Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. slope mechanic Joe Ciufo has been named mechanic of the year by the national Ski Area Vehicle Maintenance Institute.

Photo by Matt Stensland

Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. slope mechanic Joe Ciufo has been named mechanic of the year by the national Ski Area Vehicle Maintenance Institute.

Mechanic earns national award

Ski Area Vehicle Maintenance Institute honors Joe Ciufo

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— Joe Ciufo comes across as a guy who gets it done.

His attitude and skills resulted in an accolade for Ciufo, a slope maintenance mechanic for Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. The national Ski Area Vehicle Maintenance Institute recognized Ciufo as mechanic of the year with the Tim Crouse Memorial Award at its conference last month.

The low-key Ciufo said he figures he received the honor because of his good work. His supervisor depends on him, Ciufo said.

"If he tells me to do something, he can pretty much count on me to get it done," he said.

Ciufo started working for Ski Corp. about a year and a half ago. He moved to Steamboat Springs with his wife and two children because there wasn't enough work in northern California. Ciufo had worked in the logging industry, operating machinery and felling trees.

He has maintained and repaired diesel and hydraulic equipment for 20 years, according to a news release.

The biggest challenge of the Ski Corp. job is keeping up with technology. Ciufo helps repair and maintain the ski mountain's fleet of snowcats and snowmobiles.

"Years ago, I worked on a couple snowcats, but the new technology is a lot different," he said. "There's a lot of electrical work."

Ski Corp. leaders praised Ciufo in a news release.

"We are thrilled that Joe's hard work and dedication has been recognized by such industry leaders," Ski Corp. President Chris Diamond said.

Others praised his reliability.

"Joe is an outstanding representative, and very deserving of the Tim Crouse Memorial Award," said David Crisler, Ski Corp. slope maintenance director. "When Joe is given a job, you can be assured it will be done completely, and to the highest standards."

Ciufo said he enjoys his work, though he doesn't ski often because he's busy with his family. He knew he was nominated for the award but didn't expect to receive it.

"I work with a lot of good technicians, too, so I was pretty surprised," Ciufo said.

The Ski Area Vehicle Maintenance Institute has honored a technician of the year since 1995 and created the Tim Crouse Memorial Award in 1999. Each year, it goes "to a deserving ski area mechanic/technician who exemplifies outstanding qualities in the field of vehicle maintenance," according to the news release.

Two other Ski Corp. employees have received the Tim Crouse Memorial Award: Sean Luciano in 2003 and Frank Case in 2000. Two other Ski Corp. employees received honors from peers this year. Scott Livingston was named Snowmaker of the Year by Colorado Ski Country USA, and Frank Fidler was honored as Lift Mechanic of the Year by the Rocky Mountain Lift Association.

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