Whistler administrator takes on role as chief of strategic policy and partnerships
After eight years as chief administrative officer (CAO) with the Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) Mike Furey is stepping away to take on a new role of chief of strategic policy and partnerships. Council will commence recruitment of a new CAO and Furey will remain in the position of CAO until a new person is in place.
Mayor Jack Crompton thanked Mike for his dedicated service to the Municipality: “Mike has been a strong leader and our community has been well served by his innovative approach and commitment to excellence in municipal services. He has built an incredible team that serve our community with enthusiasm and professionalism.”
Mike will continue with the RMOW as chief of strategic policy and partnerships, a position focused on ensuring key Council priorities are delivered. Council has committed to an ambitious work plan toward community priorities such as housing, First Nations relations and strategic community planning. By stepping away from day to day operations and management, Furey’s combination of expertise and experience will be instrumental in accelerating the delivery of Council priorities.
The Mayor added, “Mike’s past experience with federal and provincial government is a significant asset to the community. Most recently he played a lead role in securing $22 million in Resort Municipality Initiative (RMI) funding.” Investments of RMI funds have enabled Whistler to enhance the visitor experience through investments such as the Festivals, Events and Animation Program, which has grown and evolved substantially during Furey’s time as CAO.
Many RMOW initiatives were put into place under Furey’s leadership: the establishment and implementation work of several key community-wide committees of Council such as the Economic Partnership Initiative, the renewed Transportation Advisory Group, and the Mayor’s Task Force on Resident Housing; the creation of the annual Corporate Plan municipal guiding document in 2012, now a foundational planning tool; major reinvestments into new and existing Whistler infrastructure and parks including Parkhurst and the Prism Lands; substantially increased focus on wildfire mitigation and adaptation; and the facilitation of new resort community assets such as the Audain Art Museum, to name a few.
In the new role, Furey will be responsible for accelerating strategic initiatives, policy development and furthering RMOW relationships with regional, provincial, federal and First Nations partners. The position will report to the new CAO and provide leadership to RMOW’s Economic Development Department that is primarily responsible for project management and corporate-wide initiatives related to resort community economic success, housing policy, economic modelling, strategic planning and engagement. Furey’s role will also help in the transition with the new CAO and will end in early 2021.
Through participation in RMOW’s Strategic Planning Committee, Economic Partnership Initiative committee and other forums Furey will provide oversight of evidence-based research, analysis and ensuring translation of strategies into actionable and quantitative plans.
Furey will participate in the Resort Collaborative group of communities to promote provincial support for Resort Municipality Initiative (RMI) and tourism and lead provincial reporting and planning requirements for RMI and Municipal Regional District Tax (MRDT) funds.
RMOW is continuing to strengthen relationships with the Squamish Nation and Lil’wat Nation to support shared interests. As chief of strategic policy and partnerships, Furey will be tasked with growing positive and respectful relationships with the Lil’wat Nation and Squamish Nation toward shared reconciliation goals.
“The RMOW is a stronger organization for Mike’s leadership as CAO over the last eight years. We are grateful he has agreed to continue his work in another capacity,” said the Mayor.
The process for recruiting a new CAO involves Mayor and Council working with the director of human resources on developing criteria and the recruitment process. The position will be advertised this week.
The CAO is responsible for managing, directing and overall planning and coordination of the affairs of the municipality in accordance with the Community Charter, Local Government Act and policies and programs approved by Council. Leading a large and diverse staff, the position is responsible for providing advice and guidance to Council, and leadership to staff in the implementation of strategies, policies and programs that meet the needs of the organization and resort community. The CAO position reports directly to Council.