ISHA Brings History Alive

What is ISHA?

The International Skiing History Association (ISHA) is a not-for-profit corporation, whose mission is to preserve and advance the knowledge of ski history and to increase public awareness of the sport’s heritage.

Almost two thousand skiers belong to ISHA.  They hail from many nations, though mostly from the United States. Members are defined by their love of the sport and its rich past.

ISHA's mission has been enthusiastically endorsed by former champions, including Jean-Claude Killy, Stein Eriksen, Billy Kidd and Nancy Greene Raine. Members include distinguished members of the FIS, 10th Mountain Division members, members of the Ski Hall of Fame, ski area pioneers, and filmmakers. But you needn’t be a ski world insider to belong. It merely takes an interest in this most beautiful of sports.

The non-profit International Skiing History Association (ISHA) preserves and increases awareness of the sport’s heritage through our skills and long experience in editing, research and publishing. We aren’t a museum. We don’t own a physical collection of antique ski gear and clothing. Our role in preserving ski history is unique.

ISHA publishes a bimonthly magazine Skiing History, filled with lively, carefully researched stories and stunning images from skiing’s past, prepared by the sport’s most experienced, most respected writers and editors. Enthusiastically read six times a year by several thousand subscribers, researchers, hall-of-fame members, and skiers around the world, Skiing History is recognized as the world’s best periodical of ski history published in any language.

We make ski history accessible to thousands of enthusiasts on the Internet, operating the world’s most-visited website of information about the sport’s past. At this website is a timeline of events going back to 5,000 BC. The website contains histories of ski shapes, waxing, plastic boots, the steel edge, skating in cross-country, women’s jumping, the World Cup, Nastar, and much more. There’s an index to 7,000 ski books and films, and to ski magazines published since the middle of the 20th Century. Here also is the gateway, via Google Books, to viewing the pages of past issues of Skiing Heritage and Snow Country magazines ( home page photo)

We present annual awards to the authors of ski history books, and to journalists, filmmakers, TV and radio broadcasters, website creators who have devoted their professional lives to recording the sport’s history. In the past ten years, we have handed out lifetime broadcasting achievement awards to Tim Ryan and Bob Beattie; film-making honors to Dick Barrymore, Roger Brown and German documentary maker Richard Rossman; British historian Roland Huntford and E. John B. Allen.

We hold an annual gathering, Skiing History Week, which brings together skiers to celebrate the sport’s history in historic ski towns, broadening local interest in the sport’s heritage. (crowd photo)

The website and the magazine constitute invaluable resources for educators, researchers, writers, students, and the general public seeking to learn more about the sport’s legacy.

Board of Directors

Richard Allen

Richard Allen began collecting skis and other gear in the late 1980s, and in 2002 founded Vintage Ski World in Aspen, to sell ski-related antiques and posters.

Since 2006 Mike has been president of the Metropolitan New York Ski Council, an umbrella organization of 45 ski clubs with more than 20,000 members. Mike is active with the National Ski Federation, serving on the membership services committee where he solicits discounts for members on travel, lodging, and recreational activities.  He was instrumental in the New York Council joining National Ski Areas Association, SnowSports Industries of America and United States Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame.  Mike is currently the sales ambassador for Mt. Snow in Vermont, and has served in the same capacity for Okemo. These positions brought him into close contact with local ski shops and ski clubs. Mike is also an avid collector of old ski books and everything ski.

An avid skier for many years, Mike is a member of ISHA, Friends of Tuckerman Ravine, the New England Ski Museum and the 10th Mountain Division National Association. Mike has been in the construction business for over thirty years and is currently the project manager for Restani Construction in Queens, N.Y.  The company builds roads, bridges and tunnels. Between ski trips he lives on Long Island with his wife Jennifer.

“I believe that ISHA is important because it keeps the origins of the sport alive,” Mike said.

