Welcome to BizBeat, Pique’s newest web series profiling Whistler businesses and their employees who go above and beyond.
Each week, we will profile another resort employer and one of their staff, who have each agreed to answer the same questionnaire that has been sent to businesses and employees across the community.
After yesterday's BizBeat entry profiling Forged Axe Throwing, we speak to start employee and operations manager Jackie Stanton.
The following interview has been lightly edited for grammar and clarity.
Pique: Tell us about yourself and how you landed in Whistler.
I first moved to Whistler in 2013, originally from Toronto. I grew up skiing from the age of three, and after my parents brought me and my brother here on three family trips, well, I knew I would end up here. Ten years later and I'm still obsessed.
Describe your current job and what you do at the company.
I've been at Forged since 2018. I started as a host and one day got a call that our ops manager was leaving town, and I got offered to take the role. It's hard to explain what I do exactly, but I oversee all operations, our staff, and still host plenty of awesome groups in between!
What do you like best about the job?
Without sounding like a suck-up, my bosses and staff make this place feel like a second home. To work for people that care about me as a person is such a lucky thing to find. The staff is small here and we call ourselves "Forged Family" for a reason. Then, on top of it, we have guests show up to have the best time, and we get to show them an even better time! We have people with stories come through from all over the world to celebrate family time, bachelorette parties, staff get-togethers, corporate team building, and so much more.
What is your housing situation? How did you find it?
Ten years in and it's still the hardest thing about living here. I've been lucky along the way to have enough connections to always find the next place to live, but I haven't lived in the same spot for more than two years. My place right now, I haven't even lived in a year, so it's tough. It's just as hard to even want to live in Whistler Housing Authority housing with its restrictions, and more impossible to even think I can buy property here one day. Whistler has been short-staffed since the pandemic and if they don't figure out a way to house locals, I'm not sure how Whistler will continue to have everything open for tourists to enjoy.
How do you try to strike a healthy work-life balance in Whistler?
I'm lucky to be able to ski every morning before work in the winter and get outside for lake dips and walks during the summer mornings. Time off is a really important thing and I'm always planning the next trip outside of our Whistler bubble. I try to get out of town at least three to four times a year.
If you were mayor for a day, what single policy would you implement in Whistler to best support local workers?
Affordable housing. Or wages that meet the renter marker price we are all having to pay.
What’s a memorable moment or customer from your time on the job?
Such a tough question. I've hosted some amazing crews in the four years I've been here. Hosting the Paralympic athletes recently was pretty awesome! To see a crew of all different abilities and strengths hit so many bullseyes was beyond impressive to me. Along with hearing their stories and how they each got into training to becoming a Paralympian was so cool.
Any advice for young people trying to make it in Whistler?
If you can find a place to work where you can grow within the company with likeminded people, you are off to a great start. If you have a business idea, go for it. There are so many great, young, successful businessowners to learn from in our community right now.
Got a business or employee you'd like us to profile? Email reporter Brandon Barrett at email@example.com.