WRA board 

More than 80 people have expressed interest in becoming the Whistler Resort Association’s next president, but it will likely be February before a replacement for David Thomson is named. Rick Clare, who was recently appointed chairman of the WRA board of directors, said the board’s goal is to have a new president in place by Feb. 1, but that date might be optimistic. The Vancouver firm conducting the search for a new president, Pinton, Forrest & Madden Group, has received between 30 and 40 resumes. Thomson announced in early October that he would be leaving the WRA Dec. 31 to start his own tourism and hotel marketing company. He has been president of the WRA since 1991, when he left Delta Hotels to join the association. "David’s longevity as president has shown the organization is stable and there’s job security," Clare says. "We feel we’ve got a great team in place, a great staff. The feeling of the board is we’re going to continue to build; there’s no mentality for cuts." Former WRA board chairman Craig MacKenzie has resigned as chairman to take on an administrators position until Thomson leaves. Clare said Thomson’s duties as president of the WRA and as a member of various tourism associations frequently take him out of town, so MacKenzie was hired to maintain continuity. MacKenzie will become acting president of the WRA Jan. 1 and remain in that position until a new president is hired. MacKenzie resigned as board chairman so there was no perceived conflict of interest in his role as administrator. He remains on the WRA board of directors. Clare, who was vice-chairman of the board, moved up to chairman. Clare said another reason for hiring MacKenzie as administrator is that the WRA is without a second in command. Jim Watson resigned as vice president of administration earlier this year. The board hasn’t filled that position because it’s reviewing the organizational structure of the association. The board will wait until a new president is in place before deciding if the vice president of administration position will remain as it was or if it needs to be revised. Clare also said Intrawest remains committed to the WRA. "Intrawest probably could have only one board member, but they continue with two, David Brownlie and Doug Forseth. "I think Hugh Smythe sees the value of the WRA," Clare says, noting the company started a resort association at Mont Tremblant in Quebec after it bought the resort.

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