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Thomas D. Hines

Aspen Times Staff Report

Longtime Aspen resident Tom Hines died July 1. He was born to Donald and Helen Hines on Oct. 1, 1945 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Hines was a veterinarian and an association executive in Aspen, where he lived with his wife, Karen, and daughter Lissa. He started his association and love for animals at an early age. He spent the past 54 years enjoying the benefits of the animal world, including participating in rodeo, and working as an equine veterinarian.

He was fortunate in combining two professional businesses into an exciting lifestyle and professional career. He practiced veterinary medicine since his graduation from Colorado State University in 1976. However, his love for management and corporate business opportunities allowed him to pursue his background in the travel trade, convention and hospitality field.

After moving to Aspen in 1969, Hines became immediately involved with the community and became president of the Aspen Chamber of Commerce. It was at that time he realized that he enjoyed working and dealing with the media, public relation agencies and working with the public in general.

After graduating from veterinary school and completing a one-year internship in Miami, Fla., Hines returned to Aspen, where he began practicing veterinary medicine with the Aspen Animal Hospital. He also became associated with the Aspen Chamber Resort Association.

ACRA is a large corporation with an annual budget of over $2 million. Hines was elected to the board of directors in 1979 and became a member of the staff in 1983, as director of special events. In 1989 he was promoted to vice president of operations, and in 1991 he became the president and CEO.

During this time, Hines learned a “college education” in fund raising, communication and working with several boards of directors, grant writing, promoting conference business, preparing budgets, organizing staff, increasing membership, dealing with the press, conducting interviews, public speaking and making legislation happen.

He played a large roll in maintaining the financial success of the resort association. With over 65 employees, his leadership helped to place ACRA as a role model for other resort associations around the country. Tom retired from ACRA at the beginning of 1995 to pursue his veterinary career and personal interests.

One of the highlights of Hines’ career with the resort association was being appointed the executive director of the Aspen Food and Wine Classic for 13 years. This conference grew to over 3,000 attendees, and has been named the number one food and wine conference in the world by Wine Spectator Magazine.

Since January 1995, Dr. Hines pursued two areas of personal interest. First, he continued to practice veterinary medicine. Secondly, he remained involved in the financial and marketing affairs of several businesses in the Aspen area, while at the same time he taught employee seminars.

He also occupied the position of executive director of the Wild West Veterinary Conference, L.L.C.

Hines, his wife Karen, along with his daughter Lissa, were outdoor enthusiasts, and enjoyed the mountains of Colorado by skiing, horseback riding and hiking. They also together enjoyed water sports and traveling.

Survivors include his wife, daughter Lissa Pabst; sister Margaret Rines; brother-in-law Joseph Day; and nephews and nieces.

He was preceded in death by his father and mother, and sister Elizabeth Day.

A memorial service will be held at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Aspen today, at 11 a.m. Father Michael Glenn will officiate. A reception will follow at 1 p.m. at the Elks Lodge in Aspen

In lieu of flowers, memorial contribution maybe made in Hines’ memory to the Elks Scholarship Fund, to any Alpine Bank.


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