Meet the Candidates – Updated with Video of the Meet the Candidates Event on 1/6/18

13 thoughts on “Meet the Candidates – Updated with Video of the Meet the Candidates Event on 1/6/18

  1. I wish to endorse David Dragan for this position. Dave is a phenomenal leader with great insight into the Snowshoe organization and operations. He was my “boss” as a Mountain Guide for several years. I witnessed firsthand his efficiency, organizational skills, and his depth of insight into Snowshoe and its many needs. He cares about Snowshoe, and he cares about homeowners! He wants the mountain to succeed, and he will protect the needs of us, homeowner investors. He is honest, trustworthy, and direct. He dives into all issues, until he fully understands them, before finalizing an opinion. Because of him, St. Bernard’s Chapel is a thriving place of worship on the mountain — he sees to it that the church has the support it requires to survive, and physically is present to assure this. That is one small piece, but a clear example of his work. I urge you to cast your vote for Dave — for the Rad, for us homeowners, and for the future of Snowshoe!


    Trusted Recommendations Of a Very Interested Homeowner

    Dear HOA Presidents and Homeowners:
    For those that do not know me, allow me to introduce myself. I am Harry Gillum and, with my wife and three sons, have owned unit #10 at Wabasso since 1997. Soon after purchasing my property and making numerous trips between my home in Clarksburg, WV and the mountain, I developed a desire and vision to do whatever I could to make Snowshoe the premier destination resort on the East Coast.

    Despite my busy schedule as the owner of two musical instrument retail stores located in Bridgeport and Beckley, West Virginia, I began serving on several committees and subcommittees at Wabasso, as well as other mountaintop committees. In 1998, I became Vice President of the Wabasso HOA and have served continuously in that role to the present date.

    I share the above biographical information with you to give insight as to my experience, perspective, and ‘institutional knowledge’ of Snowshoe Mountain – the progress that has been made in the past and the potential bright future that lies ahead. To be clear, the purpose of this letter is not to espouse my credentials for deciding what’s best for Snowshoe but, rather, to provide the basis for the recommendations set forth below.

    As many of you may recall, Frank DeBerry (President/COO of Snowshoe) was giving his annual ‘State of the Shoe’ address in fall of 2016. When he stated that the ’RAD was dead.’ Given that the Pocahontas County Commission had rejected
    the RAD application several times, he didn’t believe there was a path forward to ever getting it passed.

    Following his presentation, I encouraged him not to give up on the RAD and suggested to him that there may indeed be a path forward, one that would require developing ‘homeowner grassroots’ support. Previously, it appeared that the only supporter of the RAD was Snowshoe, and a few concerned homeowners which created the impression upon the Pocahontas County Commission that the homeowners were not supportive of it. I offered Frank my support and willingness to help in any way that I could to try one final time.

    Shortly after my conversation with Frank, a RAD steering committee was organized and created to begin the process of determining whether sufficient ‘homeowner grassroots’ support existed for the RAD concept. I was selected to be a member of the steering committee of eight individuals.

    The members of this steering committee were not only individuals who had the vision and desire to make Snowshoe the ultimate vacation destination for families but, most importantly, each had to possess, or develop, an understanding of what the RAD was about and how it would work to benefit ALL homeowners, as well as the entire mountain.

    The original RAD steering committee consisted of the following individuals:

    Rick Vaughan – President, Powderidge Association–;
    Kevin Elvin – President, Rimfire Association –,
    Harry Gillum – VP, Wabasso Association –,
    James Armbrust, Esq. – VP, Rimfire Association –,
    Robert Trout – Owner of several properties –,
    Voras Haynes – Pres. Allegheny Springs HOA –,
    Mike Carpenter – West Ridge Road Association –,
    Frank DeBerry – Pres./COO Snowshoe –

    These meetings started September 2016 through 2018 at the president meetings and grew to develop a RAD steering committee and this committee has been running full tilt ever since. All steering committee members attended in person or by phone being nearly 100% (the rare absence of a member from a meeting was due to scheduling/travelling conflicts that could not be avoided).

    On most all occasions, the meetings were also attended by HOA Presidents or their designee. The purpose of these meetings was designed for everyone in attendance (including anyone who attended that may not have been part of the steering committee) to become educated on the RAD laws recently passed by the West Virginia legislature and to communicate the benefits of the RAD to the homeowners.

    I attended EVERY meeting of the steering committee and also know firsthand everyone else who attended and the corresponding level of working knowledge each appeared to have of how the RAD will impact Snowshoe Mountain and the homeowners.

    Following the approval of the RAD petition by the Pocahontas County Commission, several candidates have placed their names in contention to serve on the original RAD board. Only three homeowners can be selected. While I am not personally associated with any of the candidates, I have paid close attention to the details of what will be expected of them and the knowledge each appears to have regarding the RAD.

