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Board Announcement 11/26/21

Board Announcement 11/26/21

  • Friday, 26th November, 2021
  • 09:45am

Greetings Sky Tavern friends and family!

I wanted to send out a quick update about the Board of Directors since there is so much going on. Junior Ski and Snowboard, Sky Kids, and the Adaptive Program, are always going to be the heart and soul of what we do and why we are here. And we realize, with the success of these programs, we can do so much more. 

On October 27th, Board President Yale Spina, and Board and Member Tamara McKinney, met with the Reno City Council. The Council unanimously approved an amendment to revise Attachment B of our lease, to allow the construction of a structure for a new maintenance facility with an upper story to house the third party partnership with the High Fives Foundation to operate a year-round multi-sport adaptive center. This amendment will allow for a faster construction process and time frame, and the new building will provide a much-needed updated space for the Sky Tavern Adaptive Program.  Board member Cameron Bordner has been working on drafting the amendment and has been integral to this process.

This new partnership brings Sky Tavern Adaptive, the City of Reno Adaptive programs, and High Fives together to form a world-class multi-sport adaptive training program.  We know the difference adaptive skiing has made for the kids in our program and we’ve seen the transformational power of Military in the Mountains. This partnership will allow us to provide even more opportunities for athletes, both young kids, and the young at heart.  Program founder, Marce Herz, believed passionately that sports are good for everyone and this partnership is one more way that we honor her legacy and carry her mission forward.

The Annual Report is out. As usual, Bill Henderson did an outstanding job. It’s posted online - be sure to read it when you have a chance. It can be found here. 

We are thrilled to announce that Mike Oehlert is our new Full-time General Mountain Manager! Mike is going to help us expand programming and operations, one day at a time. His goal for this season is to start by opening on Fridays. There are several new programs in the works - more about that below.

The Board has elected Dave Teston and his area of focus will be Human Resource driven. Welcome, Dave!

Tony Santo chairs the SKY fundraising committee. They continue to make great progress both locally and regionally toward capturing commitments (in-kind, equipment, and monetary donations)  toward making snowmaking a reality. We have received a very significant pledge towards snowmaking at Sky Tavern, and the announcement is forthcoming!

Randi Thompson is working on press releases for the winning of the Conversion Cup.   She is also working to create an ad hoc marketing team to better improve our outreach to the community.

Ann Carpenter leads the Development and Permitting Committee, and they are making steady progress with the necessary plans and permits toward snowmaking developments.

Rew Goodenow is chairing the effort to revise our bylaws and conflict of interest policy.

Nancy O’Connell is coordinating several intern programs at Sky Tavern to help with some of the heavy lifting in all departments. It looks like we may have up to 8 this year! We currently have two interns from Community Health Sciences at UNR, and four interns from the Ski Business program at Sierra Nevada University. Next semester, we hope to add interns from the Reynolds School of Journalism at UNR to help with marketing and public relations.

Tamara McKinney has been working with the fundraising committee, introducing several new benefactors to Sky Tavern. She works to promote Sky Tavern to the community and foster key friendships and partnerships.

Rosa Hall, the new Program Coordinator at the Reno Housing Authority, has done a fantastic job signing up families for Junior Ski and Snowboard. Marce believed that all children should have the opportunity to ski, and Sky Tavern offers scholarships to these kids. Rosa has been so successful that we added scholarships this year. Kudos to Bill and Lythia for making this happen.

Plans for expanded mid-week operations include bringing back PE classes at UNR for skiing, adding snowboarding, PSIA Instructor Certification training, ski patrol certification training and backcountry education and certification (Avi I & II). We are also exploring how we can offer Winter Sports for area high school students to meet their state mandated requirement of four semesters of physical education necessary for graduation. We hope to start small test programs this winter and expand once we have these programs running smoothly.

The Board would like to recognize Larry Irwin and Jim Carnahan and thank them for their years of service while sitting on the Board!! They leave big shoes to fill.

We will miss Steve Kavner, a 20 year volunteer at Sky Tavern who recently passed. Rest In Peace Steve, and keep and eye on us from above.

Don "Snoshu" Thompson passed away on September 17, 2021, of complications from pneumonia.   Snoshu was one of the original kids in the station wagon with program founder, Marce Herz. He went through the Jr. Ski Program while in high school and progressed so well that when he went on to UNR and qualified for the ski team.  He became an instructor at Sky Tavern after college and taught his two oldest daughters, Corrin and Cami, to ski there, while his wife Norma ran the day care center.

After learning to race at Sky Tavern, Don became a Class A racer and Cal-Nevada ski jumping champion in 1956. Snoshu competed on the Master’s circuit until 2007, some 60 years.   As Sky Tavern celebrates their winning of the Conversion Cup this year, Snoshu is an example of how they converted a young skier some 60 years ago! His daughter, Randi, serves on the Sky Tavern Board and she volunteers with her husband, Steve, teaching a new generation of kids. We are so grateful to the Thompson family for their amazing legacy and commitment to Sky Tavern.

As always, we are grateful for some early snow and we are (always) praying for more. In order to secure the 30-year lease, we made some commitments to the City Council that are key to what’s next for Sky Tavern. We are working to get the lease agreement and amendments available online, so our members and volunteers can have a better understanding of our long-term development plans.

If you have any questions or are interested in hearing more about these projects, please reach out. We want to keep everyone in the loop and if you’re interested in a deeper discussion, we want to hear from you.

Kind regards,

Nancy O'Connell
Sky Tavern Board of Directors
UNR Liaison/Intern Coordinator

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21130 Mt. Rose Hwy Reno, Nevada 89511
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