Middlebury group honors Nancy Malcolm, Rikert Nordic Center

MIDDLEBURY — The Better Middlebury Partnership honored Nancy Malcolm as Outstanding Citizen and recognized the Rikert Nordic Center as Outstanding Business at the organization’s annual meeting Tuesday night at the Middlebury Inn.
Malcolm, who also received the award a few years back, was hailed for her tireless efforts to improve the community. A citation noted not just her yeoman’s work as chairperson of the Middlebury Planning Commission and her volunteer efforts, but also actually changing the face of the community with her work on the development of Riverside Park just below Middlebury Falls on the Marble Works side of the Otter Creek. BMP officials said the recent transformation of that area has been remarkable.
BMP President Ben Wilson lauded Malcolm for her role on the Middlebury Planning Commission during the past several years as that group did a complete overhaul of the Middlebury Town Plan, and of her bull-dogged approach to raise more than $60,000 in donations to make up for the shortfall in funding (a grant did not cover the full extent of what needed to be done) for development of the Riverside Park. Malcolm observed that the idea for Riverside Park was born out of the Creative Economy program in 2007, and while the idea was there for years, it had taken until this year (following the recession) to bring all the pieces together.
Michael Hussey, executive director of Rikert Nordic Center on Middlebury College’s Bread Loaf campus in Ripton, accepted the award for that business’ extraordinary development in the past two years. Over that time more than $1.5 million has been invested in new snowmaking equipment and extensive renovations to the touring center. Through an alumni donation, Middlebury College recently spent $850,000 to implement the largest snowmaking system of its kind in North America — a looped pipe system similar to those used at alpine ski resorts that enables the snowmaking equipment to blow the snow right on the trail. The system covers a 5K federally sanctioned racing loop that makes the Rikert Center one of the most advanced Nordic race courses in the country.
Hussey noted that the snowmaking system and renovations will help make the Middlebury area a true ski destination, combined with alpine skiing at the Snow Bowl and the authenticity of the town of Middlebury.
“We’re not a Stowe or Killington,” Hussey said. “We’re a real town with great amenities, great restaurants and lodging, great fishing, great biking and hiking, museums, a nationally recognized college. We’ve got it all, but I’m not sure how many people in town and the surrounding towns really understand what we have … We’ve got to get that message out.
“And we need to strike while the iron’s hot,” he added.
Also at the meeting, Middlebury selectboard Chairman Dean George and Selectman Victor Nuovo reviewed recent developments on a proposal to build a new municipal building. That proposal has been widely covered in the Addison Independent in the past few weeks.
In his remarks, Nuovo made the observation that in Middlebury’s early history the founding fathers always thought of Middlebury as a thriving metropolis, not as a quaint village. The admonition, he said, is to “look back and move forward,” noting that it’s a mistake for today’s residents to think of Middlebury as a quaint village to preserve, rather than a dynamic community with much to offer: industry, academic institutions, commercial enterprises and foundations, arts and entertainment, and athletic pursuits.
“Middlebury was a great city from the beginning,” Nuovo said. “It was never (intended to be) a quaint village.”
Those comments were apropos to the town’s and college’s proposed agreement through which the college would fund $5.5 million of the approximate $7.5 million project. The current plan is to hold public meetings on the proposal and have Middlebury residents vote on the bond to cover the town’s share in a special November 2013 vote.
The BMP membership re-elected Ben Wilson as president, Lindsey Wing as vice president, Jed Malcolm as treasurer, Sarah Pope as secretary, and Adrienne Illick MacIntyre as acting past president; they comprise the organization’s executive board.
Board members serving through 2014 are: Nancie Dunn, David Donahue, Nancy Rosenberg, Bryan Phelps, Ariana McBride, Lauren Taddeo and Peter Jette. Board members elected through 2015 were: Sarah Stahl, Angelo Lynn, David Disque, Adrienne Illick MacIntyre, Amey Ryan, Ted Shambo, Judy Werner, Liz Robinson, Erin O’Shaughnessy, Andrew Daly and Tara Smith. New board members serving through 2015 are: Amy Rakowski Dale, Sarah Pope, Christy Lynn, Emily Blistein, Nick Perzanoski. Special status board members are: Ken Perine, ex-officio; Gary Baker, Middlebury selectboard; Andy Mayer, Addison County Chamber of Commerce liaison; and Ryan Kim, Middlebury College student. The BMP’s marketing coordinator is Karen Duguay.

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