By Karen D. Lorentz
Bonnie MacPherson, newly appointed Northeastern communications manager for Okemo Mountain Resort and Mount Sunapee and before that the public relations director for Okemo for 13 years, was honored Nov. 9 with a BEWI Award at the 33rd annual BEWI Luncheon and Awards Ceremony.
The gala event, which coincides with the four-day Boston.com Ski and Snowboard Expo, took place before a capacity crowd of 165 ski industry and media veterans at the Seaport World Trade Center in Boston. Also honored was Tom Meyers, marketing director at Wachusett and a former marketing director at Stratton Mountain and the Vermont Ski Areas Association.
Bernie Weichsel, president of BEWI Productions, which produces the annual ski and snowboard expo, made the presentations. He stated, “Bonnie and Tom are two pros who have set the standard in getting the snowsports message out to the widest possible audiences. Their professionalism and boundless creativity are valued by the media, the public and the ski industry.”
MacPherson began her career as a journalist before taking a position as public relations director at the Mt. Washington Hotel in New Hampshire. That led to joining Bretton Woods as public relations coordinator in 1998 and also overseeing public relations for the Mt. Washington Cog Railway. She moved on to the top public relations position for Booth Creek, headquartering at its properties at Cranmore, Loon and Waterville Valley before making the move to Okemo.
Attracted by the appeal of the “family area and the epitome of the gold standard in resort management in the East,” MacPherson joined Okemo in October 2005. As director of public relations, she served as a liaison with the press and the community, wrote press releases, and promoted the resort through various media – print, radio, social media, blog, snow reports and video. Her hosting of Okemo’s December media weekends are legendary for their fun, creativity, and helpful news announcements.
With Vail Resorts’ purchase of Okemo on Sept. 27, MacPherson was promoted to her current position and adds similar duties and oversight at Mount Sunapee.
One writer called her “the fastest and friendliest gun in the U.S. ski industry,” a reference to her “speedy and helpful” responses to requests and research.
That’s also a reflection of her gregarious personality and devotion to her craft, whether as a writer or communicator or just plain willingness to be helpful. Both have earned high praise from her media contacts across the country.
She also oversees the seasonal editing and production of Okemo magazine and helps launch young people, such as new snow reporters, into ski industry careers. MacPherson is a member of the Society of American Travel Writers and the North American Snowsport Journalists Association, which recognized her with a Gillen Award in 2008 for excellence in media relations and communications.