A World Apart…Sea to Sky. I moved to the West Coast from Eastern Canada because it’s where the two worlds collide, quite literally. The West Coast of Canada is an active seismic region and part of the infamous Ring of Fire. It’s a beautiful part of Canada and the world. So many places to experience in so many different ways that are a treasure trove of scenic wonders.
Having worked for Intrawest and WhistlerBlackcomb Mountain Resorts I had the tremendous privilege to work with and meet so many outstanding talented, vibrant, and passionate people-too many to mention here. Intrawest was the leader in the destination resort development world and a magnet organization, and my laboratory that embraced an organizational culture that consciously developed “Young Leaders of Tomorrow.” From Disney World in Paris, to the City of Squamish executive suite, to the Sea to Sky Gondola “Top Gun”, to the “C” Suite at WhistlerBlackcomb, to helping to build a coveted organic cosmetic enterprise in Vancouver, and to pioneering destination 4 Season Resorts in China; Intrawest lead the way developing young talent with sage senior leaders like Doug Forseth and Hugh Smythe guiding them along their career paths. It’s corporate mantra, “Work Hard, Play Hard.”
So too was The Original Cakerie an amazing company on the West Coast founded by two very driven, focused, and passionate old high school buddies from South Central British Columbia. They with the help of a couple of key employees-Dave Hood, Sue Ross, and Suzanne Pottinger-in the “C” Suite during their first 28 years of operation built it into the “Numero Uno” five star frozen dessert company in Canada and dared to take-on the “Big Boys” in the United States.
And last but not least, my school district-School District No. 36 (Surrey)-in the 70’s to mid 80’s lead not just British Columbia but indeed Canada in a plethora of new and innovative district-wide programs due to a cast of visionary senior administrators-Dr. Don McKinnon, Jack Evans, Terry McBurney, Bob Bowman, and William Derpak. Pioneering and/or supporting district-wide programs such as Community Education (first of its kind in Canada), the first Community-based not-for-profit Conflict Resolution Centre in Western Canada and only the second in Canada, one of only four Outdoor-Environmental Education centres in British Columbia, an innovative Continuing Education model, Adult Literacy, and the first school-based Peer Mediation program in Canada, and a Canada-wide Summer Institute for Educators Conflict Resolution curriculum. Gentlemen, none of this would have happened without your guidance, mentoring, and willingness to go places others feared to tread.
I have all these people to thank for a wonderful career that allowed me to grow and took me across North America on an exciting journey in one capacity or another. From the bottom of my heart, thank you!