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Doug Forseth Chamber’s Business Person of the Year

A familiar face has been awarded the Business Person of the Year award for 2004, adding his name to a distinguished list of past recipients.



Doug Forseth, senior vice president of operations at Whistler-Blackcomb, said he was genuinely stunned when his name was announced at the Whistler Chamber of Commerce luncheon on Wednesday afternoon. So stunned he said that his knees got weak.

"I don’t know what to say," he said, after the award presentation. "Now I’ve got to really behave myself!"

Looking upon the engraved plaque showcasing all the past recipients Forseth said he was honoured to be among such company.

The list includes names such as the 1988 recipient Lorne Borgal, who was president of Whistler Mountain Ski Corporation, and 1990 recipient and local ski legend Dave Murray, as well as small business owners such as Dave Davenport, Dave Kirk and Bob and Sue Adams in more recent years.

"I look down through this list and it’s pretty amazing to be a part of the group," he said.

Bob Lorriman, the 2003 Business Person of the Year, presented Forseth with his award. He explained why Forseth was chosen.

In his role at Whistler-Blackcomb Forseth initiated an environmental co-ordinators position, secured $1.5 million for on-mountain restoration in a project called Operation Green Up and recently obtained $400,000 for energy conservation initiatives.

He is also chairman of the board for the B.C. and Yukon zone of the Canada West Ski Areas Association.

But outside of his work in the ski industry, Forseth is an active member of the community, supporting the Festival of Lights, Friends of the Dark Outdoors, the Whistler Food Bank as well as programs to support youth.

Forseth has also taken an active role in the municipality’s Comprehensive Sustainability Plan process, giving input as the community works to develop a long-range plan that will lead the resort’s decision-making to 2020.

"It’s my home and I’m proud of my home," said Forseth. "I do what I do because I love to do it."

But apart from his professional and social work, there is another side to Forseth that many of his employees get to see.

In his nomination form to the Chamber, Kirby Brown, director of employee experience at Whistler-Blackcomb wrote: "I emulate Doug in my decision making, always making sure that my head and my heart are in step whenever a decision needs to be made.

"It was Doug who added Community and the Environment to the company’s core values and his commitment to both have never wavered.

"Whistler-Blackcomb and Whistler would not be the same without Doug Forseth."