Traduire/Ubersetzen

Sales exec, importer

Passing Date: 
Sunday, May 12, 2019

Franklyn Baker Vener, a ski-business sales executive who at one time or another managed U.S. distribution for Elan, Tecnica, Volkl and Dolomite, died May 12 in Westport, Connecticut. He was 85.

Vener was born in 1934 in Mount Vernon, New York. He raced on the University of Vermont ski team, graduating in 1956, and then joined the Army. He served for two years at Camp Hale, Colorado, teaching soldiers to ski in the Mountain and Cold Weather Training Command.

In 1958, Vener launched a career in the ski industry, starting as assistant manager of the Norse House ski shop in New York City. He then spent several years as a Beconta sales rep before joining Iselin Imports, serving as vice president for the East Coast sales territory from 1962 to 1965. In 1962 he married Nancy Felch.

In 1965, he founded Vener Associates in Norwalk, Connecticut, and ran the firm until 1982. The company imported and sold Elan skis, Alpenblick apparel, and helped to develop and sell both Tecnica ski boots and the popular après-ski Moon Boot. In the early ‘70s both Elan and Tecnica set up their own North American distribution. Vener began importing Dolomite boots. In 1976, when Nordica dropped Beconta as its U.S. distributor, Beconta grabbed Dolomite – and dropped Völkl skis, which Vener then adopted. He became a sponsor of the early professional freestyle tours. 

In 1986, Vener launched the futuristic but impractical Nava ski boot/binding system on the U.S. market. After two years he folded the enterprise and retired from the ski business, devoting himself to tennis, deep-sea fishing and flying. He later ran Metlon Corp., a Rhode Island manufacturer of reflective yarns and fabrics.

Vener served on the Ski Industries America (SIA) board of directors from 1970 to 1980, including two years as vice president.  Skiing was his lifelong passion, and it defined his career and many of his closest friendships. —Kathleen James

 

 

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