling on the weather, the only thing that’s certain is that it will change.  After all, we are living in New England.

Last season in my first open letter to the membership, I outlined my vision for the club over the course of my term as President. Specifically, I mentioned a desire to advancing our shared interest in skiing and the Pico Ski Club while keeping it both fun and affordable. I also reminded everyone that active volunteers would help to assure our club's stable future.  Well, I believe that we continue to make progress; however, in today’s busy environment (which includes information overload) many find it difficult to find the time necessary for even the smallest and shortest of daily activities.  With this being stated, I can’t stress enough how important it is to step up and pitch in with PSC activities and events and to help those who are working hard to help make a difference.  Lots of hands make light work.

While I’m discussing volunteering, I would add that to those race families in the club, you each have paid an additional volunteer fee.  This fee if refundable upon meeting your set work day obligations; however, if you have checked race as your club volunteer category, this is entirely separate and apart from this scheduled work day program.  Once you have completed your three scheduled assignments, we still need, and expect, your help for set up, tear down and course maintenance.  The race committee is looking forward to getting some new and dedicated volunteers that the club can count on to help manage race day activities.  This includes those interested in going to the next step and becoming timing officials, chief or race, or chief of course certified through USSA.  All race day volunteers, please mark your calendars for 19-Dec. Barry Cupoli will be hosting a race day training session that will include the finer details on what’s needed on race day.  More information and details will be forthcoming.  Finally, Tim Wigmore and/or Lori McClallen would be your contact if you have a deeper interest in back end race day activities or general questions about race volunteering.

At slightly over 650 members, this is the most on record in the history of our club.  As an executive committee and board of directors, we made a conscious decision to accept all applications for new members at the recommendation of the membership committee.  We did so for all applicants that had the necessary paperwork in order (application & letter of recommendation).  What does this mean?  Obviously, there will be more people using the facility during the busy periods; however, now that we’ve expanded the basement to include a new and upgraded bathroom and additional locker space, we should be able to more comfortably and conveniently accommodate.  I’d like to remind those who have sponsored new club members for the 2015-16 season, you have a responsibility to help inform and mentor.  And to those new members, we say welcome and please don’t be afraid to ask your sponsor (or any veteran club member) about helping on either of the House, Race or Social committees.  As part of registration, all members have elected one of the committees or the ski swap as part of their club volunteer commitment.  To all members, if you can’t remember what you’ve selected, please see or contact one of the club chairpersons of these committees, I’m sure they will be pleased to accept your offer and provide some guidance.  Otherwise, we will hunt you down.

Finally, it is very important that we respect the club and others around us during busy periods.  I’d politely ask that each and every one to please pick up after yourself and if you happen to see something extra laying around on the floor such as that cold, dead, stray hand warmer packet ... please pick it up and toss it.  Boot bags should be as neatly as possibly stored either on the cubby racks or beneath the benches and food coolers and bags in the cubby space provided outside of the club on the deck of west side of the building.  Please do not store stuff on the tables or benches around the perimeter of the building.

In closing, this will be one of the latest dates in seasons that I’ve taken to the snow and I can’t wait to ski.  I hope to see and join you on the slopes for some turns this season.  With a little luck and good fortune from Mother Nature, things will turn around and we will have another a good snowy mid-winter with lots of light fluffy powder and in between, good race day conditions.

Sincerely,
Michael Roussel
Pico Ski Club President
Mroussel01@comcast.net
802-236-2543 (mobile)

December 2014

It’s hard to believe that Thanksgiving is now a distant memory and the Christmas break is right in front of us.  Over the past two weekends, the club has had a “hum” that I can best describe as regular winter activity.  I’m sure we are all looking forward to closing out 2014, hopefully with a bit more natural snow on top of what we’ve already received and that which Pico is making.  As I’m writing and thinking about snow making, has anybody skied early season at Killington?  Were you able to see the new high efficiency snow guns and what they have been producing?  It’s absolutely unbelievable to see how quickly a trail can now be covered and the energy saving that I’ve read about seems quite impressive too.  Where is this headed might you ask?  It’s about change - what I’ve seen speaks to change within the ski industry.  Much like the high speed detachable quad lift revolutionized Pico some 25+ years ago, so too will this new snow making technology as it infiltrates its way across ski country.

Since I’m discussing change, let’s take a moment to reflect upon some of the changes we’ve seen at the Pico Ski Club over the past season or two.  I’d be foolish not to begin by mentioning the Andrea Mead Lawrence (AML) Lodge.  Concept to completion, it’s absolutely amazing to see what has been accomplished with this project.  The PSC (particularly the race program) has become the beneficiary of some fantastic indoor training space, offices and a modern kitchen.  So far this season, I’ve seen some great use of this space with more to come I’m sure.  More importantly, we have become great friends and partners with Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports - VASS.  Without the association we’ve forged with VASS, the vision kindled for AML may never have found its spark.  Discussing the mechanics of our partnership, technically we (the PSC) are members of a two party condo association with VASS.  Together, we share expenses and responsibilities for the day to day operation, maintenance and up keep of the physical infrastructure.  Most importantly, we share a responsibility of being good neighbors.  With that in mind, I’d encourage all PSC members to reach out, say hello and get to know Erin Fernandez – Executive Director, Tom Alcorn – Program Director and Kip Dalury – Office Manager.  Let’s remember why, “I Ski Pico” being mindful of and friendly toward their amazing guests.  These folks want to experience some of the same fun and joy we seek out on the slopes of “…The Friendliest Mountain I Know”.  Finally, I’d be remiss in not extending an extra special note of thanks to those on our side of this partnership.  I’d like to call out the Pico Ski Education Foundation (PSEF), its chairman / spokesperson - Tom Aicher and Board of Directors for making this all possible.  

