On June 5, 2024
Local News

Celebrating Frank Pauzé: his mentorship, lessons live on

By Victoria Gaither-Killington President and CEO Mike Solimano speaks at Pauze’s retirement party on the patio of the Grand hotel.

By Victoria Gaither

Renowned for its world-class skiing, Killington also boasts a reputation for producing exceptional students through Vermont State University’s Resort and Hospitality Management Program at Killington.

The man who led that charge, producing many students who are now managers in the ski industry and general managers of the hospitality industry is retiring.

Family, friends, students, colleagues, and alums gathered at the Grand Hotel outside Preston’s to thank Frank Pauzé this past Saturday, June 1.

“I took what he taught me as a leader and mimicked what he did as I went through the program and then through a second time as a general manager,” said Jason Dougherty.

Pauzé had no idea about his surprise retirement party. As he walked out to the patio where everyone was gathered, he saw some of his first graduates from the class of 2004. Then he saw his son, Chris Pauzé, who drove from Ohio to hug his dad and say “thank you.” It brought tears to his eyes.

Pauzé was the program coordinator for 23 years.

But how do you thank a man who never gave up on a program — even in its ups and downs?

Colleen Garrett spoke at his retirement party and described how Pauzé negotiated the lease for the first lodge space, the former Killington Village Inn (now Yama Ramen), and “cajoled instructors to come from the main campus to teach in Killington.”

Killington President and General Manager Mike Solimano spoke about how Pauzé got him to teach a class in finance.

Joshua Rose, one of his former students who would later work alongside him, said, “I took what he taught me as a leader and mimicked what he did as I went through the program and then through a second time as a general manager.”

Jason Dougherty, the general manager at Mount Southington Ski Area in Connecticut, graduated from the first class of 2004. It’s been 15 years since he saw Pauzé in person, but he said it was important to attend his retirement party. He said of Pauzé, “He was a visionary. I would say he took that program and ran with it, and it was a concept he believed in.”

One only had to look around the retirement party to see his belief pushed men and women to succeed and that led to management positions for many.

Allen Wilson, the former president of Killington, came up with the idea of the resort and hospitality program. He reflected: “We had a 10,000-acre campus,” being located at the resort, and “Frank started from day one, and he made it happen.”

Pauzé added, modestly, “The program has been successful because of Killington, the management team, and support from the mountain.”

As a few at the gathering held back tears, the lessons and learning that Frank Pauzé taught stuck with all who knew him every one of them. While he may be retiring his lessons will continue to live out his legacy for years to come. 

Do you want to submit feedback to the editor?

Send Us An Email!

Related Posts

Yale student wrote her thesis on Vermont’s school mergers, found they don’t save much

June 12, 2024
By Ethan Weinstein/VTDigger While studying economics and education at Yale University, Grace Miller found a surprise topic on the agenda: Vermont’s one-of-a-kind school funding formula.  The 22-year-old from Newport and her classmates learned about the Brigham decision, a 1997 Vermont Supreme Court case that found the state’s education finance system was unconstitutional.  In response to the case, the…

Killington road work extends into Saturday morning

June 12, 2024
Drilling and blasting will continue this week at the intersection of Route 4 and Killington Road in Killington. A detour remains in place via West Hill Road.  As the project approaches the scheduled end date of July 8, work to haul out rock will occur on Saturdays till about noon time going forward, Markowski Excavating,…

Hartland board to propose new vendors’ ordinance

June 12, 2024
By Curt Peterson The Hartland Select Board refined a proposed new Vendors’ Ordinance to replace the original that’s been in effect since 1996. According to Town Manager John Broker-Campbell, “There are minor changes which will hopefully help to clear up any confusion or ambiguity on the applicability of the ordinance.”   The Select Board will next…

Building a stronger Killington-Rutland community:Essential nonprofits tackle tough issues

June 12, 2024
Vermont’s vibrant spirit thrives on a network of over 7,000 nonprofits; some 1,500 of them in the Killington-Rutland region alone. Considering that number, it’s not surprising that some of these organizations prompt the question: “Why does that nonprofit exist?” Yet, the ones that tackle tough issues and enrich lives spark admiring comments, like “Imagine how…