Owner Win Smith
Win Smith is the principal owner and president of Sugarbush Resort in Warren, Vermont, which he purchased in October of 2001. He is a resident of Warren and also has a home with his wife, Lili Ruane, in Shelburne, Vermont. Win has four children, four step-daughters, and five grandchildren, three of whom are already passionate skiers in Sugarbush’s Blazer Program.
Born in New York City, Smith attended the Buckley School in Manhattan before enrolling at Deerfield Academy for his high school years. He received his BA in Political Science from Amherst College. He was an accomplished equestrian and earned varsity letters in both soccer and rugby. While at Amherst, Smith discovered the Mad River Valley with college friends, many of whom are still regular skiers at Sugarbush. He received his MBA in Finance from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and went on to enjoy a twenty-eight year career at Merrill Lynch before moving to Vermont.
As a Vermont business owner, Smith serves as chair of the Vermont Business Roundtable and is former chair of the Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce. In 2007, he chaired the Governor's Commission on the Future of State Parks. Smith also serves on the boards of the Vermont Ski Areas Association and the National Ski Areas Association, where he is Treasurer and a member of the Executive Committee.
Smith enjoys most outdoor activities but none so much as skiing. Most years he exceeds 100 scanned days at Sugarbush. Aside from his soccer, rugby, and equestrian interests, Smith was also a marathoner and posted a personal best of 2:47:46 in the 1982 New York City Marathon.
Under Smith's ownership of Sugarbush, investments of over $60 million have been made in resort improvements, with an additional $50 million in real estate development.
Catching Lightning in a Bottle: How Merrill Lynch Revolutionized the Financial World
In late 2013, Win Smith self-published a book entitled Catching Lightning in a Bottle: How Merrill Lynch Revolutionized the Financial World, which was later acquired by Wiley Publishing.
This book - the first complete history of Merrill Lynch - traces ML's impact on the world of finance from the day Charlie Merrill opened his one-man shop on January 6, 1914, to the final shareholder meeting prior to its acquisition by Bank of America on December 5, 2008. Win Smith also weaves in his personal experiences and observations. As the son of a founding partner, the author has known every Merrill Lynch CEO from the first, Charlie Merrill, to the last, John Thain. While it details the drastic decline of the company between 2001 and 2008, it also explores the story of the company's "Mother Merrill" tradition - the vision and guiding principles shared by employees with each other and with their clients.