Art Currier is CEO of  Currier & Associates, a leading professional interior design services firm in Newburyport, Mass. He is a founding director of the Newburyport CleanTech Center and a founding trustee of the Vail Leadership Institute (VLI) in Vail, CO and a founder of the Greater Newburyport Eco Collaborative.  Art was a founding trustee of the Carrabassett Valley Academy in Kingfield, Maine, a founding director of the Newburyport Cultural Exchange Committee and the Triton School-to-Career Partnership and a past president and active director of the Newburyport Education/Business Coalition. Art's many years of experience have included management positions with Ford Motor Company, Nashua Corp., Salomon/North America, Puma USA, and Norfell.  He was actively involved in the wintersports trade association, SnowSports Industries America. He served as the executive director of the official film of the 1982 Nordic Skiing World Championship and the 1992 Winter Olympics for Jalbert Productions. Art holds a BS in Engineering Management from Norwich University and an MBA from Cornell.

Dick has been around the ski industry for a long time, starting in sales with Ziff-Davis’s Skiing Magazine in 1965. He later moved on to Ski Tech magazine, First Tracks, and SnoWorld, the annual collector’s magazine handed out at all the Warren Miller film showings.  Since retiring, Dick has been very active in seeking sponsors for Skiing History magazine, also featured on this website.  

Bob is a partner, with Bill Quigley, in Danzeisen and Quigley, a 31,000 square foot ski shop in Cherry Hills, N.J. Bob launched the store in 1961 with a small Bavarian style ski shop in Haddon Heights, N.J. During the ski industry boom years of the 70’s, Danzeisen Ski and Sport expanded to four locations across New Jersey. In 1987, Danzeisen and Quigley consolidated at its current central-Jersey location. The shop has won numerous awards and was voted Eastern Ski Retailer of the year three times by Snow Sports Industries of America (SIA).

In 2010 Bob was inducted into the Pennsylvania Ski and Winter Sports Hall of Fame. Realizing the need to have collective buying power he was the founder of Snowsports Merchandising Corporation (SMC), a buying group of more than 100 retailers who hold their own two day trade show in advance of SIA. D and Q is actively involved in promoting skiing in the northeast. Bob is still very active in running D and Q but does make time, as often as he can, to ski.

JOHN FRY, President
John Fry first served as ISHA’s President from 2001 to 2004. In 1965 he became editor-in-chief of SKI, America's oldest ski magazine, and in 1988 was founding editor of the award-winning New York Times magazine Snow Country.  He worked for more than 50 years as an editor at Times Mirror Company and New York Times. He has received the FIS (International Ski Federation) Journalism Award, and lifetime achievement awards from the International Skiing History Association and from the North American Snowsports Journalists Association (NASJA). Fry founded NASTAR (National Standard Ski Race) in 1968, which soon became a featured attraction at most American ski areas. He also launched The Nations Cup of alpine ski racing, and the Graduated Length Method of teaching, and was elected to the U.S. National Ski Hall of Fame. John has published many articles and books on skiing, travel, health and religion.  One of the most notable is The Story of Modern Skiing, now in a fifth printing. The 408-page book covers the revolution in ski resorts, equipment, technique and competition after World War II.

“Raising public awareness of skiing’s history is important,” says Fry. “ISHA operates the largest website dedicated to skiing history and brings our sport’s past alive in the pages of Skiing History magazine.”

Hans has spent his entire life in the ski industry and brings to the Board his extensive knowledge of the nation’s ski areas. When he first came to North America from Austria, he started as a ski instructor, then moved on to the ski school director position, and then to his first management job at Ski Roundtop in Pennsylvania.  In 1971 he became general manager of Incline Village, Nev.  After building a financially solid organization at Incline Village, he moved on to be general manager at Heavenly Valley, and then at Ski Liberty in Pennsylvania, where he doubled the ski acreage, snowmaking and lift capacity.

Hans spent nine years as CEO of Steamboat, where he increased skier visits from 360,000 to more than one million. In 1991 Hans became president of Stratton Corporation in Vermont. After buying lifts from Doppelmayr for many years, he was recruited in 1994 to become president of Doppelmayr USA, retiring in 1999.

