James R. Branch (deceased)
Year Inducted: 1994
Born: July 31,1929, Olean, NY
Died: April 25, 1991. Franconia, NH
James R. Branch was a member of the Dartmouth Ski Team where he completed undergraduate studies and earned his MBA. He worked with Tom Corcoran in the development of Waterville Valley Ski Area and was president at Alyeska Ski Resort in Alaska from 1959 to 1967. He then joined with Sel Hannah to run Sno-engineering becoming a co-owner in 1969. He helped develop the firm into the pre-eminent mountain planning firm in the world with branch offices in the United States, Canada and Japan. He was constantly sought for advice on ski area development by private operators and the U.S. government. He served as the industry's conscience while being one of its strongest proponents. Widely published on subjects ranging from economic analysis to public land use he was known to every ski area operator in the country.