On May 24, SAVMI honored its 2022 Award recipients.
Beaver Creek Resort’s Benny Lucero was awarded the Tim Crouse Memorial Award (Mechanic of the Year). It has been said that Benny is capable of running the entire mountain since he has worked in almost every department since he began back in 1980. During this season, Lucero has dedicated 50+ hours a week to assist the short staffed vehicle maintain department to help them make it through the 2021-2022 season. He is credited with being a big reason the department was able to keep going. Additionally, “Eagle Eye”, as he is known by the BC crew, is always on the lookout for unsafe, hazardous and potentially dangerous situations and conditions; helping the rest of the staff avoid possible accidents. Frank Martinez, team lead at Beaver Creek, shared the thought of their entire department…“We wouldn’t trade him for the world!”
This year's Vehicle Support Award went to Clint Powell with Telluride Ski & Golf. Powell is the assistant manager of their vehicle maintenance department and is known to keep things moving. Clint is very organized and extremely helpful with ordering parts. He handles all of Telluride’s paperwork, from invoicing to work orders, which allows the techs to stay focused on the equipment. “All you have to do is ask, and he’ll do his very best to help” said mechanic Tadd Rigsby. That’s the type of employee every department wants.
The SAVMI Safety Award is given to the member resort with the most effective program for establishing a culture of safety at their area and within their vehicle maintenance shop. This year’s recipient was Telluride Ski & Golf. The staff a T’ride completes a comprehensive safety inspection of the shop every month and regularly inspect equipment including lifts, cats, and fuel systems. Additionally, they hold weekly safety meetings during which they address any unsafe acts or conditions noticed and discuss ways to remedy the situation. And obviously it is working. As the meter on their shop wall indicates, Telluride has gone over 10 years without an incident. Impressive!
The Lifetime Achievement Award was given to industry icon, Joe Clark. Clark began his career over 50 years ago at Vail Mountain and after several years he moved to Kirkwood. During his time in California, it became apparent that he really knew a lot about snowcats and that is when he decided to transition to the supplier side of the industry. For many years, Joe sold LMC equipment across the west. First as a rep for a dealer (Mountain Services) and then directly for the company as the regional manager in Nevada office (which he also helped establish.) Later, Clark returned to Colorado and covered the Rocky Mountain Region and where he stayed until he retired in 2021. Joe has always been a strong supporter of SAVMI and was involved with the organization for nearly 30 years. In the early days, when SAVMI was only educating 20-30 mechanics across Colorado, he was brought on as the first supplier representative on the Board. Clark served on the Board for more than 25 years and helped the annual event grow to what you see today; an event that consistently attracts over 300 attendees with over 40 different educational sessions, a trade show element, an awards component, and several social/networking events. As Clark put it in his acceptance speech, “There’s simply nothing in the world – and I mean the entire world – that provides this type of education for ski area vehicle maintenance departments. Nothing! I’m honored to have been part of it.”
Congratulations to you all!