Cue the applause: It's time for another award. Whistler Blackcomb president and CEO Dave Brownlie has just been named the top CEO in the large company category for 2016 by Business in Vancouver and MacKay CEO Forums.
The announcement — which culminates with a Nov. 1 dinner at the Fairmont Waterfront in Vancouver — comes just weeks after WB announced record second-quarter results of $241 million, and Tourism Whistler reported record-breaking room nights for last summer and winter.
"At the end of the day I think the recognition really does reflect that we at Whistler Blackcomb, and the team here, we've been able to deliver a really great experience over the past number of years and improving financial results in combination with a community that has been driving business forward and ultimately doing very well," Brownlie said.
Brownlie was appointed CEO in 2012, and previously was president and chief operating officer. He has been with WB for 27 years, coming from the Vancouver chartered accountant firm KPMG.
With record results and cooperation from the weather for one of the best winter seasons on record, Brownlie said, more or less, that it takes a village.
"We're very fortunate to live and work in a community that we're all emotionally attached to and again I think the award really represents what we've been able to do as a team at Whistler Blackcomb and, quite frankly, a bigger team in the community."
Year-to-date results as of March 31, 2016 tracked a total-visit increase of 26 per cent from both the regionals and destination markets, with skier visits increasing by 22 per cent. What also helped was Tourism Whistler's report of record-breaking results in terms of paid room nights, which outperformed not only last year and the previous best-ever years, but also the 10-year average.
Brownlie said such rewarding results are tempered by seasons that are not as bullish, such as two years ago when scant snowfall affected the number of visitors to the resort.
"There's always challenges, economic, weather, employment — there's competitive challenges that you work at and build at," said Brownlie. "If we're not getting better, then we're falling behind."