Meeche White (1952 - )
With a fervent desire to help people with disabilities, Meeche White and former husband Peter Badewitz founded the National Ability Center in 1985. Beginning with an adaptive ski program at Park City Ski Area, the organization has evolved into one of the largest adaptive sports programs of its kind in the world. The Center, housed in Park City, has helped start similar programs in Thailand, Mexico, Indonesia, Spain, Italy and Poland. All have the Meeche White- inspired goal: to serve those with physical and/or developmental disabilities and their families through the development of lifetime skills by building self-esteem, confidence and physical development.
During White’s 23-year tenure, the Center grew from providing 45 adaptive ski lessons in 1985 to more than 25,000 lessons annually in more than twelve different sports. With her vision a reality, the New York City native retired as the Center’s executive director in 2008. White served the Salt Lake Organizing Committee for the Olympic and Paralypmic Winter Games of 2002 as its Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Manager. In 1993 she was head coach of the U.S. Special Olympics Alpine Ski Team in Schladming, Austria.
While the list of awards, honors and special recognitions bestowed on White are numerous, her greatest accomplishment is reflected in the motto of the National Ability Center: “If I can do this, I can do anything.”