Vail, CO July 15 (By SAM Resort News)–The U.S. National Ski Hall of Fame today announced the selection of seven prominent ski industry veterans to be inducted September 25. In a departure from the traditional selection process, the class of 1999 includes four members chosen by the established procedure and three more picked by new rules designed to elect people who may have been overlooked in the past.
The group chosen under the more stringent established process include, John Henry Auran, Mezzy Barber, Webb Moffett and Lee Sosman. John Henry Auran became managing editor of SKI in 1959 and moved on to become senior editor of Skiing in 1965 where he worked for 20 years. During a 40-year career, Auran helped set the standard in ski journalism and continues to work as an active board member for Skiing Heritage. Merrill “Mezzy” Barber was a championship ski jumper who competed from the late ’30s into the ’50s. His dedication to the sport was so strong that while training in Norway during the early part of his competitive career, he impressed the King of Norway and was named an honorary citizen. Webb Moffett is an easily recognizable name among ski resort folks because of his ground-breaking work in ski lifts, ski schools and volunteer aid patrols on Mt. Rainier, Mt. Baker and Snoqualmie, Wash.Moffett was the first to also adapt a farm tractor for snow grooming, introduced night skiing and was among the first area operators to welcome snow boarders with open arms. Dr. Leland Sosman has been a tireless volunteer booster of ski racing in the U.S. He has had a direct impact on the success of competitions from the Olympics and World Championships to the Buddy Werner League over several decades.
Chosen for the class of 1999 under the new rules were: Emile Alais, Fritz Mittelstadt and Ed Scott. Alais, another familiar name, was not only a great racer for the French National Team, but had an important influence on the development of ski racing in the U.S. and Canada as a coach of both national teams in the years following World War II. Alais also made his mark as a resort designer in the U.S. and France. Frederick W. “Fritz” Mittelstadt served the USSA for many years in many capacities. He served as a race referee and ski jumping judge in numerous international competitions and became a trainer for race officials. Edward Scott’s name is seen all over ski resorts these days, primarily on poles. He developed the first rugged, lightweight aluminum ski poles as the owner of an equipment repair shop in Ketchum, Idaho, when he realized none existed. His design ideas became the standard in the industry.