Hans now lives in Steamboat Springs, where he often boards the ski lift at 8:30 a.m.

“ISHA  is important to recognize and preserve the accomplishments of the giants of the industry, racers, inventors, innovators, so that they can continue to inspire us,” Hans said.

Born in 1930 in Zürich, Luzi lived in Paris and Toulouse as a young boy. In 1940 his family returned to Switzerland, and he earned a master’s degree in mechanical engineering at the Swiss Institute of Technology in Zürich. After a first job at Swissair, he joined Nestlé, where he headed a team responsible for the design and construction of about 60 new factories in 50 countries.

Like his entire family, he enjoys skiing, and one of his hobbies is ski and ski lift history. He has a collection of more than 170 pairs of skis with documentation, dating from before 1900.  Luzi has written many articles on skiing history, including “Ernst Constam and his Marvelous Uphill Device” (together with Morten Lund), “Swiss Made” (A Glance at Switzerland’s Skiing History), “The Hotel Palace in Gstaad,” and “The Parsenn Derby,” all published in Skiing History magazine.

Now 84, Luzi lives in Corseaux, on the Swiss side of Lake Geneva, and loves to ski with his three grandchildren.

A former member of the U.S. Ski Team, Jake worked for years as marketing director for Colorado ski areas, while developing a law practice in Minneapolis. He operates an insurance brokerage serving sporting goods retailers, especially ski shops.

Dave began his career as a ski instructor and ski-resort manager, but joined the member-owned trade association Ski Industries America (SIA) in 1976 and assumed its presidency in 1981. He supervised a short, tumultuous marriage between SIA and NSAA, and was more successful keeping the fast-growing snowboard business within the organization – a transformation that changed the name to Snowsports Industries America.

Wini grew up in Calgary, Alberta, and began skiing at three. She raced and became a certified ski instructor.  Skiing became her career. Deciding at 16 that she wanted to be a skiwear designer, she took degrees in textile science and French at the University of Montana, then attended Hetzendorf Modeschule in Vienna, Austria. She taught skiing -- in French and German -- at Zermatt, Switzerland and Innsbruck, Austria, and spent a summer teaching swimming in Lausanne Switzerland.  

Wini spent 30 years at Roffe Skiwear in Seattle, as vice president for design and marketing. The factory produced 10,000 garments a month, and sold through 1,000 retailers across the United States. Wini established Roffe licensees in Canada, Australia and Japan. Wini won numerous national design awards and was inducted into the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) --and was honoted as Ski Magazine's Woman of the Year.  After retiring in 1996, Wini ran the judging of a worldwide design contest for Malden Mills, maker of Polartec fabrics. She has been involved in many local organizations on Bainbridge Island, Wash., where she makes her home, and was named Kiwanis Citizen of the Year in 2007.

“Skiing history is so full of creative entrepreneurs, of courageous people, and of wonderful stories centered around a sport that creates 50 million skier days a year," Wini said.  "It needs to be remembered and ISHA is preserving that history”

Seth is executive director of the American Solar Energy Society (ASES), and editor/publisher of Solar Today, Solar@Work and Solar Citizen (see He began skiing during a climbing trip to Chamonix in the summer of 1968, while attending the University of Chicago. He joined the staff of SKI Magazine in 1974, and served as editor of SKI Business, managing editor of Cross Country Ski Magazine, and senior editor/technical editor of SKI Magazine. The work took him around the world to ski, and everywhere he went he saw glaciers melting. So he began writing about climate change in 1990, and in 2007 earned a master’s degree in environmental journalism at the University of Colorado/Boulder, joining ASES the following fall.

In 1993, Seth joined K2 Corp. as product manager for alpine skis, but returned to SKI a year later as general manager/online products, and launched the magazine’s award-winning website, He was recruited as a website producer by Microsoft Corp., then worked at Intrawest as director of internet strategy. Seth has managed ISHA’s website since shortly after it was launched by Mort Lund.

