For Immediate Release
December 2, 2015

McKenna Young
484-385-2913 (office)
[email protected]

Colorado Businessman and Distinguished Philanthropist Michael Shannon to Receive 2016 Horatio Alger Award
Horatio Alger Association names 13 exceptional corporate and civic leaders, each of whom has triumphed over adversity to achieve success, to its Member Class of 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C. (December 2, 2015) – Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans, Inc., a nonprofit educational organization honoring the achievements of outstanding individuals and encouraging youth to pursue their dreams through higher education, today announced that Michael Shannon, chairman, KSL Capital Partners, LLC, has been selected for membership in the prestigious organization. Mr. Shannon joins 12 other accomplished business and civic leaders from across North America in receiving this honor in 2016. Since its establishment in 1947, the Horatio Alger Award is annually bestowed upon recognized leaders who have succeeded, despite facing adversity, and who are committed to both philanthropy and higher education.

Mr. Shannon was born in Brookfield, WI, to hardworking parents who supported their children to the best of their abilities. After serving in World War II, Mr. Shannon’s father worked as a flooring contractor, while his mother was a homemaker. The third of four children, Mr. Shannon found small jobs to help support the family – mowing lawns, babysitting and even selling sporting goods. He paid for his room and board at the University of Wisconsin by taking additional jobs laying floors at Wonder Bread and joining the Carpenters and Joiners Union. After graduating from the University with a degree in business administration, Mr. Shannon accepted a job at The First National Bank of Chicago, working in the media and entertainment division. Funded through a management program at the bank, Mr. Shannon attended graduate school at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, earning a master’s degree in accounting and finance. After five years in commercial banking, Mr. Shannon became president and CEO of Vail Associates, which became the most popular and successful mountain resort in the world. In 1992, he moved on to partner with Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., a private equity firm, to start KSL Recreation. After its sale in 2004 for $2.4 billion, Mr. Shannon launched another endeavor, KSL Capital Partners, LLC, a private equity business in the hospitality, real estate and leisure industries. Today, Mr. Shannon serves as co-founder and chairman of the company, which has raised over $7 billion in equity capital.

“Mr. Shannon is a well-respected businessman and humanitarian whom we are delighted to welcome into the Association,” said Byron Trott, president and CEO of Horatio Alger Association and 2011 Horatio Alger Award recipient. “As exemplified by his professional and philanthropic collaborations, Mr. Shannon understands the importance of working together for the greater good. We look forward to his involvement as a colleague, leader and supporter of the Association and its mission.”

With a strong commitment to philanthropy, Mr. Shannon supports a number of charitable organizations. He currently serves on the boards of the United States Ski and Snowboard Association, the University of Wisconsin Foundation, the Vail Valley Foundation, Eisenhower Medical Center, Canyon Ranch Institute and as chairman of Vail Health Services. He is also a member of the World President’s Organization. In addition to serving on the board of the Mayo Clinic Global Advisory Council, he and his wife, Mary Sue, are philanthropic partners of the Mayo Clinic and continue to support its Regenerative Medical Center. Mr. Shannon also serves as a board member at Northwestern University, where he and his wife have created an endowed research fellowship in honor of Dr. Lawrence Revsine, a professor under whom Mr. Shannon studied.

In accepting this honor, Mr. Shannon commented, “It is a gratifying and humbling experience to accept
membership in Horatio Alger Association, an organization whose efforts to help youth pursue the American Dream I strongly support. I have found that overcoming challenges on the path to success has made reaching my goals all the more rewarding. I hope to share the key lessons I have learned to assist the Association’s current and future Scholars in reaching their full potential.”

Through its Members, Horatio Alger Association aims to educate young people about the limitless opportunities afforded to them by the free-enterprise system. To further this goal, the organization awards scholarships to outstanding high school students who are committed to pursuing higher education and giving back to their communities. Like Association Members, Horatio Alger Scholars have faced numerous challenges and have displayed unmatched resilience in overcoming them. Since the scholarship program was established in 1984, Horatio Alger Association has provided more than $110 million to students in need. Scholarships are funded solely through the generosity of Association Members, Life Partners and friends.

Mr. Shannon and the Member Class of 2016 will be officially welcomed into the organization during the 69th Annual Horatio Alger Award Induction Ceremonies in Washington, D.C., from March 31-April 2, 2016. In addition to recognizing these tremendous leaders, Horatio Alger Association will also honor its 2016 National Scholarship recipients, affording both groups the opportunity to meet and learn from one another.

For more information about Horatio Alger Association and a full list of its Class of 2016, please visit


About Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans:
Founded in 1947, the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans, Inc. is dedicated to the simple but powerful belief that hard work, honesty and determination can conquer all obstacles. The Association honors the achievements of outstanding leaders who have accomplished remarkable successes in spite of adversity by bestowing upon them the Horatio Alger Award and inducting them as lifetime Members. Horatio Alger Members support promising young people with the resources and confidence needed to overcome adversity and pursue their dreams through higher education. Thanks to their generosity, the Association awards more than $11 million annually in undergraduate and graduate need-based scholarships across the Unite States and Canada and provides college support and mentoring services to its Scholars. Since 1984, the Association ha awarded more than $110 million in college scholarships to more than 22,000 deserving young people. For more information, please visit