    I should note that on January 6th 2018, a forum was held for each of the interested candidates to participate and answer questions. If you have a desire to watch the forum, here is a link for you to do that. Just copy and paste the link below to your URL . I must warn you, however, that the video is 1 hour and 25 minutes long and is not the most interesting viewing material. However it will help you to better understand the position I have taken for the three best candidates, in my opinion.

    Nonetheless, based upon having been a part of this process since its inception, as well as the demonstrated understanding of the RAD by the candidates during the panel discussion, I recommend the following three individuals to receive your vote to serve on the initial RAD board (you can also learn a lot about this whole process at

    Dave Dragan (Silver Creek) 304-572-5556

    Rick Vaughan (Powderidge) 864-421-4784

    Mike Carpenter (South West Ridge) 937-308-6000

    You can copy and paste to your URL the link below each candidate name to read their answers to the candidate questionnaire. This will give you a better insight about each of the candidates I have selected.

    David Dragan – Owner of a Home and two unimproved lots in Old Spruce as well as Silver Creek 1221

    Rick Vaughan – Owner of Powderidge Unit 45

    Mike Carpenter – Owner of 91 South Westridge Road

    Unfortunately, there is an effort underway to inject ‘scare tactic’ politics into this election process. Most recently, it has been suggested that a vote for certain individuals will result in benefits of the RAD accruing to limited sections of the mountain. Nothing could be further from the truth. Quite frankly, the candidates who are spreading this misinformation appeared to be the least informed of all candidates who appeared at the RAD forum, and the suggestions they are making confirm my impression.

    Perhaps it is the fear of losing an election that has caused these individuals to try and instill fear and uncertainty in the minds of so many. As I mentioned above, I am not personally acquainted with any of the candidates other than having gotten to know them throughout the steering committee process. Like you, I also own property on Snowshoe Mountain and want nothing but the best for it. I truly would not make the above recommendations if I didn’t believe they were the most qualified people to serve on the initial board.

    Finally, I ask that this statement be shared with all HOA’s on the mountain and offer support for those that are recommended above and who appear to be the most qualified and educated to serve. To elect these three individuals will be an asset to the original RAD board and allow them to begin charting a new path for the future of Snowshoe. Each of them will do so without prejudice or personal gain.

    If you have questions about how to assign your proxy, feel free to contact myself, or your Association Board or President. You can also Contact Ruth Bachman Snowshoe Executive Assistant to Frank Deberry, President/COO Snowshoe Mountain at

    If you would like to discuss any of the foregoing information with me, you may reach me at any of the forms of communication below.

    Yours very truly,

    Harry Gillum
    P.S. If everyone will copy me when forwarding this information to others, I will track all that have received this information. This will allow me to answer any questions if I can stay in the loop.

    1. First of all, congratulations is in order for Frank DeBerry for all of the work he put into making the RAD possible so homeowners will, for the first time at Snowshoe, actually have a voice and input on how money is spent on our home away from home. Yes, the Steering Committee worked hard on this as well and as Harry said, most of us attended every meeting in person or by phone.

      My name is Kevin Elvin and I too was on the Steering Committee. I am the President for Rimfire HOA. Even though my wife and I have owned two units with our first being purchased in 1999, I got into the game later. I have been on the Rimfire Board since 2013 and president since 2015. Professionally, I am retired but my experience is what counts. I was a consulting engineer fresh out of college in the fire protection industry with a concentration in chemical plants. After that, I was a plant engineer at a printing facility with five locations. I have also been a fire fighter both volunteer and professionally with for over 31 years. I have dealt with upper management and even been part of the executive committees. I have handled multiple million dollar budgets. I too know a thing or two about facilities management.

      My concern with Harry’s endorsement of candidates is a little concerning to me. It appears he is speaking for all of the Steering Committee even though he does not come out and say that in so many words. I just want everyone to realize that Harry is speaking for Harry. I am supporting different candidates and feel equally passionate about the people I am endorsing. I have a letter going out to Rimfire homeowners this week with our recommendations. I am endorsing Todd Smullen of North Westridge Road, Chris Monger with Top of the World, and Rick Vaughn of Powderidge. The experience these gentlemen have in life will best help shape the RAD in its infancy. The work that will be done with the first board will help shape our future and how visitors see our Mountain when the come for skiing, mountain biking, golf, exploring, and so many other fun and wonderful adventures. To keep this relatively brief, (even though it is not), I will not go into the individual accolades of each candidate that I am endorsing here. If you would like to hear my opinions on the reasons that Todd, Chris, and Rick will set our RAD up for success, feel free to contact me at


