Karen Wagner has been promoted to ski patrol director at Stowe Mountain Resort.
She succeeds Bill Schaaf, who stepped down in April after 19 years at the helm of the 84-year-old Mount Mansfield Ski Patrol. Schaaf also spent 25 years as a ski patrol member and helped foster a tight-knit rescue team.
Wagner grew up in Woodbridge, Conn., went to Colby College in Maine, came to Stowe one year after graduation and became a member of the Mount Mansfield Ski Patrol.
About a decade later, she became the resort’s risk manager, as well as a consultant for Willis Insurance. This past winter, Wagner was Stowe’s assistant ski patrol director. She lives in Stowe with her husband and two children.
“Karen’s strong history of risk management and patrol experience make her a great fit to be our ski patrol director,” said Scott Reeves Sr., director of mountain operations.
“I’m very happy to take on this new challenge for an enterprise that fosters leadership and has women I admire in key leadership roles,” Wagner said. “I’m honored and thrilled to work with such an extraordinary team here at Stowe Mountain Resort.” Mount Mansfield Ski Patrol is the country’s oldest organized ski patrol, dating back to 1934, when rescue crews used corrugated metal roofing for toboggans. It provided the model for the National Ski Patrol.
Over its 84 years, the Mount Mansfield organization has invented numerous first-aid techniques and devices and in 2016 was honored by the Vermont Health Department as First Responder of the Year. It continues to be an industry leader in mountain rescue.