Stowe Area Association honors Michael Diender
Stowe Area Association presented the Stowe Business Person of the Year award at their Annual Membership Dinner, which was hosted on June 19th by Stoweflake Mountain Resort & Spa. The Annual Stowe Business Person of the Year 2012 honor was awarded to Michael Diender, owner of the Sun & Ski Inn and Suites.
Diender started his career in the hospitality industry 36 years ago when he attended the hotel management school in Maastricht, Netherlands. From there, Michael moved to the United States for an internship, and it was in Florida that he met his wife Debi and decided to stay. He subsequently managed several hotels in the Disney World area.
In 1985 the Dienders vacationed in Stowe where they fell in love with the community. For years Michael wanted a business of his own and they decided to purchase the Grey Fox Inn. Between 1986 and 2001, they transformed the Grey Fox Inn from a 19 room renovated farm house inn, into a AAA 3-star mini-resort. Michael’s pride and joy was creating the Dutch Pancake Café, a tribute to his Dutch heritage, which became a favorite among tourists and local residents.
In 1998, Michael and Debi purchased the Sun & Ski Inn and a few years later created another Stowe first, the Stowe Golf Park.
Looking to slow down a little they sold the Grey Fox in 2004. In 2011, to their great surprise their daughter Rachel and son-in-law Mark asked to enter the family business. Rachel & Mark have been operating the Sun & Ski Inn since January.
Over the years Michael has also focused his energies on improving Stowe as a tourist destination. He has been a long time member of the Stowe Area Association and served as its President from 2000 to 2006. He’s been an active member of Rotary and currently serves as its President, a member of the Stowe Vibrancy Committee, and currently serves on the Design Review Board. He was also a notable leader in Stowe’s effort to create a local options tax for the benefit of the community and visitors.
In his presentation speech at the dinner, Chuck Baraw—President of the SAA board of trustees—said, “Michael can be truly characterized as being polymathic.” He explained, “he is an individual with many interests and with a depth of knowledge in a wide variety of subjects.”
As Michael transitions into retirement, he will remain an active advisor for the Sun & Ski Inn, and will remain on the Board of the Stowe Area Association. Both Michael & Debi are looking forward to enjoying time in their home, traveling and spending time with their daughters Donna and Rachel and 4 grandchildren, and welcoming a fifth in January 2013.
Stowe Area Association, located in the resort community of Stowe, Vermont, is a tourism marketing organization as well as being the Chamber of Commerce.
Stowe, VT (June 25, 2012) Stowe Area Association