      1. Kevin,
        First of all, I want you to know I respect you very much, you are educated, and have a great understanding of the entire process to be a member of this elite first, ”the board”
        I would like to thank you for the understanding of my post, as I addressed my choices in my post. While I know we have gone from 6 to 8 candidates I still hold my same position as before. In my post, I stated three times as provided. My open line header states, “as a concerned home owner”, and in my post, I suggest the following, and in my last paragraph, ” in my opinion” nowhere did I ever elude that the steering committee had my same view for Candidates. I do not know where this came from….no statement I included EVER included any other members from the steering committee, this suggestion was all from Harry Gillum period. I never included any other members in my personal support period! This was all me, Harry Gillum period. Thanks for addressing my statements. I have no idea where this came from Just read my post for those I support.
        I would also like to say,” in my opinion:” we only have 4 candidates that attended most all meetings, I made my choice of Three. This includes many, many trips to SS to attend meetings, from the steering committee as well as HOA members, and I attended all as well as did many others. The many trips to Pocahontas commission meetings at SS and Marlington, yet two of your choices were never present at any of these meetings over the past three plus years…please explain why those are qualified.
        My question to you is how they can have the knowledge required to sustain and support the board since this process has been a work in progress for well over three years of meetings, yet, those you support showed up in the 13th hour of a 12-hour day and want to be a part of this board. I just question why you support them.
        They now want to be on the board, where did they get their education from state law from start to finish, when only one that you support has been to all meetings, while others never attended. Rick Vaughan attend all meetings and as far as I am concerned, he is your only supported candidate that has a FULL understanding of how this entire program works. Why would you support members that attend almost no meetings? Please explain how the others know the program. I look forward to your response. As I have stated, I will support any elected at this election. I just question your reasoning.
        Harry Gillum

        1. Good morning Harry! First and foremost, I respect your opinions and appreciate all the work that you have put into getting us to where we are now. Differing opinions are a good thing! It is the basis of how we come up with ideas that will benefit all in the best possible way. You know that you cannot make everybody happy. It will never happen as long as we are human. We have to satisfy the most possible with making the opposed the least upset. This is almost my definition of compromise which is that both sides are equally upset. Kind of makes you think, doesn’t it?

          As far as the inference of the Steering Committee being in support of your recommendations, I continue to say that you did not come out and voice your opinion in those words. I am sure you do not see it, but the construct of your letter hints at that opinion. It is all in how the letter is constructed and the order of how you presented things. Several people without knowledge of Snowshoe or the SRCD as well as people that do know what is going on, have read your letter and feel that it reads the way I have indicated. Again, you did not say it, but it flows that way. I do not think you should worry about it, but it just has that flavor. We are terrible at proof reading our own work. That is a fact. Our brains set our way of thinking, and quite honestly, I do not expect you will see it the way I do. No harm, no foul, I just felt the need to clarify that in case anybody else followed it that way, I wanted them to know it is not my opinion.

          My opinion of the characteristics of a good SRCD Board member is not the person that knows how the machine was built, but who can actually operate it. It is kind of like an airplane. Just because you have people that built an amazing machine, I do not necessarily want them as pilots. I know this may be over simplifying it, but it illustrates my point. On any business board, you need a mix of people with varying skills. They ultimately all have to be able to work together, but their skill sets need not be the same. As a matter of fact, it is good to not duplicate all of the skills within each person. Whether we like it or not, a lot of the duties of this board will be to handle the direction of the day to day operations funded by the MTA (Mountain Top Assessment) that Snowshoe has been handling for over 40 years. We will be partnering with them and giving input on how and what we want to do. The bottom line is that all the same things will still need to be done like taking care of the roads, guard rails, sidewalks, and other infrastructure that the MTA covers. The money that the SRCD will also be collecting will supplement these activities and improve on their progress instead of trying to maintain, which by the way has been a loosing battle with the decreasing MTA funds. Ultimately, how this money is spent will improve the look of the Mountain as well as improving guests opinion of the Mountain. What I am saying is that there is a LOT more to this Board than just writing by-laws and knowing where it came from. I am not minimizing that aspect, I am just saying that in my opinion, being able to run a business is significantly more important.

          With that in mind, I think I have answered part of your question of how can a board can have the knowledge to sustain and support the SRCD without being involved in its creation. I really think that you can be too close to it if you have been involved since conception. I feel that Todd Smullen has the business sense of somebody that knows what questions need to be asked and the insight to steer the machine in the right direction for the overall health of the Mountain. He knows how to keep a business flourishing. Chris Monger has the HOA board experience that you have talked about. He has worked with upper management and also is a business owner. Chris has experience in the IT world which could be valuable to vault our resort into the next generation. Rick Vaughan is somebody that we both agree on. Rick has been involved from the time this all started. He is an actuary too. I have seen this profession described as part super hero, part fortune teller, and part trusted advisor. An actuary manages risk. Rick has been involved with retirement funding. He is our numbers guy!

