Inductees announced for Aspen Hall of Fame |

Inductees announced for Aspen Hall of Fame

Staff report
George Madsen

Four longtime Aspen residents have been selected to be inducted into the Aspen Hall of Fame. Dick Butera, George Madsen, and Joe and Judy Zanin will be honored at the annual Aspen Hall of Fame banquet Jan. 17 at the Hotel Jerome.

The Hall of Fame’s board of directors made the announcement Wednesday, saying that the inductees have made “significant and lasting impacts on the Aspen/Snowmass communities economically, physically, spiritually and/or intellectually, demonstrated inspirational leadership, and have made major contributions in the cultural, sporting and/or civic arenas.”

Dick Butera

Butera moved to Aspen in 1982 and soon purchased the Aspen Club, beginning a 25-year tradition of hosting Aspen High School graduation parties.

He has served as a director of the Aspen Valley Hospital Foundation and president of the Aspen Arts Council. He also founded Channel 16 in Aspen and started the powder-tour company on the backside of Aspen Mountain. Additionally, Butera sponsored the Aspen Tennis Festival, raising more than $1 million for local charities.

In 1992, he created the Distinguished Service Awards, which gave $10,000 bonuses to 10 teachers and 10 hospital employees over a 10-year period.

Butera has been a major donor to the development of the Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club and has donated significantly to Aspen Valley Hospital, the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet and the Christmas Wish Foundation for single mothers in the valley.

Butera has six children — adults Caroline, Richard, Tina, Betsy and Annie (who died of cancer in 1993) and 9-year-old Miles.

George Madsen

Madsen first learned of Aspen on a ski vacation in 1956. The next year in Aspen, he met Martha Wilson, and they were soon engaged.

In 1958, the married couple moved to Aspen and bought a lot at Fifth and Hopkins. They built the Madsen Chalet, which Martha Madsen, now George’s ex-wife, still rents out today. George married Connie in 1980, and the couple led more than 60 trips in the backcountry to the 10th Mountain and Braun ski huts as well as Colorado Mountain Club hikes and Tour d’Aspen bike trips with groups of seniors.

Madsen started The Aspen Flyer newspaper, a one-man show published three times a week. Soon the paper was acquired by Bil Dunaway and absorbed into The Aspen Times. Madsen went on to work at the Times and write a column from 1959 to 1972. He also hosted a talk show in 1964 on KSNO radio.

Madsen was a charter member of the Aspen Rotary Club and chairman of the Fall Jeep Tour, organizing it for more than 20 years. He volunteered for years with the Aspen Ski Club, serving as the starter of races, perhaps most notably The Roch Cup.

Madsen was marketing director of Aspen Skiing Co. from 1972 to 1980, creating the Snow Host program, which managed teams of locals who helped improve the guest experience by assisting them with directions and carrying their equipment from the buses. That program continues today as the Ski Ambassadors. While at Skico, he served as chairman of the marketing committee of the National Ski Areas Association.

Madsen served as Pitkin County commissioner from 1980 to 1988. Today, he enjoys spending time with his children Cindy, Tim, Beth and Bill and their families.

Joe and Judy Zanin

The two grew up together in Ouray, where their parents were close friends, but the two children didn’t have much to do with each other until Joe returned from a two-year stint in the Army’s 10th Division, where he was stationed in Germany. Judy was a senior in high school. They were married in September 1959.

Work brought the couple to Aspen in the spring of 1964. Soon the Zanins were a family of four and had moved into a home Joe built.

Joe started Joe Zanin Construction Inc. in 1970. His residential construction business continued to grow for the next 32 years until his retirement in 2002.

Joe designed and built the “launch ramp” for the Rotary Club’s first Ducky Derby in 1992, and he’s been on that job ever since. As a 32-year member of the Rotary Club, Joe helps cook for the Sunshine Kids dinners and for the Ducky Derby “stickering” party and is a March of Dimes bell ringer.

He also has served on the boards of the Aspen Camp School for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, the Aspen Consolidated Sanitation District, the Pitkin County Board of Adjustments and the Aspen Hall of Fame. Joe was president of the Aspen High School Booster Club and served on advisory boards for U.S. Bank and the Aspen School District woodworking department.

Judy was a stay-at-home mom and the bookkeeper for Joe’s business. While raising her children, she volunteered for numerous ventures including The Thrift Shop of Aspen. She has been a volunteer in radiology and same-day surgery at Aspen Valley Hospital for 21 years.

Judy was named the hospital’s Volunteer of the Year in 1993-94 and later served as president of the volunteers. As a board member of the Aspen Valley Medical Association, she served as treasurer and president as well as on two of its committees, one of which awarded medical and health-related scholarships for individuals and hospital departments.

Judy is a member of the Aspen Chapter of P.E.O., which raises money for women’s continuing-education scholarships, and she coordinates the Christ Church Knitters.

The Zanins said their favorite activity recently has been watching their two granddaughters grow up in Aspen.

For more information about the Aspen Hall of Fame or the January banquet, visit http://www.aspenhallof, or contact Hall of Fame founder and board member Jeanette Darnauer at or 970-379-5746.

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