After several busy but productive years at the helm of the Whistler Mountain Ski Club (WMSC), Nigel Loring will be leaving his post as executive director to pursue a new career opportunity.
Loring has been named the new president and CEO of the Alberta Alpine Ski Association (AASA). His last day with the WMSC will be Sept. 2.
Loring, who stepped into the top job at the ski club in 2009, said he's excited for the new role, but added that it's "definitely bittersweet" to be leaving Whistler.
"It's just over five years we've been here, and it's been a remarkable run," said Loring. "When I took the job, I believed, and still believe, it's the best job in the world. I was the luckiest guy in the world to have it.
"The club will have no problem attracting some very high-level candidates, I believe, from around the world."
In the memo announcing Loring's departure, WMSC board chairman Barry Kirshenblatt said that "Nigel has truly made a difference to our club on so many levels through his commitment, dedication, hard work and tireless effort.
"We wish to recognize, acknowledge and thank Nigel for his invaluable contributions to the Whistler Mountain Ski Club, and we all wish Nigel, (wife) Christiane and his sons all the best in Alberta."
There have been plenty of highlights for Loring in his five-plus years with the WMSC, overseeing some key developments for the club in the post-Olympic period. In particular, Loring said he's proud of the work that went into making the Dave Murray National Training Centre, a legacy of the 2010 Olympic Games, an achievement on several fronts.
"We did a tremendous amount of work, myself and (Whistler Blackcomb's) Doug Forseth and others, to build all the legal structures and operational frames to set the centre up for success," said Loring. "Having seen it now for a couple of years of operation and seeing it really take hold, that to me is pretty special."
Loring also said he's been pleased to see the continued growth of the Whistler Cup, the annual international juvenile races, which celebrated their 22nd year in 2014.
"Seeing it continue to impress and improve each and every year is also a great source of pride for me," said Loring. "I saw the Whistler Cup as definitely the club's flagship event and something we continue to nurture and build upon."
As Whistler Cup administrator for the past several years, Christiane Loring has played a key role in the event's growth. She will continue to serve that position through the 2015 Whistler Cup.
Nigel Loring added that watching many WMSC athletes go on to find success beyond the club — as provincial or national team members, or pursuing other goals — has been satisfying as well, and a testament to the work of everyone at the club.
"You see the outcome and the product... and these are great things that make you trust that the systems you've built and the people you work with here have got it figured out and (will) continue turning out champions for many years to come," he said.
Loring said he'll be focused on helping more racers make their dreams come true through his new job in Alberta, and looking to pool resources and connections between alpine ski racing bodies in Western Canada.
"It's definitely a bigger scope having an entire province to look to, and looking at me to provide the direction," he said.