Some of the other changes at the PSC include the club administration and communications (as noted last month), improvements to the house such as the basement upgrades (that include benches, lighting & heater), exterior paint and non-skid deck coating.  Also there has been new drainage installed outside between the main club building and the B-Lift.  We will see some subtle changes to the mix of events in the social program and finally the membership continues to turn over and grow as families come and go.  As with all things, the PSC will experience more change as time passes.  We must keep an open mind to the future and a strong connection to our heritage as we move forward.

Since I’ve been discussing change, one common element to using the club has not changed.  I’d ask everyone to be courteous, please pick up and clean up as you use the facility.  Also, don’t be afraid to politely remind others if you don’t see something meeting this simple expectation.  As a club member, you are responsible for yourself, your family and guests.  Just yesterday afternoon for example, if I had a dime for each hand / toe warmer packed that I picked up, I’d bet I could have bought a cup of coffee on my way to work.  Club membership is a privilege.  Let’s respect the PSC facility and other members around us.

Finally, I’ve mentioned in last month’s message that I’d like to get out and ski with those interested to make some turns.  I’ll be looking ski with folks the morning of 1-Jan (New Years Day) and again on Sunday 18-Jan.   Let’s be suited and booted in front of the ski racks and ready to hit the Golden Expressway Lift at 8:00am.  I’ll be able to ski with the group for about an hour and a half before heading off.

Sincerely,
Michael Roussel
Pico Ski Club President
Mroussel01@comcast.net
802-236-2543 (mobile)

November 2014

Hi, I’m Michael Roussel, Pico Ski Club President - 2014 / 2015 ski season.  For those who may not know me, I have been a member of the Club for the past eight seasons and active in the clubhouse volunteer committee.  I’m sometimes seen as the guy behind the shovel or snow blower helping to clear the decks on snowy weekend mornings.  I am perhaps better known as Marnie’s husband or Austin and Dylan’s father. My family has been active in club and racing since the age of Hopefuls and now our two boys are U16 and U14 athletes respectively. Additionally, you will see my alter ego wearing a Pico Ski & Snowboard School parka as I’m part time instructor, working on weekends and holidays.

As club President my vision is to advance our shared interest in alpine winter snow sports while maintaining a fun and affordable environment to create memorable experiences.  Active volunteerism will help to assure our club's stable future.  With this in mind, my goal will be to incrementally grow individual involvement of active and capable members to help achieve the vision which I believe is the heart of the Pico Ski Club.  As a club, we enjoy a unique position in the skiing world that provides us all an incredible value, given PSC’s physical infrastructure, level of activities, and service to its members.  This place is special, we should all hope to keep it this way and with your support and assistance, we can honor our club heritage and continue to build a great future.

The Executive Committee and Board of Directors have been working hard to insure we have the elements in place to have a fun and successful season.  We have had a great ski swap, with thanks to Lexi Moore and that group of volunteers for their tireless efforts.  The race committee has organized coaching, USSA / VARA races for our club’s youth athletes and other club level race events that fill a busy schedule. The social committee has prepared an active schedule of events for the upcoming season.  We held our club clean-up day and General Membership meeting followed by our first wine and cheese event earlier in the month.  Finally, none of what’s happened thus far would have been possible without the great communications / administration, spearheaded by and with significant effort from Tom Horrocks.  He has helped to move the club into the 21st century.  

With regard to our administration, I realize there has been challenges for some over the past several season as we’ve moved to Admin Sports.   Organizing and communicating with a club of our size in today’s lightning fast pace, information flooded environment, is not an easy task.  It has taken effort on the part of all through this change process and the club officers thank the membership for your patience in this process.  For those who challenged by technology, we will work with you to insure you get the assistance and information you need so your experience in the Pico Ski Club remains unchanged.  The positive outcome is significantly reduced time required by club officers and committee chairpersons to organize and communicate with membership.  We are all extremely busy and information automation is helping to significantly streamline back end club operations.

Now back to the reason we are all here.  In just a few weeks, we will have snow on the ground and the ski lifts turning here at Pico.  I look forward to the upcoming season and the possibility to making some runs together.  Stay tuned as I’ll arrange a group ski twice a monthly for those who would like to join me for some early morning turns.  I plan to stay connected to you and all members via electronic newsletter, so look for a meeting time & place for those interested in skiing.  Please feel free to reach out if you have thoughts, concerns or suggestions for ways we can all improve our time together at the Pico Ski Club.  Finally, we all hope for Mother Nature’s cooperation along with lots of snow and favorable weather for the winter sports we love.

Sincerely,
Michael Roussel
Pico Ski Club President
Mroussel01@comcast.net
802-236-2543 (mobile)