A NOTE FROM OUR PRESIDENT JILL SHEELEY:
In 1992 my husband (who was then Chairman of the Aspen Chamber resort Association) and I joined a group of Aspenites for an official visit to Queenstown, New Zealand to sign the official documents tying our two cities together.
On the plane ride home, after an amazing week in this picturesque and adventuresome town with many new friends and connections made, our President, Len Olender asked me to be the city coordinator. I immediately went to work beginning our first of many successful student exchanges. From there, we hosted teams from Queenstown to race in the 24 Hours of Aspen ski marathon; we hosted theater group; art and culture exchanges; and we hosted many official visits from their mayor and committee members.
A few years later, my husband became President of Aspen Sister Cities and in 2003, we were lucky to travel to the beautiful town of Bariloche, Argentina with many Aspen Sister City folks to meet the wonderful citizens of Bariloche and sign the official treaty joining our two towns.
Then, in 2015, after a two-year courtship, Abetone, Italy became our seventh Sister City and I had and continue to have the pleasure to be the city coordinator along with Rolando Galli, my wonderful friend and liaison in Abetone.
Watching our daughter’s experience the Chamonix, France exchange in 7th grade, let us see first-hand the incredible benefits these programs have to offer. For her, it was life-changing.
Being involved with Sister Cities for almost 30 years has been an incredibly rewarding experience and with the hard work of everyone on our committee past and present, I’m so honored to be President.