Executive Director Job Description (Growth Phase)

The Whistler Institute (WI) was originally incorporated as the Whistler Learning Centre Society in 2015, formalizing the Whistler Education Group that had formed in 2012 as an independent group to re-imagine how educational opportunities could enhance the Whistler experience. In 2018 the Whistler Learning Centre gained charitable status to assist in its mission to facilitate and promote life-long learning opportunities in the community of Whistler for residents and visitors.

By the end of 2020 the Whistler Learning Centre had delivered 24 courses in Whistler in collaboration with renowned public postsecondary institutions (British Columbia Institute of Technology, Vancouver Island University, University of Northern BC) and independent instructors as well as launching an acclaimed speaker series focused on thought leadership. In January 2021 the Whistler Learning Centre rebranded as the Whistler Institute of Learning Society to better reflect the breadth and depth of its activities, and now operates as the Whistler Institute.

The Whistler Institute plans to grow and diversify its course offerings through strong partnerships with post-secondary institutions, local and indigenous educators to meet the evolving needs of the communities in the Sea to Sky Region. This will include hosting more thought leadership events through an innovative speaker series, expanding the new Indigenous & Intercultural Awareness program in collaboration with BCIT and local Indigenous communities, and developing new educational and trades programs to support the local workforce with professional development opportunities.

The Executive Director (ED) will oversee the planning, implementation, and tracking of this growth stage of the Whistler Institute. The two-year growth phase will have specified deliverables, as described below. To accomplish the tasks identified during the two-year growth phase, the Executive Director will be required to perform a wide range of duties to achieve the deliverables and desired outcomes described below.


Working with the board of directors, develop an annual one-year workplan guided by the Strategic Plan for the Whistler Institute that:

  • Develops a strategy (including performance indicators and outcome measures) to evaluate progress after six months and make any necessary adjustments for the following 6 months.
  • Identifies the specific tasks/activities, timelines, relationships and resources needed to successfully complete the growth phase and position the organization for future success.
  • Collaborate with the Marketing and Community Development Coordinator to create a basic marketing, communications and community engagement strategy to identify and develop opportunities for implementation immediately, as well as annually.

Further develop stakeholder and partner relationships for continued development of the WI.


Execute the work plan ensuring all activities are in line with the mission, vision and values of the Whistler Institute outlined in the Strategic Plan

Develop all systems required to successfully run and implement WI programs, including, but not necessarily limited to:

  • forms and records to deliver and document project and program activities
  • financial management and reporting
  • systems required for effective ongoing operations
  • comprehensive database (basic CRM system) to track relationships and outcomes of all service providers, learning institutions and other partners

Monitor the progress of the organization’s workplan and make adjustments as necessary to ensure the successful advancement of the organization’s programs


Manage fundraising efforts ensuring a coordinated effort with volunteer fundraisers and the Board.

  • Lead and grow fundraising activities including individual giving, grants, special events and campaigns
  • Support board members and volunteers in cultivating and stewarding gifts within their networks from individuals, institutions, and corporations
  • Research and develop funding opportunities to encourage new or increased contributions to meet/exceed WI financial goals
  • Develop and maintain a donor relationship management system ensuring donors are engaged and recognized to increase donor retention 


Develop a communications strategy that includes:

  • Identification of all target audiences and tactics to reach them
  • Regular updating of website content
  • Regular communications with Whistler service providers
  • Media strategy
  • A strategy to regularly update stakeholders and funders

Quality control and reporting

Prepare for regular board meetings and provide progress reports including:

  • financial statements (revenue/expense, cash flow projections and actuals)
  • narrative reports (including, but not limited to: progress of organizational development, number and names of courses delivered, attendees, course evaluation summaries, business development initiatives)

After each educational  semester or event, provide an analysis and review for the board to evaluate how a program or event helps achieve the organization’s desired outcomes

Provide regular updates, communications and financial reports to funders as outlined in funding agreements

Manage approved budget and ensure that all financial records are up to date

Manage all project funds according to established accounting policies and procedures

Ensure that the project/program/event deliverables are on time, within budget and at the required level of quality


Undertake an initial six-month evaluation of operations and provide a summary report including next steps to provide to Board, funders and other relevant audiences; prepare an annual report to summarize deliverables and recommendations for next phase of the organization’s development and integrate the plan into the annual Business Plan update.


