Doris Dewton named Vail Valley Foundation Volunteer of the Year

By Real Vail
December 1, 2010

One of the true Vail Valley champions of education on all levels will be recognized for her numerous contributions to others December 3 when Doris Dewton is honored by the Vail Valley Foundation as the 2010 Ernie Bender Volunteer of the Year. The award is named for the dedicated long-time race crew volunteer who passed away in the summer of 2000.

The award will be presented at the Ritz-Carlton Bachelor Gulch during the annual Black Diamond Ball, held in conjunction with the 2010 Audi FIS Birds of Prey World Cup Race Week festivities.

“Volunteers are truly the backbone of this valley,” explained Foundation Vice President of Operations and Sales Michael Imhof, “and we are incredibly fortunate to have such committed and selfless people like Doris as an integral part of our community. In addition to the time and dedication that she brings to each and every organization and program she touches, Doris is a true ambassador for the Vail Valley and is most deserving of this award.”

A cum laude graduate of Bryn Mawr College in Political Science in 1969, with a master's in Latin American Studies from the University of Texas in Austin the following year, Dewton worked for 11 years in the U.S. Department of Energy and various predecessor agencies. She would ultimately direct the petroleum allocation programs during the 1970's , serving as the Assistant Administrator for Petroleum Operations of the Economic Regulatory Administration of the Department of Energy.

She also chaired an organization of 45 petroleum experts from around the world that served as an advisory board for NATO in Brussels, while additionally acting as Director of Government Relations for the National Petroleum Refiner's Association, which represents all of the refiners and most of the petrochemical companies in the United States.

Dewton “retired” to Colorado in 1994, although one would be hard pressed to prove that point, given her countless volunteer activities over the course of the past 15 years.

“When I started to put together the list of things I've been involved with,” offered Dewton, “I understand why my retirement from ‘work' hasn't really felt like retirement.”

An eight-year member of the board of trustees for Colorado Mountain College, she served as president of that board for six of those years, while also chairing the search committee for a new president for the college. She is currently a member of the Colorado Mountain College Foundation, chairing the Scholarship Committee, which has awarded approximately 60 scholarships to CMC students to assist in the cost of their tuition and books.

Other educational commitments include membership on the board of the Vail Symposium and an eight-year stint on the board of directors of the Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES), the K-12 special education program for a large number of Western Slope school districts.

In addition, Dewton has been a volunteer usher for the Vilar Performing Arts Center since the theatre's opening and a volunteer for the Vail Valley Foundation since the 1999 World Alpine Ski Championships, with event experience including the Birds of Prey World Cup, American Ski Classic, the Vail International Dance Festival and the Teva Mountain Games.

Dewton will join previous Ernie Bender Volunteer of the Year Award winners that include the Bender Family (2000), Dave Ozawa (2001), Barbara Treat (2002), Dick Pownall (2003), Bill Douglas (2004), Tenie Chicoine (2005), Fred Haslee and Jim Sanders (2006), Susan Frampton (2007), Kathryn Benysh (2008) and Cheryl Jensen (2009).

The Ernie Bender Volunteer of the Year Award is a project of the Vail Valley Foundation. For additional information on the Foundation, contact (970) 949-1999 or visit

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