Millennium Place searches for new general manager 

The general manager of Millennium Place, Rob Hallam, will be taking up a new position in the US starting Oct. 1.

"He was a valuable addition to our team," said Stephen Milstein, chair of the MY Place Board.

"Let’s put it this way, we opened and we had no disasters, and it’s running smoothly. That’s not to say it’s perfect but we needed someone to take on a large multi-task job from construction, to getting the place to run, to organizing the finances and helping us choose a governance model."

Hallam was quite a catch for Millennium Place. Before taking up the Whistler position he was the general director of the Vancouver Opera from 1991 to 1999.

It’s really no surprise that he is moving on. Hallam and his family will be moving to Omaha, where he will become president and CEO of the Omaha Symphony Orchestra which is about to get a new $100 million US facility.

"There is a huge sense of community spirit there and a desire to put arts on the forefront," Hallam said of the Nebraska city.

The past year has been one full of challenges for Hallam as he spearheaded Millennium Place’s push into community life.

It hasn’t always been easy. Many misconceptions surrounded the centre, which not only houses The Whistler Village Church but also provides a home for the Jewish community and other faiths, community space for activities such as Yoga and children’s program, a performance hall, youth centre, recording studio, and day care centre.

While Hallam felt it was not his position to comment on what the board of My Place should focus on when hiring to fill his position, he would say that getting the community and Millennium Place to knit together was crucial.

"Interaction with the community is important," he said.

That’s something close to Milstein’s heart as well. He will be helping to choose a new general director for the centre.

"It’s likely there will be a focus on someone strong in management and who is a good facilitator with the community," said Milstein.

"We will be hiring the best person for the job. But having said that if there are two people who are equal and one knows and is familiar with our community then it would be likely that we would choose that person."

It’s likely MY Place will see a significant increase in business in the nest couple of years as it picks up clients from the Whistler Conference Centre which will closing at the end of September for major renovations.

The successful candidate will offer many skills according to the employment ad appearing this week.

He or she must be able to develop and implement a business plan, fundraise, develop partnerships with community groups develop creative marketing, manage staff and the daily operations of the facility, and develop business plans.

Closing date of applications is Sept.13, 2002.

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