Sales exec, importer

Passing Date: 
Sunday, May 12, 2019

Franklyn Baker Vener, a ski-business sales executive, 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. He married Nancy Freydberg in 1962.
In 1965, he founded Vener Associates in Norwalk, Connecticut, and ran the firm until 1982. The company imported Elan skis and Alpenblick apparel, and helped to develop Tecnica ski boots and the popular aprés–ski Moon Boot. In the early 1970s 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 adopted. He became a corporate sponsor of the early professional freestyle tours.

In 1986, Vener launched the futuristic Nava ski boot/binding system on the U.S. market. After two years he folded the enterprise and retired from the ski business. He served on the Ski Industries America (SIA) board of directors from 1970 to 1980, including two years as SIA vice president. —Kathleen James



Add new comment

Filtered HTML

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Leave a comment


If you would like to leave a comment or remark, please login to your subscriber account.