Darcy Alexander honoured with leadership award

Darcy Alexander accepting his Jim Marshall leadership award in April. Canada West Ski Areas Association photo.

Darcy Alexander’s name is the latest addition to a long list of ski industry leaders who have won the Canada West Ski Areas Association (CWSAA) Jim Marshall Leadership Award.

The Sun Peaks Resort LLP (SPR) general manager was given the award during the 2018 CWSAA awards dinner in April.

The award  recognizes exceptional skills and dedication to their profession and contribution to the sport of recreational skiing. Past winners include Sun Peaks’ former mountain operations manager Jamie Tattersfield in 2016 and Mike Wiegele of Mike Wiegele Helicopter Skiing in 1996.

“It’s an honour, it’s kind of humbling,” said Alexander. “I’ve been in the business for over 35 years and I’ve always tried to lead by example.

“I’m committed. Once I have a vision I’m digging in big and committed to doing the hard work to make it happen.”

Alexander said he found people in the business he could learn from and tried to take in everything he could.

“You don’t accomplish everything by yourself, you work as a team. You don’t do anything in life alone.”

He credited his team attitude to playing hockey as a child and having parents who encouraged it.

“If you didn’t do that there were consequences.”

Seeing the growth of Sun Peaks over his career, especially in the last few years, has been very rewarding, he said.

CWSAA president and CEO Christopher Nicolson said Alexander has not only had an impact on a local scale, but a provincial one.

“The province provides oversight, legislation, the all-seasons resort policy and these are critically important pieces that the public doesn’t see. It’s critical to how the B.C. ski industry has developed. Darcy has played a fundamental role in that development for over three decades.

“In terms of guiding the ship and having a vision, since 1992 Darcy has been the person on the ground interpreting a plan and architectural drawings into reality.”

Nicolson also credited Alexander with guiding SPR through the ebbs and flows experienced by industry, including the 2008 economic crisis.

“It hurt the development industry but Sun Peaks outlived it and that can be credited to Darcy’s leadership.”

Alexander has also played the part of role model for Nicolson and countless others.

“I’m one of the beneficiaries of his knowledge and wisdom of the industry,” Nicolson said. “Darcy was a big reason to come to the industry.”

Alexander’s focus on mentoring and shaping the next generation was also praised at the CWSAA event.

Another person Alexander helped shape is Bobbe Lyall who worked directly with him for 10 years for SPR and in the community for over 20 years.

“Darcy’s just a very pleasant person to work with,” she said. “He’s very even tempered and always willing to listen to new ideas and listen to people. He has always made time for me and that always resonated with me.”

Lyall added she was able to learn from his leadership style without any micromanagement.

“I learned to keep calm, keep your head about you and eventually with hard work you can turn any situation around… He always allows you the space to make your own mistakes but is always there for guidance.”