Press Kit

White Mountains Treasures 2011 Announced at Annual Meeting

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – October 20, 2011

 Contact:  Mt Washington Valley Chamber of
Commerce at (603) 356-5701,



Four dedicated individuals and organizations will be honored for their dedication to Mt Washington Valley, NH with the White Mountains Treasure Award on November 1, 2011. Former local historian and author Dave Emerson will be honored postmortem, along with three additional contributors to the Mt Washington Valley community who will receive their awards in person including Howie Wemyss, President and General Manager of the Mount Washington Auto Road, Joan Lanoie, Volunteer Services Coordinator at Memorial Hospital and collectively the NH Department of Transportation.  The White Mountains Treasure Award honors individuals in the Mt. Washington Valley who have given a lifetime of time, talent and dedication to the Valley. 

Recipients of the award will be honored at the MWV Chamber of Commerce/MWV Economic Council Joint Annual Meeting and Dinner that will be held at the Attitash Grand Summit Hotel & Conference Center on Tuesday, November
1, 2011. The White Mountains Treasure Award is sponsored each year by Woodlands Credit Union.


David Emerson

David Emerson was born on March 27, 1949 in North Conway,New Hampshire, and was raised in Stow, Maine where he attended a one-room school through the fifth grade. His days at the Stow Corner School formed some of his favorite memories and forged friendships that lasted the rest of his life. He moved to Albany, NH in June of 1976, where he remained. He loved New Hampshire, the state of his birth, for its beauty, its politics, and its people. 

Emerson was honored as North Conway Business Person of the Year in 2007 for his civic contributions and irreverent wit. As an author and historian David Emerson was honored as the Conway Business Person of the Year by the Conway Village Area Chamber of Commerce. Emerson was the author of several books on Conway history and served as the director of the Conway Public Library's Henney History Room.  Additionally, while alive Emerson served as the executive director of the Conway Historical Society. David Emerson died on August 30, 2009.

 As his longtime friend and local Civil War author William R. Marvel spoke fondly of David Emerson after his death saying, “David took with him an incalculable portion of Saco River Valley lore. He owned the two qualities that make a great historian: an impeccable memory, and a sufficiently irreverent view of human nature to understand that the surviving records often don't tell the real story. When people would ask me where their great-grandfather's home or office stood, I could usually tell them, but when they wanted to know who their real great-grandfather was, I sent them to David”.  He added “He was the only personwho ever made me feel like an amateur at local history, and he rattled it off in such volume that I missed most of what I might have learned from him. Much of it was the sort of material that is never formally documented, so the loss is immediate and permanent. “Worst of all,” added Marvel, “there seems to be no
one today who has both the skills and the inclination to even pick up where he left off.”

Joan Lanoie - Nominated by Judy Kennedy at White Horse Press

According to Judy Kennedy at White Horse Press, Joan has been the Valley’s consummate and ultimate volunteer.  According to Kennedy, “Joan works like mad, and is involved in so many different organizations, giving selflessly of her
time.  Now, as manager of volunteers at Memorial Hospital, she uses her background and skills as a volunteer to teach
others, managing more than 100 volunteers, essentially one of the single argest work forces in the Valley. She’s come full circle – she’s a great olunteer, she understands the value of volunteer, she understands what it takes to be a good volunteer, so she’s the ideal person to create an effective volunteer force”.  

After taking over Dixie Coleman’s Girl Scout troop within a year of her arrival in the valley in 1971, Joan next started the Mt Washington Valley Stompers square dance club while also finding herself on the Visiting Nurse and Homemaker Home Health boards. When her kids started school, she volunteered as a classroom assistant which in turn led to a position on the school board and then the chairmanship of both the Madison School Board and the SAU 13 Board
that she co-founded.  She was the Box Office Manager and a board member for the MWV Theatre Company’s Summer stock
company, an elf and costume laundress with the original Polar Express, and the longtime President of the local Dollars for Scholars chapter which under her guidance earned the coveted national “Golden Tassel” award for “outstanding contributions to the community.” 

 For the last ten years, Joan has recruited, trained, scheduled, and managed the single largest work force of any kind in the valley, the Memorial Hospital Volunteers, while also playing first violin with the Mountain Top Music Community Orchestra and the Mountain Aire Strings, which she helped to found.  A recipient of the Rotary’s Paul Harris Award, Memorial Hospital’s Spirit of Service Award, and many well-deserved accolades, she is indeed a true Valley Treasure. 

Howie Wemyss, Nominated by Steve Caming at the Mount Washington Auto Road.

Howie Wemyss, the President of the Mount Washington Auto Road is a longtime White Mountain history enthusiast who has been at his post since 1987, according to an article written by Tom Eastman (a 2010 recipient of the White Mountain Treasures Award). Prior to that, Wemyss was a stage driver, dating back to the late 1970s, so his tenure with the Auto Road has spanned close to 30 years.  In nominating Howie for this award, Steve Caming said “Howie Wemyss has consistently been one of the North Country’s greatest advocates, representing the Mt. Washington Auto Road (and by extension our whole community) with the astute eye of an experienced businessman, the long term perspective of a historian and the passion and enthusiasm of a goodwill ambassador. He leads by example and has been an inspiration to those of us who work with him and those of us lucky enough to count him as a friend”.  

After growing up on the coast of Maine and spending winter weekends in the White Mountains, Howie attended Colorado State University before spending some quality time in the US Army.  He moved to the mountains in the early 70’s and played ski bum, for many years patrolling at Wildcat while driving stages on the Auto Road in the summer.  He finally settled down to full time employment managing the Mt Washington Auto Road in 1987.  In 1995 he was offered the additional responsibility of running Great Glen Trails, the company’s new recreational branch.  Good thing too since he was becoming too much of a desk jockey.  Now he’s rediscovered his passion for cross country skiing, and found
new delights in trail running, road and mountain biking, photography and ravel. In 2000, Howie and his wife, Sue celebrated Howie’s 50th birthday by cmpleting the 54 mile, 16,000 foot vertical, “Hut Traverse” in 22 hours.

 His daughter Cory, a massage therapist, lives nearby in Conway.  Howie and Sue met during Nordic eisters and were married at Great Glen in 2002; they live in Randolph, NH.

 NH Dept. of Transportation, Nominated by Jen Goodson of Chocorua, NH

Christopher Clement, Commissioner of NH Dept. of ransportation (NHDOT) was nominated for a White Mountain Treasures award on behalf of the entire department of transportation.  In her nomination Goodson noted that while the performance of the Department of Transportation is consistently great, their recent work to fix the damage from the hurricane deserves special recognition.  She noted “they quickly restored all the roads to bring business flowing into the Valley,” just in time
for fall foliage.  Janice Crawford has consistently praised the NHDOT for their tenacious efforts to re-open the roads
leading to Mt Washington Valley quickly and carefully after the Hurricane. Goodson also gave a shout out to the NHDOT for the 200+ jobs offered to NH residents throughout the year.  

“Each of those individuals honored with the White Mountains Treasure Award are a wonderful example of all that is right and good. Their work and contributions to life in the Valley is profoundly appreciated,” said Timothy J. Collia, CEO Woodlands Credit Union in a recent letter. 

For more information on attending the MWV Chamber of Commerce/MWV Economic Council Joint Annual Meeting and Dinner or to make reservations, please call the Mt Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce at 603-356-5701.

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