Green Mountain Club Elects New President
Jean Haigh of the NEK Elected
General Contact: Will Wiquist
Media Contact: Will Wiquist
Phone: (802) 244-7037
WATERBURY CENTER, Vt., June 12
The Green Mountain Club today announced the election of its 41st president: Jean Haigh of Craftsbury. Haigh is the first Northeast Kingdom Section member to serve as volunteer president of the 102 year old, 10,000-member founders and maintainers of the Long Trail. Haigh is the inspiring leader behind much of the club’s work in the Kingdom, especially on the former Champion Lands, and helped guide the club in accepting its additional management responsibilities on the Appalachian Trail in Vermont.
"I am so very honored to be elected president of such an amazing organization,” said Haigh. “Amazing because of its hundreds of dedicated and committed volunteers, amazing because of its very talented, skilled and incomparable field crew and amazing because of its extraordinary and extremely competent and capable staff. The strength and resilience of the Green Mountain Club is only possible because of the hard work these people do in the protection, maintenance and stewardship of the Long Trail and the mountains of Vermont – including our new trail in the Northeast Kingdom.”
Haigh led the way in establishing the Northeast Kingdom Section of the club and the establishment of the Kingdom Heritage Trail system on the former Champion Lands. The club opened the first section of this roughly 14 mile trail last year after more than a decade of work scouting and working closely with the state of Vermont, Northwoods Stewardship Center, and Plum Creek Timber.
“Jean is a truly great leader and will continue the club’s century-old tradition of strong, inspiring volunteer leaders,” said Will Wiquist, executive director of the club. “She has earned this position through years of hard work and calm leadership both in the Kingdom and in work on trails across the state.”
Haigh grew up in Rutland, Vt., taught at Johnson State College for many years, and still serves as an education consultant for the state in northern Vermont. For the last several years, Haigh has led the club’s Trail Management Committee along with numerous other posts. The president of the Green Mountain Club is elected by its volunteer Board of Directors for up to three years. At this year’s annual meeting last Saturday at Jay Peak Resort, the board voted unanimously to elevate Haigh from vice president to president. The board is itself elected by the club’s general membership.
Haigh was preceded by Marge Fish of Londonderry who served the maximum three years as president. “From expanding education programing to shepherding us through our centennial year, Marge has been a steady hand and strong leader for three successful years at the Green Mountain Club,” said Wiquist.
The club’s four officers are elected every year by the board. In addition to Haigh’s election, John Page of Montpelier was elected vice president, Tom Candon of Shelburne was elected secretary, and Dick Andrews of Springfield was re-elected as treasurer.
The annual meeting also saw the announcement of a number of important club awards and honors:
• Honorary Life Membership – Ben Rose of Williston for his hard work and leadership as executive director for 12 years until 2011.
• President’s Awards – Michael Chernick of Montpelier, Luke O’Brien of West Burke, and Jean Haigh of Craftsbury for their vision and hard work in helping launch the Northeast Kingdom Section of the club and breaking ground on the Kingdom Heritage Trail.
• Dedication of Annual Meeting – Don Hill of Swanton for his many decades of love and dedication to Vermont’s hiking trails and, especially, shelters.