Saturday, November 15, 2008

Vancouver CEO calls on business community to step up to welcome the world during the Games

In a call to action in his annual address to the Vancouver Board of Trade, John Furlong, CEO for the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC) challenged the local business community to embrace the true spirit of the Games. Strong leadership from the community, changes to business operations, a warm welcome to visitors and support for Canada’s athletes were among the Business Top Ten List shared by Furlong to ensure successful and unforgettable Winter Games in 2010.
"The 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games will be the biggest event ever staged in this country and will require the support, collaboration and contribution of all businesses and citizens if we are to have extraordinary success for Vancouver, British Columbia and Canada", said Furlong. "If these Games are to live up to their full promise, then a selfless spirit of contribution must prevail throughout the 2010 Games theatre and beyond. These Games are not about a few of us but about all of us".
The following “Top Ten List For Business” was released yesterday as Furlong encouraged local businesses to play a part in the successful staging of the 2010 Winter Games on behalf of all Canadians:
  1. Leadership... Appoint a company ‘Games Champion’; a person or team of people to generate ideas, stay informed on Games news, liaise with VANOC and its partners and coordinate all company activities and initiatives.
  2. Heroes... Thousands of local citizens have volunteered to work at the Games – they are and will be the heart and soul of the Games. Generously support them by giving them the necessary time off to volunteer, particularly in the Sea to Sky corridor where more volunteers and accommodations for them are needed.
  3. More heroes... A uniquely talented temporary workforce is required at Games time. By generously lending paid staff to VANOC, give your people a remarkable working experience and help the Games achieve great success.
  4. The work day... Consider shifting your daily hours of business during the Games, thereby reducing traffic in and out of the city as it fills up with guests and helping to make the city and region even more liveable, welcoming and fun.
  5. Time off... Encourage – or even mandate – vacations at Games time to help make it possible for employees to fully enjoy the Games and reduce traffic. Consider if it’s feasible for your business to close entirely to celebrate the Games.
  6. Fewer cars... Embrace the concept of a coordinated reduction in company related vehicle traffic every day of the Games by encouraging the use of public transit, carpooling, walking and early morning truck deliveries.
  7. Work from home... Consider offering a work-at-home program during the Games to help significantly reduce traffic on the roads.
  8. Embrace the spirit… Learn as much as you can about the Games, the athletes, the teams and especially the Canadian team. Put language skills to good use to welcome and assist visitors. Stage in-house Games celebrations. Adopt a country; be a good host. After all, the world is coming!
  9. Support the athletes... Support a Canadian athlete or two by contributing to Own the Podium 2010 or by sponsoring a team. Buy tickets to attend the many international winter sport events being staged to get ready for the Games.
  10. Spread the joy... Fundraise within your organization to help ensure that those with extremely limited financial means will get a chance to experience the Games.