Jan 1, 2020 | 2020, Marmot

Changing Faces on Mount Washington

The Executive Team at Mount Washington Alpine Resort has seen the passing of a torch and the creation of two jobs.
On mountain and off mountain picks for a brighter future. Photo: Neil Havers

George Trousdell retired last summer as Director of Operations after 37 years with the Vancouver Island Resort. His departure has made way for the promotion of longtime employee Daniel Caley as Director of Maintenance and Facilities, and the hiring of a new employee, Layne Marett, as Director of Mountain Operations.

Caley has been with the Resort for more than 26 years, most recently as Manager of Maintenance. In 1993 he started his career as an entry-level lift operator and progressed through the mountain’s apprenticeship program, obtaining his Red Seal Millwright certification from BCIT in 2001.

Dean Prentice, General Manager, said it was an easy decision to promote Caley from within the Company. He identified Caley’s experience with the Resort’s recent capital investments as well as at the Resort over the last couple of decades as key factors. “Dan was a natural choice as we install snowmaking infrastructure from the base area to the top of the Whiskey Jack Chairlift, since he has been intimately involved with the snowmaking equipment testing we’ve been doing for the past couple of seasons,”

Prentice said. “He’s also been involved in the installation of the new Ziptour, and his leadership on that project makes this a great next step for Dan and for us.”

Caley credited Trousdell’s tutelage for preparing him for the expanded role at the Mountain. “Our career paths have a lot of parallels,” Caley said. “George and I both started as lift operators and worked our way up. I’ve learned a lot from him over the years, which gives me the confidence to take on this expanded role and contribute to the Resort’s evolution.”

While Prentice indicated he was happy to elevate a long-time staffer like Caley, he expressed equal satisfaction at being able to strengthen the Resort’s Executive ranks with fresh ideas and strong experience from outside the Company.

Marett’s career began at Cypress Mountain in Vancouver, where he headed up the Terrain Park and Events Programs. Marett attended Selkirk College’s Lifts program in 2008, and he obtained his Red Seal Millwright certification through BCIT in 2011. From Cypress, Marett move to Mt. Seymour as both their Maintenance and Operations Manager.

Prentice noted Marett’s operational experience in the North Shore mountains and his educational background will be helpful as Mount Washington expands its summer operations and builds out its snowmaking infrastructure in the coming years.

Marett said he is happy to be at Mount Washington. “With the Ziptour opening this summer and the snowmaking being installed, this will be an exciting and challenging endeavour,” he said. “It’s a bonus that my family is delighted to spend more time on this mountain.”

Caley and Marett aren’t the only two employees to either be promoted or move to the mountain for a new position.

Human Resources Manager Cam Thickett joined the Resort Team from Calgary, and was in the thick of it right away during the annual Fall Job Fair at Eagle View Bistro.

Linda Bigelow is the new Groups and Season’s Pass Representative, having come from the Resort’s Call Centre where she worked for the past five years. She has had a record year of Early Bird Passes sold already.

Robyn Heron joined the Team two years ago as Business Development Manager and has continued to increase the number of corporate and other groups that visit Mount Washington.

Ben McInnes joined the Bike Park in May 2019 as the new Trail Crew Supervisor. “Ben came to us with 10 plus years of commercial bike park experience working with an outfit called Hoots Bike Park Design,” said Mike Manara Bike Park Manager. “He was running small crews with them. His leadership and skill set have helped take the Bike Park in terms of maintenance and building techniques and standardized the trail product we have out there. “That really helped elevate the rider experience.”

Beth Novak is doing double duty as both the Nordic and Ziptours Manager, capitalizing on her nine years of experience at the Resort.

Jen Young returns as Snow School Manager following maternity leave.

Mark Fischer, Executive Vice-President of Pacific Group Resorts Inc., said the Management Group – led by General Manager Dean Prentice – is possibly the biggest perk to owning the Resort. “I think the thing we’re most pleased about is how pleasant the people are to work with,” Fischer said. “It’s a really good group of folks.”

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