Whistler’s largest business network has a new leader at the helm.
The Whistler Chamber of Commerce announced Monday, Sept. 26 that it has named Louise Walker as its new executive director, concluding its five-month search.
“Louise brings a dynamic combination of skills and experience to the Chamber, including her understanding of the unique nature of a resort economy, her evidence-based thinking to enhance our programs and advocacy efforts, and the relationship-based leadership that is critical to the Whistler Talent Plan and the overall strategy of the Whistler Chamber,” said Diana Chan, chamber board chair, in a release.
Walker brings more than six years’ experience leading the Squamish Chamber of Commerce to her new role, a time she spent increasing membership and engagement, helping the community navigate its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and building “strong relationships” and supporting “the growth of Squamish’s business community,” the release went on.
“On behalf of the board, we want to thank all our Members for their patience as the board thoughtfully approached this search to recruit an Executive Director that understands the needs of the business community to reimagine the Whistler Chamber now and well into the future,” Chan added in the release.
Walker assumes the new position at a time of change for the Whistler Chamber, as it looks to take on a larger role in both advocacy and employee recruitment. The Chamber’s newly drafted Talent Plan, expected for roll-out in the coming weeks, represents a shift in how Whistler approaches labour as a whole, Chan told Pique last month.
“We are looking at how the Chamber, along with other partnerships, can be a bit more of the driver of bringing talent to Whistler, providing development opportunities and then helping employers retain those employees for a longer period of time,” she explained. “I think it’s a new way to approach looking at labour within Whistler, rather than try the things we’ve always tried.”
Prior to joining the Squamish Chamber, Walker worked for Tourism Whistler as the VP of marketing strategy, and has worked in numerous research and marketing roles, both in Whistler and Edinburgh, Scotland.
Walker officially begins in her new job on Oct. 17. The Chamber said it plans to “focus on core programs and events over the fall, while working with the Squamish Chamber to ensure a smooth transition for both organizations.”
Walker takes over for Melissa Pace, who announced she would be stepping down as executive director in April after five years. In June, Pace was appointed as the BC Chamber of Commerce’s new director of member experience.