After 25 years of exemplary service, hard work and an extraordinary list of achievements, the Vail Valley Foundation (VVF) announced today that Ceil Folz has decided to step down as CEO. Folz’s last day is slated for Friday, October 9.
Under Folz’s leadership, the VVF achieved some of its greatest milestones in the organization’s storied 35-year history, including the 2015 Alpine World Ski Championships. Folz oversaw the merger between the VVF and Vilar Performing Arts Center and later the Youth Foundation, the renovation of the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater, the creation of the Bud Light Street Beat Concert Series, Honda Session and current annual athletic events such as Birds of Prey World Cup skiing, Mountain Games and the American Ski Classic as well as a collection of cultural offerings including the Vail Dance Festival. Folz also played a strategic role as Vice President, Operations during the highly successful 1999 Alpine World Ski Championships.
“We are truly indebted to Ceil for her amazing commitment to the Foundation and our community for 25 years,” said Harry Frampton, Chairman of the Board of Directors. “Her passion for the Vail Valley, coupled with her incredible talent and energy, helped ensure our events were the best they could be, day in and day out. Her legacy has made a significant mark on the Vail Valley, and it is one that will last forever.”
“It has been an honor and privilege to steward the mission of the VVF, and serve this incredible community alongside many dedicated and talented individuals,” said Folz. “I have been so blessed to work with a tremendous staff and Board of Directors, and I will be forever grateful to the many partners and volunteers I have had the good fortune to work with over the years. With the culmination and success of the 2015 World Championships, it was clear that it is time for me to pass the leadership of this great organization over to new hands to guide and mold its next 25 years. Now is the perfect time to make that transition, with an extremely strong Board and staff and a fantastic collection of events and programs. It is time for me to take a breath and look forward to focusing my efforts and energy on the next chapter in my life.”
The Executive Committee of the VVF has appointed Mike Imhof, who currently serves as Senior Vice President of the VVF, as acting CEO. The Board of Directors will immediately begin a search, to include both internal and external candidates, for a permanent CEO. Folz will work closely with Frampton and Imhof to ensure a smooth transition.
Acting CEO Mike Imhof is originally from Tacoma, Wash., and is a graduate of Regis University in Denver. Imhof began his professional career in the Vail Valley in 1997 when he joined Vail Resorts as a National Sales Manager. In 2000, he was appointed Director of Strategic Alliance. Imhof joined the Foundation in 2007 as Vice President of operations and sales, and is currently the Senior Vice President, overseeing operations, corporate sales and development. Imhof served on the Executive Committee for the 2015 Alpine World Ski Championships.
“I am sincerely thankful to Ceil for her guidance, mentorship and leadership,” said Imhof. “Thanks to Ceil’s vision, pursuit of excellence, and commitment to the mission of the VVF, we are well-positioned to continue serving our community. I look forward to working with our dedicated staff at the VVF during this interim period and working closely with Harry Frampton and the Board of Directors to ensure that our Foundation shines as bright in the future as it has in the past.”
“I look forward to working closely with Mike and the rest of our talented leadership team who have established a solid foundation for the future,” said Frampton. “Together we are committed to continue our long-term mission of enhancing our community through leadership in the areas of the arts, education and athletics. We thank Ceil for her energy and leadership these last 25 years and look ahead to building on our successes and to the exciting things ahead of us.”