Olympic organizer wins SFU honour for leadership

January 22, 2004, vol. 29, no. 2
By Marianne Meadahl



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Businessman Jack Poole the driving force behind Vancouver's successful bid for the 2010 Winter Olympics, is the recipient of the Simon Fraser University President's Club 2003 distinguished community leadership award.

But if you ask him, the award really reflects the team effort that led to the city's success in securing the games. “The guy at the top receives the honour, but it's for the work of so many that makes it possible,” he says.

Poole is being honoured for leading the Vancouver 2010 Bid Corporation as its chairman and chief executive officer. Since 2001 he has steered a united team of representatives from various levels of government, including First Nations governments, as well as the Canadian Olympic and Paralympic committees.

“We really needed this win,” he says, noting a past year headlined by SARS, forest fires and mad cow disease. “We have had huge support from coast to coast, and unique partnerships have transpired. In my lifetime I don't think I've ever seen all levels of government working as closely together as they did on this.”

Poole also co-chaired the 2010 transition committee and in October was unanimously elected chairman of the board of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Games organizing committee. “The games will be good for us, for the economy and for our young people,” he says. “We'll be a better country for it.”

Born and raised in Saskatchewan, Poole graduated from the University of Saskatchewan and co-founded Concert Properties and DAON Development Corporation. He was also the founding chair of the Molson Vancouver Indy. He was appointed to the Order of British Columbia in 2003.

The award is given to an individual or organization exemplifying distinguished service to the community. Distinguished leadership is characterized by such qualities as high purpose, service, and impact on the community at large; innovative approaches to community concerns; and contributions leading to a strong sense of community.

The President's Club was founded 20 years ago and includes more than 400 members, including community leaders, organizations, foundations and SFU faculty and staff. Poole received the award at a banquet Jan. 14, attended by key players on the Olympic planning team as well as several SFU Olympians.

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