Province announces representatives for 2010 organizing committee 

Jack Poole front-runnner for the position of chair of OCOG

Jack Poole looks set to pluck the plum appointment on the board which will help guide the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver and Whistler.

"We need the best person leading the Games," said Premier Gordon Campbell of Poole’s likely appointment as chair of the 2010 Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games.

"Jack was clearly pivotal to securing the 2010 Games for British Columbia, and his experience and leadership will be invaluable."

Interim president of Tourism Whistler, Barrett Fisher, also believes Poole could bridge a gap between the bid phase of the Games and the planning phase.

But she said she will be looking closely at all those who could fill the role of chair of the OCOG board.

"He certainly has the leadership, the expertise, and would bring continuity," said Fisher.

Poole, who was chairman of the 2010 bid committee, was unavailable for comment but sources close to him said he was thrilled with the offer.

The province also announced its three members to the OCOG board Wednesday.

Appointed are Rusty Goepel, senior vice-president of Raymond James Ltd, Richard Turner, president and CEO of IAT Management Inc, and Ken Dobell, deputy to the premier.

Goepel is a director of the investment policy committee for the Canadian Olympic Committee, and was an executive committee member and chairman of the nominating and governance committee for the Vancouver 2010 Bid Corporation.

"I am pleased to see they have decided in their wisdom to appoint someone who is a friend of the Canadian Olympic Committee in Rusty Goepel," said COC president Mike Chambers, who was also pleased with the two other appointments.

Chambers, by virtue of his position with the COC is a member of the 2010 OCOG, along with six other COC members. There are 19 members on the unpaid volunteer OCOG board.

Chambers was also enthusiastic about Poole’s possible appointment as chair of the OCOG board, but he was quick to point out that it was not a done deal yet.

"This, of course, is still a decision that needs to be made by the board," said Chambers. "It is only proceeding as a recommendation. No one should think that this decision will be made otherwise than as a board decision.

"However it will be a recommendation and I am anticipating that that recommendation will be accepted."

Chambers said Poole was instrumental in bringing the many diverse interests vying for position during the bid phase together and getting them to work as a "well-oiled machine" as the 2010 Bid Corporation moved toward the July 2 decision in Prague where the IOC awarded the Games to Vancouver.

Turner’s IAT Management is one the largest owners and developers of air cargo facilities in North America. He is also chair of the British Columbia Lottery Corporation.

Dobell’s appointment will ensure that the province’s interests and opportunities are maximized and that the Games get the support they need from all levels of government.

The board will meet as soon as possible said Chambers, although members are still waiting to learn who will be the First Nations’ representative.

Others members come from the Canadian Paralympic Committee, Resort Municipality of Whistler, the federal government, and the City of Vancouver.

At that meeting Poole’s name will be put forward for the post of chair and the board will vote on the recommendation.

The board will then begin the search for a chief executive officer and prepare for the mid-November visit of an IOC delegation which will include President Jacques Rogge.

"There will be a full and complete transparent national search for the CEO," said Chambers.

"We want to make sure that we have the absolute best person for that position."

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