Mount Washington Observatory Members Elects New Trustees

By AlpineZone News |
Jul 10 2005 - 10:07 PM

NORTH CONWAY, New Hampshire ??” The Mount Washington Observatory elected five new members to its Board of Trustees and re-elected four current members at its June 11 Annual Meeting.

New trustees are Dick Hamilton of Littleton, N.H.; Sarah Long of Portland, Maine; Gail Meka of Stoneham, Maine; Richard Mulhern of Falmouth, Maine; and Howie Wemyss of Green’s Grant and Randolph, N.H. Each will serve a three-year term.

The five new trustees bring a wealth of experience to the board. Dick Hamilton has over 50 years experience in the travel and tourism industry including 35 years as CEO of the White Mountains Attractions Association, from which he recently retired. He was the first executive director of SKI 93 and is the founder of the N.H. Travel Council. He currently serves on several boards which promote the White Mountains as a tourist destination.

Sarah Long served as the chief meteorologist and summit manager for the Mount Washington Observatory from 1997 to 2001. After four years of braving the dangerous conditions of Mount Washington, Sarah traded in her commute up the mountain to start her broadcasting career. She is now the broadcast meteorologist for NewsChannel 13 in Portland, Maine.

Gail Meka made her career with Pfizer and Dupont Pharmaceuticals working in research and development, sales, marketing, manufacturing, quality and business development. Now retired, Gail has served as a volunteer for the Mount Washington Observatory during recent years and says that she looks forward to an even greater involvement.

Rick Mulhern is the managing partner of the Portland, Maine office of the Sulloway and Hollis law firm and practices in Maine and New Hampshire defending physicians and hospitals in medical negligence cases. He is in his third term as a member of the Falmouth Town Council and also served on the Falmouth Planning Board. He is an avid hiker in all four seasons.

Howie Wemyss worked in the Mt. Washington Valley in the 1970s in a variety of tourism-related jobs including serving as a stage driver for the Mt. Washington Auto Road and working on ski patrol at Wildcat Mountain. He has been the general manager of the Mt. Washington Auto Road since 1987 and now manages the Great Glen Trails Outdoor Center as well.

At its recent Annual Meeting, the Observatory also elected Kenneth Jones of Amherst, N.H., president; Randall Cooper, of Eaton, N.H., vice president; Leslie Schomaker of Jackson, N.H., treasurer; and Jack Middleton of Freedom, N.H., secretary. Robert Kirsch will serve on the Observatory’s Executive Committee as immediate past president.

Ken Jones is the managing partner of Wilson/Reilly Associates, a technical sales firm in Nashua, N.H. A New Hampshire native, Randy Cooper has been an attorney with Cooper, Deans and Cargill, P.A. in North Conway, N.H. since 1976.

Leslie Schomaker has been self-employed in many different facets. She published “Great Guides for Outdoor Fun,” hiking guides covering New Hampshire and Vermont. Additionally, she has experience in computer management and restaurant owner-ship and is founder, owner and president of Hampton, Inc., a company that purchases and resells natural gas.

Both Jack Middleton and Rob Kirsch are attorneys who worked as weather observers on Mount Washington before practicing law. Jack is president of the New Hampshire law firm of McLane, Graf, Raulerson and Middleton, Professional Association. Rob is a partner in the law firm of Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP in Boston.

Middleton was re-elected to the Board as were trustees Jack Dunn of Jackson, N.H.; Phil Gravink of Jackson, N.H.; and Mark Van Baalen of Harvard, Mass. Dunn comes from a distinguished career in management and planning both in manufacturing and in education; Gravink retired in 1999 as president and chief operating officer of Attitash Bear Peak for American Skiing Company. Dr. Van Baalen is a lecturer on Earth and Planetary Sciences at Harvard University and also engages in institutional planning in the Provost’s Office. Each will serve another three-year term.

The Mount Washington Observatory is a non-profit organization which maintains a permanently staffed weather station on the summit of Mount Washington, where the world record wind of 231 miles per hour was recorded on April 12, 1934. The mission of the Observatory is to advance public understanding of the natural forces that create the Earth’s weather and climate. The Observatory conducts scientific research, offers a variety of educational programs and operates two museums — one seasonal on the summit and one year round in North Conway Village. For more information about education programs for schools and families, research initiatives, and weather conditions on the summit visit the Observatory on the web at