          I am sorry that you question my reasoning, but, we all have our opinions! I feel very confident in my choices and really do not see any other option. One last thing to throw out for consideration is the rest of the board. Only Frank DeBerry has been involved with the formation of the SRCD. I am very confident that the other people he brings into the board from Snowshoe will do an excellent job and have first hand knowledge of what is required to run the SRCD. My point is that you do not have to be involved with the building of the machine to make it work and work amazingly well.

          Sorry for the long winded answer! I hope this is leading us to an amazing SRCD!

          Kevin Elvin

          1. Kevin,

            To keep this short and non controversial on your most professional response that was so well worded and respected, I must say “in my opinion” I want the best to serve on our SRCD first board. I do not care who flies the plane, I only expect the Flight engineers to FULLY understand the mechanics of how the plane must fly …. I have selected the best flight engineers with the three working knowledges as such:

            Mike Carpenter, as a team of West Ridge reduced the possible assessment at Snowshoe from 5% to 2.5%…The first in WV. “I call him the silent thinker”, with his back ground, he can assist with major project development nuts and bolts, a real assesset for the SRCD.

            Dave Dragan… he researched and found the “RAD” in the West and being operated at a ski resort and introduced this to Frank, and this began the start of the RAD that went INTO place. Frank was unaware that there was a RAD. Dave researched it and Frank implemented the RAD. Dave’s credentials are impeccable, a permanent resident at SS, served on the Board at Silver Creek, involved in multi-million-dollar projects, experience in writing by-laws, drives a shuttle at SS, therefore, understands the public transportation needs first hand.

            Rick Vaughan was instrumental in having the capital reserve requirement included in the statute as currently stated in WV law. This 25% reserve fund will impact a lot for the future. Being an “Actuary”, has a great understanding of risk management, and uncertainty, a huge plus for the SRCD
            These members have given all they have to improve the petition, and all succeeded after many years of work to accomplish our goals for SS.

            The Wright Brother designed the plane, built it, and flew the plane, I will use this scenario as related:
            The Wright Brothers were two American aviators, engineers, inventors, and aviation pioneers who are credited with inventing, building and flying the world’s first successful airplane, this happened December 17th, 1903 in Kitty Hawk NC.
            With this said, we must have the above credentials of the major three candidates to represent the SRCD board with the best operation understanding for this first Board. I thank everyone involved in this process, steering committee members, HOA Presidents, Frank Deberry, and all that attended to assist in bringing this to reality.

            Again, “this is my personal opinion”.


            Harry Gillum
            304-669-0069 for anyone to call with questions

    Let’s have some fresh ideas from someone new and living in present and not the past!! Old ideas that will fail are not what we need! We do not need to waste what limited resources will be available without costing all the homeowners money that’s unneeded to be collected through special assessments…. resulting from stagnation and bias. Watch the video! Most of the candidates are very capable BUT not to move us into the future. Vote for Todd Smullen, vote for change, vote for the future and VOTE to stop the ‘good ole boys’ nonsense we are seeing running for this Board!!! Otherwise, don’t blame me!!!!

  4. Jim,
    No matter the results of the election, The petition is very well spelled out. And the understanding of the RAD is also very well spelled out. Those that understand the entire process from the beginning are the most qualified. I do not care about new blood, new direction, and a younger mind thought. I only care about those that understand the ENTIRE process from the start to the end. I am not on one side or the other. My question to you is, who has been involved from the start of the petition 2014 except me? As well as those the have taken the time to read the petition, and the RAD, and FULLY understand the contents. How many knows the number of pages in the petition, as I personal do, and who has taken the time to read the petition, and ask questions besides me ? In my opinion, we only have three as my suggestion from my post to the RAD. It is very simple…Know what both documents allow, and require. I have given my suggestions based on my personal view of all. No one is going to blame you or anyone else as as you stated above. This first Board will learn a lot. Its all about the knowledge, and how to apply such. If all concerned are willing to assist the new Board, with wiliness to serve on subcommittees, that will show additional support, if they are really concerned. This will show support for future elections that will happen. NO ONE WILL BLAME YOU AS YOU HAVE STATED. We are all in the as a whole. I hope all that have demonstrated personal interest, will assist the new Board, I know I will. My voluntary service will be available to anyone elected,and I will support them. I hope all feels the same. All for the good of the resort. To all, please feel free to contact me at any form listed below.
    Harry Gillum
    Wabasso 10
    304-669-0069 cell

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