Following successful year, ski mountain looks to changing leadership
WEST FARMINGTON - There will be a changing of the guard this year at Titcomb Ski Mountain, with a new executive director taking over after a very successful year.
Megan Roberts has been the executive director of the small ski mountain for the past four years, with another four-year stint preceding another director. In her experience, ski mountains run in "waves" of good seasons and bad; she herself started skiing at the age of 5 during one such good wave. Now she thinks another good wave might starting at Titcomb.
"It was great," Roberts said of the mountain's 2016-17 winter performance. "There was an enthusiasm, even coming into the year. People were in a good way with the season."
That translated into more memberships and more program participation, even before the ski industry in Maine enjoyed plentiful snowfall and generally decent skiing weather. The mountain cleared $300,000 in income and has significant cash on hand at the end of the season, something unheard of in recent years at Titcomb.
It's a fitting conclusion to Roberts' work at Titcomb, although she said she would continue to be around during the season.
"It's a little bittersweet," Roberts said of her departure. "The people are so great, you get to see the joy of the kids when they come here. But it's a lot of hard work."
That work will be taken up by Seth Noonkester, the new executive director. Noonkester, who also has worked for the town of Farmington in the Recreation Department, interned under Roberts three years ago. "He knows a lot of the aspects of Titcomb," Roberts said.
The mountain wouldn't be able to run without a massive amount of volunteer help - even if Roberts jokingly described organizing the volunteers as "herding cats." The commissary, the spring clean-up events, the ski patrol and many of the programs are organized and operated by volunteers.
"It's been a great crew to work with," Roberts said. "It's been a joy."
This Saturday, April 22, is the first work day after the ski season, with volunteers working from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. for a spring cleaning event and to fold newsletters.
Roberts, who called Titcomb "dear to my heart," plans to write a book about the mountain's history, going back to the Farmington Ski Club that formed in 1939. Titcomb Mountain itself opened in 1942. A large number of photographs taken over the years have been collected, Roberts said, and the mountain has preserved its board meeting minutes going back to 1939.
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