Aspen Skiing Co. ‘green guy’ promoted to VP position
September 21, 2010
ASPEN – The Aspen Skiing Co.’s longtime “green guy” was promoted Friday to a position with additional clout among the senior staff.
Auden Schendler was promoted from executive director of sustainability to vice president of sustainability, Skico President and CEO Mike Kaplan announced.
Schendler has been with Skico since 1999, starting as an hourly employee in the environmental affairs department. He earned numerous promotions and helped the Skico take its environmental efforts to a higher level.
“As Auden has taken on more responsibilities and leadership with the company, we have realized our goals and emerged as one of the most environmentally progressive companies in the world,” Kaplan wrote when announcing the promotion to Skico employees.
The Skico’s environmental efforts have broadened and evolved into what it calls corporate sustainability, which includes an efficiency program, philanthropy and community engagement.
“Looking ahead, these areas are critical to our ability to compete and succeed in the new business landscape,” Kaplan wrote. “It is in recognition of his performance, and Aspen Skiing Co.’s growth in these areas, that Auden is being promoted.”
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Schendler is outspoken and expresses a take-no-prisoners stance on climate-change issues. He regularly insists that nearly all environmental actions pale in comparison to the necessity of drastically reducing carbon emissions that contribute to climate change.
Schendler is often enlisted as a speaker at environmental and business forums, and he wrote a book, “Getting Green Done,” that details “hard truths” about the Skico’s quest for sustainability.
When asked if his promotion places greater pressure on him, Schendler said there is “a lot of self-imposed pressure.” As a vice president, he will continue to answer to Dave Bellack, Skico senior vice president and general counsel.
In his prior position, Schendler participated in meetings of the Skico’s senior staff, but his promotion as vice president formalizes his role with the senior staff, Skico spokesman Jeff Hanle said.
Schendler said he believes the creation of a position as vice president of sustainability make a strong statement about the Skico management’s and ownership’s commitment to environmental and related issues. He said he is unaware of any other ski resort operator creating a similar senior staff position.