Seth has taught skiing for 30 years, at Squaw Valley, Beaver Creek and now Vail, and has served on the board of directors of the Colorado Ski Museum. He is the author of half a dozen books on mountain sports, and has won several awards for writing and website innovations. He has written for Backpacker, Outside, The New York Times and dozens of other publications. He has long been a frequent contributor to Skiing History magazine.

“Every sport has its great characters and fascinating tales,” Seth said. “Skiing, as a sport and culture, has more than its share of great stories, told in many languages. They’re all worth retelling, and in particular it’s great fun to squirrel out the truth behind each myth.”

Deb McLenahanDEBBY MCLENAHAN, Vice President
Debby grew up in Ronan, Mont., and started skiing very young. She graduated from Montana State University in 1972 with degrees in German and history.  After working as a tour guide for the Schilthornbahn in Murren, Switzerland, she moved to Lake Tahoe, Calif., to be marketing director for Kirkwood ski resort. In 1974 she became executive director of Ski the High Sierra, a national and international marketing arm of the Lake Tahoe resorts (Squaw Valley, Northstar, Alpine Meadows, Ski Incline, Heavenly Valley and Kirkwood).

In the late 1970s Debby moved to San Francisco, married and was the sales director for Sanspray, a building products manufacturing company. She returned to the ski business in 1989 when she moved to Vail, Colo., and began work for East-West Marketing, a marketing affiliate with the largest developer in Vail and Beaver Creek. This led to managing the western office for Snow Country magazine, a New York Times lifestyle publication. In 2007 Debby returned to Montana and now serves on several boards, including  Montana Community Banks, Swift Eagle Charitable Foundation, the Montana History Foundation and the Salish and Kootenai College Foundation. Home is again Ronan, Mont., on Flathead Lake and close to great skiing.

John has skied all his life. As a teenage ski racer, he lived and trained in Austria under the tutelage of the director of the Austrian National Team, Franz Hoppichler. He skied for the University of Denver under Willy Schaeffler, and earned a bachelor's degree in political science with a minor German literature, and a master's degree in exercise science, followed by an MBA at Westminster College of Salt Lake City.

John served as coach, director of athlete development and alpine director for the U.S. Ski Team and for the U.S Women’s’ Olympic and World Cup Teams (1976-1984 and 1987-1990). During this period, his athletes won every major title..

Between 1987 and 1990 John worked with Dr. Richard Steadman in South Lake Tahoe, developing fitness and rehabilitation protocols. Today he is the chief development officer for the Steadman Philippon Research Institute in Vail, Colo. The Institute is dedicated to keeping people of all ages physically active through orthopedic research and education in the areas of arthritis, healing, rehabilitation, and injury prevention.

In 1995, John was inducted into the Colorado Ski Hall of Fame. He is chair of the ISHA Development Committee.

Rick studied mass communication at the University of Denver, then became an independent filmmaker. While attending the University of Hawaii’s East West Center in the 1960s, he made the surf movies Freeform and Oceans. Returning to Vermont in 1973, with his wife Melinda and year-old son, he joint Vermont Public Television.

The couple produced Legends of American Skiing in 1983, and Rick has specialized in ski history projects since then. He did yearly films for SKI and Skiing magazines, for snowsports manufacturers, for many ski resorts and for most of the national skiing nonprofits, including several for the U.S. National Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame, the National Ski Patrol, and the New England Ski Museum. He made the Vermont Memories series, Northern Railroads and the George Aiken Story for Vermont Public Teleivsion; Change Challenge for the Orton Foundation; and Through the Years for SE Group, a consulting firm in Burlington, Vt. His Web Exhibit  Making A Legend: Lowell Thomas & Lawrence of Arabia - Creating History has won several awards and currently posts over 100,000 hits per month. In 2012 he helped to produce Passion for Snow, a documentary about the role Dartmouth College has played in the evolution of North American skiing.  He’s now working on a documentary about Lowell Thomas and broadcast journalism in the 20th century.

