Will Sweetser and Mike Smith named Division Heads. David Chamberlain joins staff.
Caribou, Maine The Maine Winter Sport Center (MWSC) is restructuring its leadership to align with its programming priorities. The Caribou-based organization has split its curriculum into two divisions— Competitive Programs and the Healthy Hometowns Program.
Will Sweetser, the current Director of Cross Country Development, will head the new Competition division, and will be responsible for ensuring a consistency of philosophy across all programs, while making sure no athletes fall through the cracks.
Sweetser, a Maine native and graduate of Dartmouth College, brings with him 11 years of experience within the MWSC. During his tenure, Sweetser has coached every level of programming for the center—experience and perspective that will enable him to ensure a seamless transition for athletes in both the biathlon and cross-country programs. The new director takes over a program that has placed 10 athletes on the past two winter Olympic teams, representing both the United States and New Zealand.
“Will is internationally respected for his broad knowledge as a coach,” said Andy Shepard, President of the MWSC. “That experience, and his intelligent, creative approach to programming, will lend themselves very well to our goal of being the premiere training site for elite nordic athletes in the US.”
Mike Smith, a Presque Isle native and University of Maine graduate, is currently responsible for the MWSC’s community development efforts, which include the award winning Healthy Hometowns Program. Smith brings an impressive resume to his new responsibilities, having been actively involved in outdoor leadership and education for the past 11 years. Smith’s training and experience leading kayak expeditions around the world as a guide and outdoor educator, along with the passion he brings to introducing kids to the outdoors, makes him an ideal candidate for this new leadership position. Beyond nordic ski instruction and coaching, Smith’s background in the outdoors includes work as a registered Maine guide, leading four-season wilderness trips, backpacking, mountaineering, canoeing, kayaking and mountain biking. He has also led whitewater kayak trips and instruction in Maine, the Carolinas and Central America.
Smith’s promotion is a reflection of the MWSC’s commitment to transitioning the state’s Healthy Hometown ski programs into year-round Outing clubs. ”In order for a child to embrace the healthy, active, outdoor lifestyle we are promoting,” said Shepard, “they need to see a commitment on our part to being in their lives year-round. We are really blessed to have someone with Mike’s unique skills and energy to lead that effort statewide.”
The MWSC is also announcing the addition of David Chamberlain to the staff as the new Youth Development Coach. “I feel honored to be able to add David to our staff,” said Shepard. “The athletes are very fortunate to have someone of his experience to help them find their way.” “David has been a remarkable role model, carrying himself with such dignity and humility—our Development athletes will be learning from the best.”
The Bates College graduate, and former US Ski Team member, has seen athletic success at every level of competitive skiing. Chamberlain’s impressive list of achievements includes two Maine Class A state ski championships, two NCAA All American honors, two FIS Super Tour titles and being a three-time member of the US World Championship Team. Chamberlain, who retired as a full time athlete last spring, brings a fun loving nature and world-class experience to his new position.
The Maine Winter Sports Center is a non-profit economic development company, that exists with annual grants from the Portland-based Libra Foundation. To learn more visit www.mainewsc.org.
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Inge is FasterSkier's international reporter, born and bred in Norway. A cross-country ski racer and mountain runner, she also dabbles on two wheels in the offseason. If it's steep and long, she loves it. Follow her on Twitter: @IngeScheve.
December 8, 2010 at 7:46 pm
I’m still trying to figure out how MWSC won the FIS Snowkidz award:
without getting a single skier from Maine on the national J2 list:
Well, at least part of that 12,000 Franc award can go towards the more than $600K MWSC spent on salaries, wages, and other employee expenses in 2008:
Will someone please step in and do something about this so that MWSC can reorganize their $1.7M budget in a way that’s going to make a serious difference to Maine and Nordic Skiing community.
December 12, 2010 at 9:17 am
I see that this article has been appended with “Maine Winter Sports Center is an economic development company…”. That is a f*cking lousy cop out. If that is the company line, shore up your IRS 990 to reflect it, and if that is how you define the “company”, can anyone place a finger on the staff running that department? Would that be Sweetser as the director of competitve programs, or Smith heading up the outing club division? Oh, or would it be Shepard, the CEO. How many hours a week do you spend in the office again? FYI CEO Shepard lives in Yarmouth, ME – a ten hour round trip away from the MWSC office. Might want to
check that out on your tax filing too….
What’s going on is highway robbery from the Libra Foundation, the state of Maine, and the Nordic skiing community. $1.7M spent wisely can take our sport to a new level – and if our community doesn’t grab the reins and realize the incredible opportunity here, Libra is going to realize that they’re being stolen from and lied to, and that $1.7M per year opportunity will walk away from our sport.