Jan Leonard, 1946-2015

Jan Leonard, founder of CTEC and a 40-year veteran of the lift-building business, died unexpectedly this morning at the age of 69.  Most recently, he was Director of Sales for SkyTrac Lifts in Salt Lake City and previously was President of Doppelmayr USA.

Jan Leonard at SkyTrac earlier this year. Photo credit: Ski Area Management.

After graduating from Penn State in 1968, Jan went to work for American Bridge in Pittsburgh before meeting the manager of Killington on a ski trip and getting into the lift business. He went to work for Vic Hall in Watertown, New York in 1971 before moving to Logan, Utah in 1973 to join Thiokol Ski Lifts.  When Thiokol wanted out of the business a few years later, Leonard and Mark Ballantyne bought the company’s designs and started CTEC (Cable Transportation Engineering Corporation) in 1977.  CTEC built its first complete lift in 1981 and by 1992 was the largest lift manufacturer in North America with 450 employees.  CTEC built 144 lifts as a privately owned American company.

Leonard and Ballantyne sold CTEC to Garaventa of Switzerland in 1993.  Doppelmayr merged with Garaventa in 2002 to form today’s Doppelmayr/Garaventa Group, which ironically included Hall, where Jan Leonard started his career decades earlier.  Leonard stayed on as the President of Doppelmayr USA until 2007, when he left to be an independent ropeway consultant.   He was was off a lift company’s payroll for less than three years before joining SkyTrac in 2010 as director of sales.  “I don’t like losing.  The thrill of getting the sale is phenomenal,” he told SAM earlier this year.

3 thoughts on “Jan Leonard, 1946-2015

  1. Craig Olsen August 29, 2015 / 4:47 pm

    This industry will miss this man. Condolences to all his family, friends and associates.


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