The man who ran a pair of world-class Nordic skiing centers in Aroostook County that were created with funding from the Libra Foundation is stepping down after 20 years at the helm.

Andy Shepard tells the Portland Press Herald that he’s leaving the Outdoor Sport Institute on July 1.

He said he waited to step down to ensure the organization was on its feet after Libra funding slowed five years ago.  In all, $32 million was poured into the centers.

Originally called the Maine Winter Sports Center, the project aimed to get kids in northern Maine off the sofa and outside on cross-country skis, and gave rise to many world class competitors.

The organization built Nordic facilities in Fort Kent and Presque Isle, and drew four biathlon World Cups to Aroostook County. It also offered reduced-price ski rentals to schools.