Pique Oct. 6, 2011
They're the All Blacks of the council candidates - a team of two well-known Whistler Kiwis looking to secure seats in November's election.
Duane Jackson and Roger McCarthy, both of whom have deep roots in the community, are running together as a two-man slate because they have common goals and a shared positive outlook on Whistler's future.
Whistler, they say, is at a crossroads.
There's a new administrator, Mike Furey, now heading up the municipality, and while he brings extensive knowledge and skills from his years at the province, he also needs help understanding Whistler's unique follies and foibles.
"He needs a council that can turn up and understand how this place works so that we can get to the issues sooner," said Jackson. "We haven't got time for a learning curve.
"We've got the experience and the background and the discipline to be able to ask the questions."
Both want to work with Furey and evaluate the recent service and organizational review, which is expected to be released in the coming weeks. They also want to create a plan that addresses the concerns and priorities of business and the environment.
Jackson, a partner in the Stonebridge development, brings his experience at the local level to the job, including his years on the board of the Whistler Housing Authority and the Whistler Development Corporation, which oversaw the $160 million Olympic athletes' village housing project.
McCarthy, on the other hand, rose through the ranks at Intrawest starting as a Whistler patroller. He brings a broad worldwide view of resorts to the table.
In 1991 he became general manager of the then-bankrupt Mont Tremblant Resort in Quebec. Less than five years later it was the number one resort in eastern North America. Critical to that success was believing it could be number one and keeping that belief top of mind, he said.
Whistler must do the same.
"The key thing is we cannot sit still," said McCarthy. "We have to continue to evolve."
There's a lot of opportunities out there, he added, leading edge stuff that goes on in this Mecca of skiing and mountain biking.
Crucial to it all is putting heads in beds.
"If you fill the beds, everything works," said McCarthy.
McCarthy was senior vice-president of operations for six Intrawest resorts after Tremblant, followed by several other senior positions in the company. Most recently he was working in Sochi, Russia, developing the ski area for the 2014 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games.