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Benjamin Finley & Arthur Clay

Hall of Fame Class of 2019

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For Ben Finley and Art Clay and for the National Brotherhood of Skiing, this was the beginning of an effort that would encourage the formation of minority ski clubs, introduce thousands to the sport,
and nurture athletes’ Olympic dreams.

Ben Finley is the diligent, fiscally focused organizer
with a sparkling corporate résumé who served as the president of the Four Seasons West Ski Club in Los Angeles. Arthur Clay is the street-savvy Chicago probation officer with the bowler hat and bow tie who knew how to throw a party. Together they made history, conceiving and organizing the first gathering of 13 black ski clubs with 350 attendees in Aspen in 1973, the foundation for what would become the biennial Black Summit and the National Brotherhood of Skiers.

The two shared a vision for providing a comfortable community for the small number of black skiers in the country and a commitment to increasing minority participation that went far beyond securing lodging and lift ticket deals for their group.

From the start, NBS was more than just a ski gathering:
It sought to increase the black skiing population, and was dedicated to a larger, central goal—to put black athletes on Olympic podiums.

The black skiing population was virtually non-existent in the early 1970s. Through the decades, NBS efforts has nurtured tens of thousands of black skiers who would spend hundreds of millions of dollars on the sport.

NBS was the catalyst for the development of unprecedented programs like the National Winter Activity Center in Vernon, N.J., which turned the defunct Hidden Valley ski area into the home base for its acclaimed, season-long, tri-state winter-sports development program.

NBS efforts has helped produce Paralympic medalists and others on the U.S. Ski Team development squads.

Finley now lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Mamie his two sons, two step-daughters and four grandchildren. Ben and his wife Andi will celebrate their 45th anniversary in April.

For their foundational and five-decade long role in nurturing the National Brotherhood of Skiers Ben Finley and Art Clay earn induction into the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Hall of Fame.

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