Time for Whistler to give its employees a pat on the back 

Employers are being urged to take the time to say thanks to all their employees next week as Whistler marks Employee Recognition Week.

"What in the resort makes more sense than saying thanks to people, who were really key performers," said Brent Leigh, president of the Chamber of Commerce that organizes the event each year.

"The toughest thing that some employers have with this is that they would like to send 20 employees."

"In today’s world recognition is one of the best foundations for sustainability on a social level."

This year the Chamber has raised the bar, he said, and will host an Academy Award like dinner with "all the bells and whistles" on Wednesday, April 14.

"It will be a five-star dinner and awards and great prizes," said Leigh.

This is the 14th year for employee recognition, which is also endorsed by Whistler council as a week-long event from April 12 to 18.

The event grew out of the Whistler Spirit Program.

American Express supports the event and contributes $13,000 annually.

Each business in Whistler is entitled to choose their Employee of the Year.

Each Employee of the Year is formally invited by the WCC to a gala gourmet banquet at the Chateau Whistler where they receive VIP treatment.

At the banquet each employee receives a special gift, a personalized Certificate of Excellence and a pin, which recognizes each as an Employee of the Year.

At the end of the evening, a draw is held among all those present for (a) $1,000 in American Express Travelers Cheques; (b) a weekend in Vancouver including transportation by limousine, a five star hotel, dinner at a fine restaurant and tickets to a concert or show; and (c) a mountain bike.

Also, all nightclubs in Whistler offer VIP treatment to all the winners after the dinner.

"I can’t imagine an organization which has welcomed these employees for five moths not wanting to say thank-you to them," said Leigh.

"It is a great tradition that we have and it is one of the last things I would want to see go."

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