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Whitetail GM and president honored by Pa. Chamber

April 21, 2011|By C.J. LOVELACE | cj.lovelace@herald-mail.com
  • Don MacAskill was named the Business Person of the Year at Wednesday's Tuscarora Chamber of Commerce awards dinner.
Herald-Mail file photo

MERCERSBURG, Pa. — Don MacAskill’s favorite “holiday” is Groundhog Day, joked Scott Romberger, president and chief financial officer of Snowtime, which owns the Whitetail Resort near Mercersburg.

“He will make sure there is a light shining on a groundhog so we can get six more weeks of winter,” Romberger said of the general manager and president of Whitetail, who is also a life member of the Punxatawney Groundhog Club.

MacAskill, who has been general manager of the ski resort since 1998, was named the Business Person of the Year by the Tuscarora Area Chamber of Commerce Wednesday night before a crowd of about 150 people inside Keil Hail on the campus of Mercersburg Academy.

“I have been very blessed to be in this community,” MacAskill said. “I really accept this award on behalf of a number of different people and the staff at Whitetail.”

Born and raised in New England, MacAskill, 55, seems to have been groomed to be the head of a large ski resort like Whitetail. He was selected because of his great business ethics, values and leadership, said Mary-Anne Gordon, executive director of the Chamber.

Judy Boyd, resort service director for Whitetail, made the announcement before several speakers came forward with kind words of MacAskill and his efforts.

“Don is our leader at Whitetail and a leader in the community,” Boyd said. “During our winter season, Don has always inspired our winter staff of over 1,000 by making everyone feel like they are an equal and vital part of the team.”

Boyd later chose to highlight more of MacAskill’s favorite things, much to the delight of the crowd.

In addition to his love of Groundhog Day, she said his favorite website is, fittingly, Accuweather.com. His favorite attire is his Whitetail uniform. His favorite place at the resort is the Almost Heaven Bakery.

“And his favorite music is the sound of snow guns,” Boyd said with a smile.

MacAskill works tireless hours at the mountain during the winter season, and he thanked his wife and children for allowing him to do so, but could not leave out all of his Whitetail staff because “without them, an award like this wouldn’t have been possible.”

“He’s just got that great work ethic, and we welcome this New Englander down to this region. Don is well-deserving of this award,” Ramberger said.

Eric Flynn, general manager of Liberty Mountain Resort in Carroll Valley, Pa., echoed Romberger’s statements.

“His commitment to our company, our employees and to the local community is very, very obvious,” he said.

Founded in 1924 by local business owners, the chamber currently has more than 250 members, and about 80 were represented at the dinner, Gordon said.

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