After growing up in Easton, Joe was a psychology major at Penn State and worked with a department of justice college program with Lewisburg Federal Penitentiary. He did some counseling and taught college prep classes and practice SAT’s. He earned a Ford Fellowship with an opportunity to pursue an advanced degree, but family circumstances caused him to shift gears into another direction. Joe had worked in construction, and began a commercial real estate career over 30 years ago. He is an appraiser, consultant, and broker. He has handled multimillion dollar transactions, including two hotels at over 20 million dollars!
After teaching at Camelback, Joe joined the staff at Blue Mountain the year after it opened and instructed from 1979 - 1989. He took a break for a few years as his daughter was involved with many sports (Joe never missed an event, even though her school was about 2 1/2 hours away!) and returned to instructing in the 2005 - 2006 season. He took five-year-old Evan and older son Marc to Bear Creek for their first time skiing, where Evan skied “right through the woods” with “no intention of stopping.” Even after having a yard sale, Evan thought, “this was awesome,” and “wanted to go fast.”
The year he turned 14, Evan joined the Blue Mountain staff, in Explorers. He “had fun and soaked up knowledge,” and had “so many great teachers.” He did his PSIA level 1 when he was 16, in the pouring rain. The mountain was closed and only the Summit Learning Center school hill and the top of Vista were available for the candidates, accessible with the rope tow. Joe also has his PSIA level 1 and the two did their Children’s Specialist 1 together at Mount Snow. Evan has worked as a hill captain and says his dad is “a great instructor” and that it’s an “interesting dynamic” when father and son work together.
Evan is also involved with the ski patrol, which has “intense training” that begins in April with 3 hours per week. There is a written test and they practice on snow as available. He was called constantly on the last day of the season and brought down 6 toboggans. Evan helps with the Summit Aerial Park in the in-between season and in summer, he shifts gears to the Adventure Camp, where he is the activities director. In the camp’s four years, Evan has seen it grow from 13 overnight campers to more than 150! He started each morning of overnight camp with “GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD MORNING ADVENTURE CAMPERS!! IT’S 7 AM AND TIME TO GET UP. BREAKFAST IS IN 30 MINUTES. BRUSH YOUR HAIR, BRUSH YOUR TEETH AND GET READY.” A certain camper I know came home from his week hoarse trying to imitate this human airhorn. This camper also said Evan was a “great counselor and a great guy.”
The Genays' camp roots run deep, with Evan and Joe involved in scout camp for many years. Evan was a scout camp counselor for three years and earned his Eagle Scout rank, creating an environmental lab with benches near Springhouse Middle School in Allentown. Evan is “passionate about the environment” and practices what he preaches. He became a vegetarian 18 months ago after doing a research paper about the environmental impact of meat.
The family has been involved with climbing in the area, and Joe’s brother Gene did the first ascent of many climbs, which allowed him to name several routes. Evan climbed a new route after his uncle had been in the hospital and named it “In the Genes” in his honor.
Since graduating from Parkland, Evan has been taking classes (for free!) in the Honors program at Lehigh Carbon Community College. He will be moving to Syracuse in 2017 to pursue an environmental engineering degree at SUNY School of Environmental Science and Forestry. He plans to work at an engineering internship doing site assessments the summer of 2017 and wants to inspire “passion in others for outdoor activities.” I predict that Evan will not be slowing down anytime soon and look forward to riding the lift with my neighbor Joe and hearing about his son’s successful endeavors.
Sheri Miltenberger, September 2016
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p.s. I also want to express my appreciation to Evan, who took time on his days off in-between camp sessions to mow my lawn while I was away. Thank you!
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