Whistler appoints top cop as new general manager 

Norm McPhail to lead the department of corporate and community services

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Norm McPhail is the Resort Municipality of Whistler's (RMOW) new general manager of corporate and community services.

McPhail is currently Nanaimo RCMP's officer in charge, but has a long history with Whistler. The last stint for him at the resort was as the regional commander of the Sea to Sky region, a job he left in 2009.

He begins his new role on Oct. 21, 2013. The job includes leading the department in charge of legislative, bylaw, fire rescue, financial, information technology and recreation services, as well as RCMP and the Whistler Library and promoting the economic viability of the resort.

It is a huge leap away from the RCMP.

"The attraction is Whistler. I worked in Whistler on and off for 11 years as a police officer and, of course, we move all over the province in the RCMP. Whistler was always a place that I very much love to live. With the RCMP, if you want advancement you have to move, so I'd move away from Whistler, then come back to Whistler," McPhail said in an interview.

"I do hope to be out in the public as much as I can be and involved in the community, without a uniform on, which will be fun. The opportunity came up for the general manager's position and I felt I had the skill set for the GM roll, so I put in for it and fortunately for me I was the successful candidate."

McPhail said he is very excited by the opportunity. "I joined the Mounties two weeks after I turned 19-years-old. Most of my education I took on the fly, university courses here and there," he said. "Thirty-two years later... I started to consider what else I could do. I'm still a young guy, 50 years old and 51 in January. There's a whole bunch more that I have to give and I love the energy of Whistler, I love the opportunity it presents to work with people I've spent a lot of time with over the years."

The crossover from the RCMP to the RMOW is down to his management experience, McPhail said.

"The nexus between the two roles is that I managed 275 staff as a police service commander for the region. Within that we have finance departments, IT staff built in, all that type of thing. We all deal with public service... really what we do is work with people and the role in Whistler is about delivering the servicing to the satisfaction of the people we serve," he said.

Whistler mayor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden, taking a break from the Union of BC Municipalities meeting in Vancouver, pointed to McPhail's service with the RCMP and said his resume was outstanding.

"I'm thrilled that he is joining the staff. He has a long history with Whistler and knows the local scene very well. He brings a lot of enthusiasm and energy and I am looking forward to working with him," she said.

Wilhelm-Morden added that she had run into Nanaimo's mayor John Ruttan at the UBCM conference and he congratulated her for getting McPhail on the RMOW team.

"He said he was very sad to see him go, he did a terrific job in Nanaimo," she said.


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