James Flaa (deceased)
Year Inducted: 1974
As a member of the Ishpeming Ski Club, Jim Flaa developed a reputation of such reliability that he was frequently called "Leave it to Jim". His father had been born in Trondheim, Norway. Flaa himself had been an outstanding high school athlete who even accumulated semi-professional experience in sport.
He was secretary of the Ishpeming Ski Club for 17 years, a position which made him the brain center of the club. He brought pride and prejudice together, welding members into an effective team, and making the club a force in U.S. skiing.
He was responsible for the development of junior skiing. During that time, Ishpeming became the mecca for ski jumpers in the Midwest. The Flying Bietilas, among so many others, went out from Ishpeming under his direction. Master skiers could look back on their junior years and know it was Jim Flaa and the enthusiasm he engendered among his contemporaries that was responsible for the development of their junior program.
Flaa was also the Chairman, appointed by Harold Grindon, of the committee that founded the U.S. National Ski Hall of Fame.
He was responsible for the resurgence of the Central Ski Association and served as vice president. At its 25th anniversary, he was honored with a specially struck gold medallion in recognition of his service to the CUSSA and to the sport of skiing.