Rick is chair of the ISHA awards committee, which annually recognizes the creators of the very best of skiing history in print and video.

BOB ORBACZ, TreasurerBob Orbacz
After a short stint in public accounting, Bob went into private business in 1977 as the vice president/reasurer of a manufacturing operation in northern Vermont.  In the early 1980’s he joined The Village at Smugglers Notch as controller, and was eventually promoted to vice president/treasurer. In 1987 Bob he was named vice president/CFO at Monark Sporting Goods, the U.S. distributor of Elan skis, Dolomite ski boots, Geze and Look ski bindings, and in 1996 was promoted to president/CEO. Early in 2000 he became involved in financial consulting projects for a number of sporting/recreational product companies and was named to his current position, director of finance and operations at Snowsports Industries America (SIA), the member-owned trade association for wintersport products suppliers.

Bob began skiing in the mid-1960’s and remembers anxiously dreaming about the various ski resorts he heard about on the radio. He could not wait to move up from lace-up leather ski boots to his first pair of plastic Langes and to his first pair of metal Head skis. Every fall, he looked forward to the Albany (consumer) ski show and to the latest film from Warren Miller.

“ISHA is important because it preserves and documents the history of our great winter sports activities for current and future generations,” Bob said. “It keeps all grounded and brings back nostalgic recollections of my childhood memories.”

Allison grew up in Colorado and spent a year of high school in Europe, becoming fluent in French. She graduated from American University with a degree in international diplomacy, which led to jobs with Senator Tim Wirth and at the French Embassy in Washington. In 1994 she founded Prance Corp., providing digital signage and other communication tools for ski and golf resorts to guide their customers. After attending film school in Los Angeles, in 2009 she made the award-winning documentary “The Andrea Mead Lawrence Story.”

A well known music producer, music industry attorney and Chairman Emeritus of the music community’s foremost social outreach charity, WHYhunger, Charlie Sanders joined the ISHA board nearly a decade ago following publication of his history of the US 10th Mountain Division entitled “The Boys of Winter” (UP Colorado 2004).  That book was honored in 2005 with an Ullr Award by ISHA, and with the Bill Berry Sports Journalism Award by the Western Ski Association.  He has also contributed to publications that include “Passion for Skiing,” (the history of skiing at Dartmouth that was honored by an Ullr Award in 2011), and recently received an Emmy Award (2014) for his production of an early grades animation  project illustrating the importance of protecting and encouraging artistic expression.

An avid international skier, Charlie is closing in on his goals of skiing on 150 mountains across all seven continents by the end of 2015.  He is also currently completing a book tracing ski escapes of political dissidents from the Third Reich, in which he will recount the history of the “lost” Euro-Judaic mountaineering world of the pre-WWII era. 

Charlie is likewise active in the movement to publicize the dangers of global warming and glacial melting, a passion he brings to ISHA.  “I love ISHA as an organization because it is dedicated not only to the preservation of skiing history and heritage,” he notes, “but to ensuring the continuation of skiing’s legacy for future generations.  Continuing that tradition is going to take extremely hard work, in light of the devastating threat not only to our sport, but to our planet, presented by human-induced global warming.  Only by working together can we avert this looming ecological tragedy, and be certain that our children will inherit the legacy of beauty and winter sport that ISHA seeks so passionately to celebrate and protect.”  

EINAR SUNDE, Secretary
An attorney in Palo Alto, Calif., Einar has amassed an impressive library of skiing memorabilia, and contributed articles to Skiing History magazine.

Dan, son-in-law of ISHA founder Mason Beekley, represents the Beekley Family Foundation on ISHA Board.

Bode is psyched: Looking back at Turin, looking forward to Sochi

Greatest racers: The Olympics sort them out

Schranz vs. Brundage: Olympic controversey for all time

The First Four Winter Olympics: Chamonix 1924, St Moritz 1928, Lake Placid 1932, Garmisch 1936

Lake Placid, 1932: The world comes to the Adirondacks

Lake Placid, 1980: What you didn't see on TV

Sarajevo, 1984: U.S. Team rules medal count in alpine


Olympic Memories: Patrick Lang's favorite moments


The International Skiing History Association (ISHA) is a 501-( C )-3 educational non-profit corporation.

