Dear BMA Community,
We are very excited to announce that the Trustees have appointed Willy Booker ’96 as Burke Mountain Academy’s next Head of School effective July 31, 2017. Members of the Board of Trustees unanimously approved the recommendation of the Search Committee headed by trustee Renny Smith. In hiring Willy, we have secured a dynamic and competitive individual with a deep commitment to our community to lead our school.
An accomplished executive in the ski industry who ascended to success early in his career, Willy possesses the entrepreneurial flair that characterizes our unique school, along with a firm grasp of its strengths, its challenges, and a deep and enduring commitment to its values and core beliefs. In Willy’s own words, “I am incredibly honored to be the next Head of School for BMA. Burke can have an immense impact on people and it certainly did in my case. I have drawn on my Burke experience throughout my career and personal life and look forward to the opportunity to give back to BMA with direct involvement. I appreciate the weight of this appointment and I will be working hard not only to live up to the impressive standards that Warren, Finn, Kirk and Jory have set but also to find new ways to move our school forward in a very dynamic environment.”
A former student, teacher, coach, Trustee and Board Chair, Willy has been involved with just about every aspect of BMA over the past 25 years. In the Press Release attached below, you can read more about Willy’s background, the search process and some of his accomplishments as a trustee and Board Chair.
As retiring head Jory Macomber noted, “I have truly enjoyed my collaboration with Willy over a number of years working closely together on the Burke Board and more recently as Head of School and Board Chair, respectively. I am thrilled to be handing the reigns to such a capable leader with such an intimate knowledge of the ongoing strategic and operational matters of the school. As an alum four times over – student, parent, Trustee and now Head – I look forward to supporting Willy and I am confident he will chart an exciting path forward for BMA in the years to come.”
Willy’s wife Christine and their 16-year-old son Ben will join him in relocating to East Burke. Christine is an impressive addition to BMA in her own right, as a coach with over 25 years of experience, including 7 as Head Women’s Alpine Coach at Dartmouth College. In her tenure at Dartmouth, the team won their only NCAA championship of the modern era in 2007. In that same year, Christine was named EISA Coach of the Year, representing the most outstanding coach for the league as voted by her peers. Christine is excited to take a role as a U14 coach and dedicate her extensive knowledge to helping instill passion for the sport and strong fundamentals in Burke’s youngest athletes. Ben Booker is a rising junior at the Holderness School where hockey is his primary athletic focus. He’s looking forward to enjoying the world-class skiing and mountain biking at Burke as well as the opportunity to use the RBC when he’s home from school.
In closing, on behalf of the Board of Trustees, we would like to extend our gratitude and appreciation to the entire BMA community for its unwavering support and input during this important time in our school’s history. Please join us in welcoming the Booker family to BMA and hailing Willy Booker as our next Head of School!
Ken Graham – Vice Chair
Renny Smith – Chair, Head of School Search Committee
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
BURKE MOUNTAIN ACADEMY NAMES WILLY BOOKER HEAD OF SCHOOL
ALUMNUS & CURRENT BOARD CHAIR UNANIMOUSLY APPOINTED BY TRUSTEES EFFECTIVE JULY 31, 2017
June 2nd, 2017 EAST BURKE, VT – The Burke Mountain Academy Board of Trustees announced the unanimous appointment of Willy Booker as next Head of School at BMA earlier today. Booker is uniquely positioned to carry on BMA’s tradition as one of the leading ski academies in the USA due to his unique perspective as an alumnus, former staff member and a long-standing Trustee, combined with an impressive background as a senior executive in the ski industry. Booker will assume the position as Head of BMA on a full-time basis on July 31st, 2017 after transitioning from his current role as Executive Vice President at Marker Volkl Dalbello (MDV) and following a three-year term as Chair of the BMA Board of Trustees.
“Willy embodies BMA’s values, spirit, and ambitions and we will be excited to see him apply his energetic leadership style to build on the legacy of this pioneering ski racing academy,” explained BMA’s Board Vice Chair, Kenny Graham.
As Board Chair, Booker has overseen and driven a number of transformative initiatives including the successful capital raise and construction of the $3M Ronnie Berlack Center (which stands as the largest single capital project in BMA history), the designation of BMA/Burke Mtn as an official US Ski Team Development Site and High Performance Center and the imminent improvements to BMA’s training venue – including a new high speed surface lift, additional training space, snowmaking and terrain improvements – among other accomplishments as Chair.
Booker’s hiring is the conclusion of a search process that was initiated following the resignation of current Head of School Jory Macomber. “Following Jory’s resignation, we had a very specific skill set in mind that would ideally suit our school. Primary among those skills were strong leadership and a deep understanding of BMA and the racing community,” said Renny Smith, Chair of the Head of School Search Committee. “We collectively realized that the dynamic leadership that Willy had been demonstrating as Board Chair was exactly what BMA needed. His business experience and extensive involvement with BMA over 20 years made him a stand out candidate. We actively solicited him and we are all beyond thrilled that we were able to get our top candidate in place,” continued Smith.
Booker arrived at BMA in 1991 from Loveland Ski Area in Colorado, and since then, his commitment to BMA and the sport of competitive ski racing has shaped his life. After graduating from BMA, Booker captained the University of Vermont ski team earning All-American honors. He went on to a 15-year career in the ski industry working with multiple leading ski brands, which kept him close to the racers and coaches at the pinnacle of the sport. Prior to his most recent role as Executive Vice President at MDV, Booker served as Chief Executive Officer of Fischer USA and previously as President of Nordica, USA, leading US operations for both brands. He stayed active and involved with BMA as an alumnus, joining the Board of Trustees just seven years after graduating and dedicating over thirteen years – including the most recent three as Chair – to the BMA board.
“In some ways I never left BMA,” said Booker, “I could not be more honored, humbled or excited to return full time to Burke. Attending BMA was a transformative experience for me and the values that Burke instilled have greatly influenced my life. Relocating to the Northeast Kingdom is a dream come true for my wife, Christine and me. Those who know me well understand that I bring a certain intensity to my work. I simply cannot wait to get to work and focus all of my creative and competitive energy into helping BMA, the students and the staff achieve their goals.”
“Willy’s appointment as Head of School along with the recent major announcements at BMA – from the new Ronnie Berlack Center, to the US Ski Team partnership, to the anticipated new T-bar and venue improvements – ensure a very dynamic future for BMA for years to come,” added Graham, “We are all extremely excited to welcome Willy to this role.”
Burke Mountain Academy
Director of Development & Communications