Dialogue Café to talk retail issues 

Whistler Forum hires new general manager

Judging by the letters and editorial pages of our local newspapers, everyone has an opinion on the proposal to build a London Drugs in Whistler and the past, present and future of the local retail industry.

In response to concerns voiced by all sides of the issue, the Whistler Forum for Dialogue and Whistler Chamber of Commerce are hosting a special Dialogue Café, called Retail, Values and Whistler: What’s For Sale? The discussion will take place on Thursday, July 7 in the Scotia Creek Lounge in Millennium Place, starting at 7:30 p.m. All are welcome to attend.

John Nadeau, the interim president of the Whistler Chamber of Commerce, will open the talks.

"There has been a lot of discussion in town lately focusing around retail related issues and we thought it would be timely to have a Dialogue Café on the matter for locals to listen to one another about their views and perspectives," said William Roberts, president of the Whistler Forum.

The Whistler Forum has also announced that Mechthild Facundo has been hired as general manager of the Whistler Forum.

"As a participant of the first Leadership Sea to Sky cohort, Mecki has developed an excellent overview of our mission and programs," said Roberts. "Mecki’s knowledge of the Whistler community and Sea to Sky region has huge value."

To prepare, Facundo will be attending the Aspen Institute’s Ideas Festival in early July. The Aspen Institute is an international non-profit organization established in 1950 to promote open dialogue and leadership, and is one of the inspirations for the Whistler Forum.

One of the projects Facundo will manage is Leadership Sea to Sky 2005/06, a 10-month leadership program that focuses on building capacity within the region. The teams that evolve out of the workshop will tackle specific issues within Sea to Sky communities.

The first cohort of graduates, which included Facundo, is tackling a range of issues from building a trail to connect Pemberton and Mount Currie to bringing workers to Grade 10 students to discuss different career paths and opportunities within the community.

Tuition for participants is $2,900, $2,600 of which can be covered by employers, sponsors or through a limited number of bursaries.

Prospective candidates for the program can apply until today (Thursday, June 30) by contacting mecki@whistlerforum.com . Organizations looking to support the program should also contact Mecki.

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