If you were waiting to buy tickets to the 2020 Aspen Hall of Fame dinner and induction, you’re too late as they sold out well in advance of the Jan. 18 banquet at the Hotel Jerome, organizers recently announced.
Five people who have made indelible contributions “economically, physically, spiritually, ethically and intellectually” to the local community will be honored during the annual gala. They are: Sue Smedstad, Barbara & Peter Guy, and David Swersky and Rick Deane.
The 2020 inductees join the 110 people who have already been inducted into the AHOF since its founding in 1986/87, a celebration that was part of Aspen Skiing Co.’s 40th anniversary of skiing and started by a group led by Jeanette Darnauer.
Darnauer said this recently,“In my experience, this is the earliest the banquet has ever sold out.”
She said it’s not surprising given that all five of the inductees “have great networks so I knew it would be very popular this year.”
The original criteria for Aspen Hall of Fame consideration is one’s physical, spiritual, economic and ethical contributions to the Aspen and Snowmass communities. The AHOF is independent and not part of the Aspen Historical Society nor the Aspen Skiing Co.
David Swersky and Rick Deane
David Swersky and Rick Deane are being honored as part of the 2020 Aspen Hall of Fame class for their contributions to Mountain Rescue Aspen. Both are past recipients of the annual Greg Mace Award.
Swersky earned a degree in biology from Lehigh University and a degree in dental medicine from the University of Pennsylvania, following that up with serving in the Navy aboard the USS Enterprise. Little did he know that his training in mass casualty care andtriage would become a major factor in his Aspen life.
He arrived at Aspen in 1970 and volunteered as the science teacher at the newly formed alternative Community School, then located in the Physics Institute. That started a lifelong pattern of volunteerism.
Swersky joined Mountain Rescue Aspen in 1980, combining his love of the backcountry with his military medical training in what was a perfect fit.
As Mountain Rescue Aspen’s longest serving member, Rick Deane, like Swersky, has dedicated his life to helping others.
The Deane family’s T-Lazy-7 Ranch is celebrating 80 years as Aspen’s oldest continuously run business. At T-Lazy-7, Rick Deane launched a snowmobile rental operation while in his early 20s and almost immediately began to donate snowmobile tours to the Disabled American Veteran’s Winter Sports Clinic as well as the Shining Stars, the children and their families who are dealing with cancer. Rick still rises at dawn to actively manage T-Lazy-7 Ranch and his snowmobile business.
Since arriving in Aspen in 1965, fresh from graduating from the University of Oregon, Sue Smedstad has dedicated herself to the health and well-being of the Roaring Fork Valley community.
She was a founding board member of Valley organizations including: Hospice of the Valley, Response, Aspen Youth Center, Aspen Community Foundation, Aspen Hall of Fame, Aspen Hope Center, Roaring Fork Leadership and Valley Partnership for Drug Prevention.
Smedstad worked for Aspen Skiing Co. until 1989 when she retired as its vice president of administration. In retirement, she has focused her time on nonprofit work in the areas of health, human services and youth issues, serving on both local and state boards.
The program and conference she started and nurtured, “Girls to Women, Women to Girls” for 13- and 14-year-olds, provides a valuable career day that presents women role models during eighth grade, a critical time in the development of young women. She is a longtime resident of Snowmass Village.
Barbara and Peter Guy
While Peter and Barbara Guy became best known for the much-beloved Steak Pit restaurant, which thrived from 1960 until 2002, their Aspen tenure spans much wider than the hospitality business. Today, they reside in New Castle.
From the beginning of their time in Aspen, both Peter and Barbara became well immersed in volunteer and service work.
Peter Guy served multiple terms on the Pitkin County Planning and Zoning commission and was involved in drafting Pitkin County’s original master plan. An Aspen School Board member for more than 20 years, he was involved in the start of the Aspen Chamber of Commerce visitors bureau and the Aspen Restaurant Association.
The parents of two children, Charlie and Cary, the couple became active volunteers with the Aspen Ski Club, especially on race days. For 15 years, Barbara Guy worked with her close friend and fellow AHOF member Gretl Uhl in her Aspen Mountain restaurant; Guy for the next three years became instrumental in helping Bonnie Brucker Rayburn with the transition from Gretl’s to Bonnie’s.