Challenge Aspen CEO stepping down
Challenge Aspen announced Wednesday that its chief executive of four years is voluntarily resigning “to focus on personal pursuits.”
Outgoing CEO Jeff Hauser will remain with the nonprofit organization for several more months while its board of directors conducts a national search for a replacement, according to a news release.
“It was such good fortune to join Challenge Aspen as its chief executive four years ago and I have loved being part of its growth and evolution,” Hauser said in a statement. “Confident that I’ve accomplished what I was invited to do, I look forward to more time for countless projects on both my professional and personal ‘to do’ lists.”
Challenge Aspen’s management team will remain unchanged. People who worked closely with Hauser praised him for his work at Challenge Aspen, which helps people with physical and cognitive disabilities by exposing them to outdoor recreation.
“Jeff joined Challenge Aspen in January of 2017 and brought timely and important expertise to the role,” said Jack Kennedy, president of Challenge Aspen’s board of directors.
Mike Kaplan, president and CEO of Aspen Skiing Co., said: “Jeff brought strong leadership to this role and his commitment to children, adults and veterans with physical and cognitive disabilities. He and his team have elevated Challenge Aspen’s presence and ensured that no one is turned away from enjoying our mountains and the spectacular Roaring Fork Valley in every season.”
Former Challenge Aspen board member Katie Grange, whose son, Max, participated in the program, said: “Jeff has been a transformational leader in this valley and taken Challenge Aspen to new heights. I know I am joined by so many families locally and across the country who will miss him, his creativity and his energy. We wish him well.”
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In light of tightening restrictions at local resorts, along with a recent surge of new customers to equipment retailers for skins and splitboards, officials are expecting one of the busiest seasons ever in the backcountry. But the exploration of Colorado’s wilds always will come with risks, and officials are urging everyone to make sure they’re totally prepared before taking on the challenge.