By Janet E. Franz
The Vermont Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports selected Win Smith, resident of Shelburne and Warren, Vt., and principal owner and president of Sugarbush Resort, to receive the 2017 Vermont Wellness Leadership award. Smith accepted the award at the Vermont Worksite Wellness Conference on March 23 in Burlington. Lori Smith (no relation), owner of FIS Consulting in Shelburne, presented the award. Lori Smith received the award in 2016.
Win Smith’s continual support and dedication to the wellness initiatives of Sugarbush Resort inspired his employees to nominate him for this award.
The nominator wrote, “The future Win envisions is a vibrant, active community –– his community –– taking advantage of this spectacular terrain and the abundance of ways to explore it. At this year’s Safety, Environment & Wellness Day, Win [publicly announced] his personal commitment to his wellness goal. He called for all in attendance to do the same. …Win supports his employees’ health and wellness goals in a number of ways, including personally subsidizing costs to participate in events like the Mad Marathon, Mad Dash 5k/10k and Kelly Brush Ride. … Win’s authenticity and his incredible support and leadership foster loyalty and motivation among employees … his employees are his workforce, his neighbors and comrades.”
An avid outdoor sports enthusiast, Win Smith skis 100+ days each season, leads hikes throughout the summer, and enjoys the golf course. He’s an accomplished equestrian, soccer and rugby player, and runner who posted a personal best of 2:47:46 in the 1982 New York City Marathon. His dedication to an active lifestyle inspires Sugarbush employees and community members to live actively, enjoy the region’s resources, and live by the Sugarbush slogan to “be better here.” Win and his wife, Lili Ruane, have eight children and six grandchildren, three of whom are already passionate skiers in Sugarbush’s Blazer Program.
As a Vermont business owner, Win Smith serves as chair of the Vermont Business Roundtable and is former chair of the Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce. In 2007, he chaired the Governor’s Commission on the Future of State Parks. He also serves on the board of the Vermont Ski Areas Association and is Vice Chair of the National Ski Areas Association and a member of their executive committee.
“Win is a champion for healthy, active lifestyles among his employees and residents of the Mad River Valley region, and he sets a strong example for Vermont business leaders in sustaining a culture of wellbeing,” said Janet Franz, Chair of the Vermont Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports and a resident of Shelburne. “He role models a healthy lifestyle for his employees and customers and, in doing so, he raises the bar for other employers.”
In honor of this award, the council donated $100 to the charity of Win Smith’s choice. He chose the Mad River Valley Community Fund, to provide interim and confidential assistance to residents of the community who need help paying for heat, fuel, food, medical bills, safe living arrangements, or a temporary leg-up.
The Vermont Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports is a physical activity promotion and advocacy group comprised of volunteers appointed by the governor and representing a broad spectrum of Vermonters. The council’s mission, defined in the legislation passed in 1986, is to promote health and wellness through physical activity for all people living in Vermont at all fitness and ability levels.