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Meet the ISHOF Class of 2023 inductees

The International Snowmobile Hall of Fame (ISHOF) released their Class of 2023 inductees on June 22. For more than 30 years, the Hall of Fame honor is bestowed upon the incoming class of annual recipients to recognize their achievements for the sport of snowmobiling. Categories include inventors, designers and manufacturers; explorers and adventurers; trail and program developers; volunteers and club organizers; and publishers and journalists. See below for the ISHOF Class of 2023 inductees:

Frank Dusek – Trail & Program Developer – Phillips, Wis.

Frank Dusek

“The Father of Price County’s Snowmobile Trails Program.” That’s his title to snowmobilers who know him.

Back in 1969, Dusek was a charter member of the Phillips Chaparrals, the first snowmobile club in the county. Since then, he was relentless in developing the trail network in Price County. Dusek established relationships with private landowners to secure the privilege of having snowmobile trails cross their property. He continued to develop and evolve the trail system throughout the county and was the one who was most instrumental in securing state funding for trail maintenance.

Dusek is credited (in 1972) as the founder and first president of the Price County Trails Association which is made up of 10 clubs. He is still a member of each of those clubs.

In the early years, he started grooming snowmobile trails with bedsprings towed by snowmobiles, then more heavy-duty grooming equipment. Dusek was credited as providing valuable input in the design of how a drag should process snow. His contributions helped lead to the manufacture of the commercial groomers used today. In 1977, Dusek personally signed for a loan to buy the first Tucker Sno-Cat for Price County.

Dusek’s dedication to the sport of snowmobiling and his efforts in trail development did not go unnoticed on a state level. In 1984, he was appointed to the Wisconsin Governor’s Snowmobile Recreation Council. He continues to be actively involved with the Association of Wisconsin Snowmobile Clubs (AWSC) and local clubs by grooming snowmobile trails on a regular basis. Dusek was awarded the AWSC Groomer of the Year for 2022.

It’s not all work for Dusek, he loves to ride his snowmobile as well. Logging many miles with family and friends, he has participated in numerous snowmobile rides to raise money for multiple sclerosis. He has earned the respect of everyone he interacts with and is regarded as the ambassador for snowmobiling in Price County and the state of Wisconsin.

Dusek is very adamant about ensuring everyone stays safe when grooming and snowmobiling. It is for his unwavering commitment to the sport of snowmobiling that places him in the 2023 Class of the ISHOF.

William Jeans – Industry – Forest Lake, Minn.

William Jeans

It was 1966 when William (and brother Ty) Jeans formed Jeans, Inc. and ran a Moto-Ski snowmobile distributorship serving 200 dealers in a three-state region. The business operated until 1973. The brothers gave up their Dodge automobile dealership and their father’s farm implement business to devote to promoting and selling Moto-Ski snowmobiles.

They believed the snowmobile business required full time attention, especially when their focus was to expand and get more dealers in Minnesota, Wisconsin, the Dakotas, Iowa, and Nebraska. They soon built dealerships both in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

As president of Jeans, Inc., William built a snowmobile distributorship that eventually became one the most successful in the United States. In the 1970 model year alone they sold 6,000 snowmobiles and generated $8 million in revenue. Jeans, Inc. employed an average of 35 workers, which in turn provided a strong economy for the small town of Forest Lake, Minn.

Jeans Inc. ran two semi-trucks for nine months of the year between Forest Lake and the Moto-Ski factory in Quebec. Seventy-five percent of the sleds were placed at the dealerships before winter set in. The Jeans boys did a lot of racing with three- or four-man crews out every weekend during the race season. They won most of the more than 30 events they attended. William was extremely proud of his racers.

“Racing gives us exposure,” he said. “Best advertising you could ask for, customers take pride in being able to go with a winner.” 

William could see the potential in the growing popularity of snowmobiling. It was his keen business awareness that helped launch this sport into what it is today, which lands him in the 2023 Class of the ISHOF.

Steve and Sherry Landon – Publishers and Journalists – Farwell, Mich.

Steve and Sherry Landon

In the early 1970s, while snowmobiling at his grandmother’s farm in Clare, Mich., a family friend and local racer dropped by and mentioned they were having an oval track race north of town and wanted to know if anyone was interested. Steve Landon promptly found his way to that event where he watched a local racer take his sled to victory. From that point on Steve was hooked on snowmobile racing. However, he wanted to be more than just another race fan, he wanted to cover it as a member of the media.

Soon after high school, Steve did some freelance writing and photography covering and reporting on local drivers at major races. He then gained employment with the Harrison Star Newspaper covering and shooting local events. His career launched as a member of the print media. Not only did he write and shoot photos for the newspaper, but also for Michigan Snowmobiler and Snow Week. Soon his photos and stories appeared in national publications as well.

In 1980, Steve married his wife, Sherry, and they attended almost every venue on the oval race circuit for years to come. From carrying Steve’s camera bag and taking notes at most races, this shy quiet mother of their four children would become a talented graphic designer.

Sherry was truly an amazing creative addition to their business and the sport of snowmobile racing.  When the newspaper fell victim to the recession and closed in 1979, Steve and Sherry pursued his dream of starting his own snowmobile racing publication. Sherry came up with the name, The Winning Edge, and armed with little more than a dream and no money, they pursued and gained advertising revenue.

On Christmas Eve 1985, the first edition rolled off the press. Although print editions were eliminated in 2007, The Winning Edge magazine still survives due to being the first snowmobile racing publication to go all digital.

Among their many and proudest accomplishments were designing the 50th Anniversary Eagle River World Championship Derby program book and the 25th Annual Soo I-500 history book. Sherry passed away in 2021. Just moments before succumbing to her battle with cancer she embraced and kissed Steve and said, “Thank you for the wonderful adventure.”

Married 41 years, Steve and Sherry Landon were true soulmates. Their contributions to snowmobiling deems them worthy inductees into the 2023 Class of the ISHOF.