  • Adopt, improve, or develop all systems required to effectively run the WI and its programs, including current and future
  • Reporting systems and mechanisms
  • Website, maintained and updated regularly
  • Marketing and communication to support the activities and goals of the WI
  • Management of courses, programs, and events
  • Demonstrated progress towards the articulated Descriptions of Success in the Strategic Plan
  • Evaluation system and completed report at the end of the first six-months and year
  • A proposed plan and steps to move the WI forward to be incorporated in the annual Business Plan update

Executive Director – The Person

Skills and Qualifications

A university degree in a related subject (e.g. education, planning, business) with two-three years of project management experience including people/volunteer management. The Executive Director will be the face of the organization and demonstrate:

  • Proven project management experience of similar types of projects
  • Event management experience
  • Fundraising experience
  • Able to take a project from conception to implementation
  • Clear decision-making abilities: Can assess to determine the importance, urgency and risks, and make clear decisions which are timely and in the best interests of the organization
  • Organizational skills: Set priorities, develop a work schedule, monitor progress towards goals, and track details/data/information/activities
  • Planning: Determine strategies to move the organization forward and to the next stage, set goals, create and implement actions plans, and evaluate the process and results.
  • Effective communicator: Speak, listen and write in a clear, thorough and timely manner using appropriate and effective communication tools and techniques.
  • Creativity/Innovation: Develop new and unique ways to improve operations of the organization and to create and pursue new opportunities
  • Problem solving: Assess problem situations to identify causes, gather and process relevant information, generate possible solutions, and make recommendations and/or resolve the problem
  • Proficiency in the use of computers for: word processing, data base management, excel; familiarity with Quickbooks or similar accounting software, Wagepoint or similar payroll software, Mailchimp or similar email marketing software, familiarity with WordPress or similar website design software
  • Knowledge of the Whistler Resort as it relates to business, tourism and event management
  • Established relationships with Resort stakeholders (RMOW, TW, accommodation, service and activity sectors)
  • Previous experience working with and reporting to a board of directors

Please note: The Whistler Institute is not in a position to sponsor work VISA applications at this time. If you are applying from outside Whistler please ensure you have secured housing or have a plan for local accommodation, housing is not provided with this role.

Personal characteristics

The Executive Director should demonstrate all of the following:

  • Ethical behaviour: Understand ethical behaviour and business practices, and ensure that own behaviour and the behaviour of others is consistent with these standards and aligns with the values of the organization and the Whistler brand.
  • Entrepreneurialism: Be a self-starter, able to work independently with limited resources, and gets things done.
  • Teamwork: Work cooperatively and effectively with others to set goals, resolve problems, and make decisions that enhance organizational effectiveness.
  • Leadership: Positively influence others to achieve results that are in the best interest of the organization.

As a community of learners we are strengthened by diverse perspectives and experiences.  We are an equal opportunity employer and believe in fostering an inclusive work environment where all individuals have the opportunity to succeed. All individuals seeking employment are considered without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, ancestry, disability, gender identity, or sexual orientation. We welcome and encourage applications from everyone.

Executive Director – The Position

The Executive Director will report to the Board of Directors.

This is a 30-40 hour per week position depending on applicant availability.

The position offers a flexible work schedule with the opportunity to work from home.

The salary will be dependent on the successful applicant’s skills and experience and will be in the range of $35-47/hour. The Whistler Institute gratefully and respectfully acknowledges that it operates on the shared and unceded territories of the Skxwú7mesh & Líl̓wat First Nations.

To explore this opportunity further please submit your resume with contact details via employment@whistlerinstitute.com to Sue Adams, Chair of the Human Resources Committee.

Download the Executive Director job description here.