Locals get leg up on ladder Two Whistler/Blackcomb employees are moving on up the Intrawest echelons. The Resort Operations Group last week announced the creation of two brand new executive positions on the Resort Enterprises Team, directed by Senior Vice President Ed Pitoniak. As of last week, Sandy Black is Vice President, Retail Operations and Jeff Stipec is Vice President, Food & Beverage for all Intrawest resorts. In their new roles, Stipec and Black will work with resort senior management and other Enterprise Team members to determine the optimal growth plan for each Intrawest resort. The Enterprise Team already includes specialists in human resources, marketing, capital project management and finance. "Success will result from understanding the particular guests we serve at each resort, then tailoring our products and services to them, using the great ideas and best practices that have been developed at all our other resorts," Pitoniak said in a release. Black and Stipec have served as directors of their respective operating areas at Whistler/Blackcomb. Black has 23 years of experience as both retailer and supplier in the mountain sports business. Prior to signing up with Blackcomb in '95 he owned and operated a sports retail store and sales agency running a number of different lines. His career began with Collegiate Sports in Alberta. As Blackcomb's Retail Director, Black and his team have created the largest resort-based retail business in North America, which goes some way towards explaining the promotion. Stipec has 15 years experience within the food and beverage industry. He started his career with The Keg Restaurants and after eight years with the chain he joined Blackcomb as manager of Johnny's Grill in 1991. From there he fast-tracked to director of food and beverage in 1992 and has worked with the whole team as they garnered regular top-five rankings in various resort surveys. Meanwhile, Intrawest’s retail group last week announced major deals with Rossignol and Salomon. Every time you slide your feet into Intrawest rental gear from now until the year 2001 you will find yourself sporting Rossies and Salomons. The Rossignol Ski Company and Salomon have jointly been awarded the entire Intrawest rental package. Salomon has been awarded all adult and junior public boots and bindings, as well as at least 25 per cent of the high performance fleet at each Intrawest resort. Salomon and Intrawest plan to embark on the development of several aggressive joint programs designed to drive retail, rental and ticket revenues as well as promote the whole snow sport adventure. Rossignol have been awarded all adult and junior public skis, poles, boards and snowboard boots/bindings including step-in systems. "All the companies we dealt with through this process were very organised and extremely thoughtful in preparing proposals for our consideration," says Black. "In the end I believe that each company involved will see benefits as a result of this process." In addition to Whistler/Blackcomb, Intrawest owns all or part of seven other mountain resorts in Canada and the U.S.A. Intrawest is also developing significant real estate projects at two other American ski areas.