Five locals with longstanding ties to the Aspen community — Barbara and Peter Guy, Sue Smedstad, David Swersky and Rick Deane — will be inducted into the Aspen Hall of Fame in January.
This year’s inductees personify Aspen’s volunteer spirit, according to the Hall of Fame board, which sought initial nominations from the community. The new inductees will be inducted into the Hall of Fame during its annual banquet, set for Jan. 18 at the Hotel Jerome. The event will feature dinner, wine and an awards ceremony highlighted by video profiles of each new member, a news release says.
Invitations will be mailed in early December. More information is available at aspenhalloffame.org or by contacting the group’s president, Lorna Petersen, at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Hall of Fame is a nonprofit organization dependent upon donations.
Since its founding in 1986-87, the Hall of Fame has honored more than 100 members for their contributions — economically, physically, spiritually, ethically and intellectually — to the Aspen-Snowmass communities, the release states.
“Nominees must have demonstrated inspirational leadership and have made major contributions to cultural, sports and/or civic activities,” the Hall of Fame’s criteria says.
Here is some information on each inductee:
Barbara and Peter Guy
The Steak Pit restaurant, a former Aspen institution, is what most people will associate with Barbara and Peter Guy, the release says. The couple helped open the restaurant in 1960, after arriving in Aspen in June of that year. They finally sold the Steak Pit in 2002.
From the beginning of their Aspen tenure, they became well immersed in volunteer work in the community. Peter served multiple terms on the Pitkin County Planning and Zoning commission and was involved in drafting Pitkin County’s original master plan. He was a member of the Aspen School Board for more than 20 years. He also was involved in the start of the Aspen chamber’s visitors bureau and the Aspen Restaurant Association, the release adds.
The parents of two children, Charlie and Cary, the Guys became active volunteers with the Aspen Ski Club, especially on race days. In the late 1960s, Barbara and Peter were involved in the Aspen Community Church, including serving on its board.
For 15 years, Barbara Guy worked with her close friend and fellow Hall of Famer, Gretl Uhl, in her Aspen Mountain restaurant; Guy for the next three years became instrumental in helping Bonnie Brucker Rayburn with the transition from Gretl’s to Bonnie’s.
Since arriving in Aspen in 1965, fresh from graduating from the University of Oregon, Smedstad has dedicated herself to the health and well-being of the Roaring Fork Valley community, according to the release
She has been a founding board member of myriad organizations, including: Hospice of the Valley, Response, Aspen Youth Center, Aspen Community Foundation, Aspen Hall of Fame, Aspen Hope Center, Roaring Fork Leadership and Valley Partnership for Drug Prevention.
She worked for Aspen Skiing Co. until 1989 when she retired as its vice president of administration. In retirement, Smedstad has focused her time on nonprofit work in the areas of health, human services and youth issues, serving on both local and state boards.
Her annual “Girls to Women, Women to Girls” conference for 13- and 14-year-old girls provides a valuable career day that presents role models at a critical time in the development of young women.
Smedstad, a trustee of the Women’s Foundation of Colorado, has served on the boards of Aspen Valley Medical Foundation, AVH Volunteers, Alpine Legal Services and the Aspen Counseling Center.
David Swersky and Rick Deane
Swersky and Deane are being honored as part of the 2020 Aspen Hall of Fame class for their contributions to Mountain Rescue Aspen.
Swersky earned a degree in biology from Lehigh University and a degree in dental medicine from the University of Pennsylvania, following that up by serving in the U.S. Navy aboard the USS Enterprise. There, his main jobs were providing dental care to sailors and running a battle dressing station. Little did he know that his training in mass casualty care and triage would become a major factor in his Aspen life.
He arrived in Aspen in 1970 and became aware of a need for a volunteer science teacher at the newly formed alternative Community School, then located in the Physics Institute. That started a pattern of volunteerism that included a group called the Citizens Advisory Board from which the seeds of RFTA were sowed.
Swersky has said that what most enhanced his life in Aspen was joining Mountain Rescue Aspen in 1980 at the urging of Richard Arnold. Combining his love of the backcountry with his military medical training, “it became a perfect fit, the release says. He became one of the first group of rescue leaders under the tutelage of his friend Greg Mace and learned to organize and execute missions.
Among his pet projects in MRA, of which he served as president in the late 1980s, were teaching swiftwater rescue and being one of the founders and instructors of the annual Avalanche Awareness Workshop, now in its 35th year. Although his role in MRA has changed over the decades, Swersky remains an active rescue leader.
Aspen native and lifelong local resident Rick Deane also is dedicated to volunteerism. Deane is Mountain Rescue Aspen’s longest serving member, having worked in this capacity for more than 41 years.
The Deane family’s T-Lazy-7 Ranch is celebrating 80 years as Aspen’s oldest continuously run business. At T-Lazy-7, Rick launched a snowmobile rental operation while in his early 20s and almost immediately began to donate snowmobile tours to the Disabled American Veterans’ Winter Sports Clinic as well as the Shining Stars, the children and their families who are dealing with cancer. To this day, he still rises at dawn to actively manage T-Lazy-7 Ranch and his snowmobile business.
In 1976, Deane set the motorcycle record for the Pikes Peak Hill Climb, a record he held for 13 years. Not surprisingly, he’s much decorated for his rescue work, including receiving the National Association for Search and Rescue 1990 Valor Award.
The recipient of the 1996 Greg Mace Award, Deane was honored with the Aspen Elks Lodge Distinguished Citizen of the Year Award in 2007. He’s been a member of the Elks for 53 years.