As 35th year nears, North Tahoe SnowFest! hires co-directors | SierraSun.com

As 35th year nears, North Tahoe SnowFest! hires co-directors

Margaret Moran
mmoran@sierrasun.com

TAHOE CITY, Calif. — On the cusp of its 35th anniversary, SnowFest! has new leaders who intend to honor the celebration's tradition and spirt moving forward.

Dana Tanner Powell and John Haines were recently selected by the SnowFest! board of directors to be co-directors of the 10-day North Shore winter festival.

"We're continuing the tradition of SnowFest! by hiring these two," said board president Gary Furumoto. "They are two enthusiastic locals who have been involved with SnowFest! for many years."

A resident of Tahoe City since 1997, Tanner Powell works as the event coordinator for the Tahoe City Downtown Association, with previous experience as a SnowFest! volunteer and its volunteer coordinator.

"Being offered the opportunity to co-direct SnowFest! is one of true honor," she said. "I feel as though I have come full circle with this organization and with my involvement with the community. … It's like a 'pinch me' moment."

Haines — who's lived in the North Tahoe/Truckee region since 1986 — works in event services for Squaw Valley and for at least the past five years has served as the emcee for SnowFest!'s opening ceremonies and queen coronation at Squaw.

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"Our focus this year is to keep the event going strong, but also to really start giving back more to our local charities and scholarship funds," he said.

Haines said he and Tanner Powell have started reaching out to new and previous SnowFest! sponsors for fundraising, and are evaluating previously scheduled events in terms of successfulness.

"We want keep this tradition alive and keep it fun, fresh, and family friendly," Tanner Powell said.

Tanner Powell and Haines are contract employees. They'll replace Ruth Schnabel, who has served as the on-and-off executive director of SnowFest! since its inception in 1982.

"(Schnabel) has tried to step down several times, but for one reason or another, we had to call her back for her expertise in the event," Furumoto said.

While Schnabel is no longer an employee of SnowFest!, she is assisting in the leadership transition by providing event preparation information, he said.

"We are looking forward to the leadership of Dana and John to continue the tradition of SnowFest!," Furumoto said.

About SnowFest!

Born from a vision by Bob Everson, former marketing director at Alpine Meadows Ski Resort, SnowFest! started in 1982 in an effort to attract visitors to the region during the early spring months.

Over the years, the festival has experienced ups and downs, with this latest celebration facing funding and preparation difficulties under former executive director Sean Nelson, who resigned roughly two months before the 2014 event.

The 35th annual SnowFest! is scheduled to take place March 4 through March 13, 2016. Visit tahoesnowfestival.com to learn more.