Creating the Snowvision foundation
In 2004, Snowvision's CEO Fiona Stevens was approached and asked if she could find a way to help snow sports get better resourcing. Fiona agreed to look at it because of her history with skiing, her love of the mountains and passionate belief in snow sports (based on her experience and of others). Fiona firmly believed that New Zealanders could succeed in snow sports and be world class if they have the right resources and support.
Fiona talked to her network of business colleagues and contacts, researching the best way to solve the systematic problem of lack of funding, resources, expertise, structure and pathway for snow sports.
In 2004, Fiona called on Richard Mehrtens (Co-founder and Chairman of The Snowvision Foundation) and together they set about creating a structure that was robust, credible and long term to provide a modern day solution and platform to attract financial support for snow sports. From the start, it’s been important that Snowvision is independent, dedicated and well goverened so that people have confidence in our organisation that things are done with integrity and for longevity.
Patrons and Founding donor
Sir Edmund Hilary, Founding Patron of The Snowvision Foundation, represented an iconic New Zealander with the values, culture and vision that we wanted for Snowvison. He generously supported our cause from it’s establishment until he passed away in 2008.
Snowvision has been fortunate to have many donors. Sir Roy McKenzie ONZ KBE (1922-2007) is particularly notable as a founding donor and because of him, The Snowvision Foundation was able to re-establish the McKenzie Ski Scholarship.
Sir Roy McKenzie's story and influence started when he was part of New Zealand's first Winter Olympic Team that competed in Oslo in 1952. During the Olympics, Sir Roy McKenzie made a film, which was later shown throughout New Zealand and the screening’s proceeds were used to establish the McKenzie Ski Scholarships.
In 1973, Fiona Stevens (nee Johnson) was a recipient of the McKenzie Ski Scholarship, kickstarting her involvement and success in snow sports.
The Snowvision Foundation is extremely grateful to Sir Roy McKenzie and his early confidence in our vision. He was a huge source of inspiration and motivation in helping us start on our vision – to build a capital fund to help the winter alpine community of New Zealand.