ISHA was founded in 1991 by the late Mason Beekley, who amassed perhaps the world’s largest private collection of ski books and art. The collection opened to the public for the first time in December, 2003 in a newly-created museum in Mammoth Lakes, California.

The founding of ISHA and the idea for a magazine of ski history came from Mason Beekley’s belief that, by the 1980’s, the need for a rational and complete record of American skiing history had reached the tipping point.

In the 1990-91 time frame, Mason Beekley gathered a number of individuals who he thought would share his vision for a skiing history organization assembled a group of “founders.” By November 1, 1990 he had convinced 36 prestigious prospects to become ISHA Founders “to encourage and promote sharing, organizing, preserving, archiving, collecting and disseminating every aspect of the history of skiing.”

A May, 1991 meeting of Founders in Hanover, New Hampshire led to the founders’ list growing to 102 individuals. This Founders meeting followed the Winter 1991 issuance of the Snow News Newsletter as “The Official Journal of the International Skiing History Association.”

The first Skiing Heritage Week (now known as Skiing History Week) was held in 1992. The name Snow News was replaced by SKIING HERITAGE in 1993 and Morten Lund was hired as editor. The fall, 1994 issue of the journal carried the first full-length article on Gretchen Fraser. Over the years the SKIING HERITAGE expanded to 48 pages. Full color is employed, and historical and entertaining articles have filled many of the holes in the documented record of skiing history.

This web site was launched in 2001 to enable ISHA to deliver on its mission to a worldwide Internet audience. The web site is #1 on Google Internet searches for ski history topics.

The magazine was renamed SKIING HISTORY in 2013. Today, it goes out to more than 2,000 subscribers, including individuals who are part of corporate sponsorship programs, who are museum members (National Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame and Museum, Alf Engen Ski Museum at Olympic Park in Park City, and the Canadian Ski Museum), and who are individual subscribers.


Kathleen James, former Editor of Vermont Magazine, was an editor at the award-winning Snow Country Magazine.

SKIING HISTORY Editorial Board

The ISHA Editorial Board works closely with the SKIING HISTORY Editor to ensure that articles meet high standards for accuracy and editorial quality. Members of this important peer review group are: John Fry; John Henry Auran; Jeff Leich; Seth Masia (ISHA Webmaster); Doug Pfeiffer; and Patrick Lang. Editor and Webmaster

Seth Masia was technical editor of SKI Magazine from 1974 to 1994, and launched SkiNet in 1995. He has worked as product manager at K2 Corp. and was a website producer at Microsoft Corp. He teaches skiing at Vail, and is editor of Solar Today and head of the American Solar Energy Society.

Directors Emeritus

ISHA’s volunteer board of directors has included a few individuals whose substantial contributions over the years has resulted in being awarded “Emeritus Status.” Current directors emeritus are John Fry, Peter Lunn (deceased), Glenn Parkinson, and Doug Pfeiffer

ISHA Legacy Partners

Along with ISHA Directors Emeritus and the Presidential Circle, Legacy Partner is an honor reserved for individuals whose breadth and depth of commitment to and involvement with ISHA is outstanding. Current Legacy Partners are Gretchen Besser, PhD; Dr. Donn R. Mosser, and Gene Rose.

Presidential Circle

International alpine ski racing is an important, defining element of skiing history. ISHA is pleased to have seven athletes with an incredible record of racing accomplishments as members of ISHA’s Presidential Circle. These seven individuals support ISHA and its mission to preserve skiing history and increase awareness of the sport’s heritage.

Jean-Claude Killy
Warren Miller
Stein Eriksen
Nancy Greene Raine
Bode Miller
Billy Kidd
Bob Beattie
Penny Pitou